As we age, our metabolism slows down, stress builds up causing hormone imbalances, and we tend to be more sedentary, leading to age-related weight gain. The good news is that there are steps you can take to lose those extra pounds:
1. Boost muscle mass. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it burns more energy. But by the age of 50, we lose 10 percent of our muscle mass. Strength training with weights or resistance bands three times a week, combined with aerobic activity, will build muscle and burn calories.
2. Change your routine. When you challenge your body in a new way, you build more muscle mass and burn more calories. If you’ve been following the same fitness regimen for decades, shake things up with something new. Experts also suggest eating protein at every meal to increase both muscle mass and boost metabolism.
3. Control hormone swings. As we age, our levels of estrogen and testosterone decline, which makes us store fat. Excess sugar also disrupts insulin levels in the body, which can affect other hormones. To fight back, cut down on refined sugars and starches, and stick to protein and whole foods.
4. Get enough sleep. Research shows a consistent relationship between sleep and weight gain. Studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived not only eat more the next day, they also reach for higher calorie foods. And lack of sleep affects the balance of the body’s hunger hormones.
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