A lagging metabolism can be a problem for many women. We asked Kristen Yarker, a registered dietitian in Victoria, BC, for her best advice.
Does our metabolism really slow down as we get older?
Metabolism does slow down with age, and it’s likely due to two reasons: First of all, it’s just part of the natural aging process, and secondly, we have less muscle as we get older. Given that muscle is more metabolically active than fat, this becomes a significant factor.
Should we be mindful of our changing metabolism?
Yes, especially as we age. Out of habit, most of us continue to eat the same portions of food we did when we were younger, but we don’t really need that much food anymore and we don’t metabolize it the same way. The result is weight gain.
What tips do you have to increase metabolism?
The best way to boost metabolism is to build, or maintain, your muscle mass. Weightlifting and high-intensity interval training seem to be particularly good at raising metabolic rate. By being active and building your muscles, you can buffer some of the age-related slowing of your metabolism.
Also, eating small, planned meals can be a successful tool for losing and maintaining weight. I recommend that clients eat planned snacks if their meals are going to be more than four hours apart.
What’s the ideal weight- and metabolism-supporting snack?
My go-to snack suggestion is a piece of fruit and a small handful of raw, unsalted nuts. Mix it up to get a variety of nutrients and avoid boredom. For example, pair an apple with almonds, pineapple with macadamia nuts or a pear with pumpkin seeds.