The Metabolism-Boosting Tips Everyone Over 50 Needs to Know

There’s no question that losing weight after the age of 50 is no easy feat. Not only are sugary sweets tempting at the end of a hard day, but your metabolism has also likely taken a nose-dive. Oprah notes your metabolism slows by about 2% per decade from the age of 20. You can imagine why the scale creeps up more easily by the time you’ve reached middle age.

All hope isn’t lost, however. There are plenty of ways to easily boost your metabolism, including the simplest method you can start today on page 9.

1. Drink your morning coffee

Cup of coffee

That morning habit is an important one. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Coffee is a popular drink of choice for those over the age of 50. And there’s good news for your metabolism if you love reaching for a cup each morning. WebMD explains coffee may have the ability to raise your metabolic rate in the short-term. Make sure you’re not adding cream or sugar to your coffee, though, as all those extra calories really add up.

Next: Are you getting at least eight hours of this a night?

2. Get adequate rest

woman sleeping

Sleep is crucial to your health. | Povozniuk/iStock/Getty Images

It seems simple enough, but the majority of us don’t get as much sleep as we need. Everyday Health reports those around the age of 50 need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. And if you’re over 65, you need between seven and eight.

Nutritionist Seth Santoro tells Eat This, Not That! that getting inadequate sleep can lead to a range of metabolic issues. “It can cause you to burn fewer calories, lack appetite control and experience an increase in cortisol levels, which stores fat,” he says.

Next: This is so simple that you have to try it.

3. Chew gum

woman putting pink chewing gum into her mouth.

This little tip revs up your metabolism. | Nyul/iStock/Getty Images

Feeling like you’re not getting enough movement in your day? Livestrong.com notes the simple act of chewing gum is an easy way to rev your metabolism without even thinking about it. Researchers found those who chewed sugar-free gum for three 20-minute intervals daily saw their metabolism increase by 5%. This was a small study and likely won’t make a huge difference without the aid of proper diet and exercise, but still — it seems something so easy can make a difference in the long run.

Next: Make sure you’re eating plenty of this nutrient for a fast metabolism.

4. Eat plenty of protein

Vegan protein sources

Don’t skimp on your daily dose of protein. | Rimma_Bondarenko/Getty Images

Proper nutrition is one of the most effective methods in ensuring your metabolism is humming at a quick pace. Registered dietitian Susan Bowerman tells Prevention that “there is some evidence older adults need more protein.” This nutrient can help reduce age-related muscle degeneration. And muscle helps support a healthy metabolic rate, so you want to ensure you have plenty as you age. Aim for 30 grams at each meal, and even more if you tend to love carb-heavy foods.

Next: This simple exercise can really give you a boost.

5. Try 15 minutes of yoga

Young black woman doing yoga

Even a short yoga session can help. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Dr. Oz tells Oprah that getting up and doing a few minutes of yoga each day is the perfect way to get your metabolism running at a quick pace. “It can double your metabolic rate first thing in the morning,” Dr. Oz says. And he recommends sun salutations in particular, as they’re great for improving strength and flexibility through a series of moves that flow together. You’ll be exercising without even realizing it.

Next: Do this type of exercise, despite what the popular trends may suggest.

6. Try moderate-intensity cardio instead of high-intensity

men on bikes

Time spent on a bike will do the trick. | iStock.com

Jump squats and burpees may be all the rage currently — and they certainly get your heart beating to its max. For those above 50, however, these moves can be incredibly hard on your joints. The good news is that high-intensity interval training isn’t the only way to rev your metabolism.

SFGate notes lower-impact exercises are just as good for you and more sustainable for more folks. A brisk walk during the day or a calm bike ride in the evening are great for the mind and body — and they’re doing a lot more for you than you think.

Next: You may want to set a timer to remember to do this.

7. Move your body more throughout the day

A FitBit may help you stay on track. | Killerbayer/iStock/Getty Images

We know you’re busy — but if you’re stuck at a desk for the majority of your day, don’t forget to move. Dr. Oz shares with Oprah that moving around a bit more than usual will boost your metabolism long after you’re back to sitting down again. And since a simple “trip around the block can triple your metabolic rate,” shaking out your legs and doing a few arm circles every hour or so will also do your body good.

Next: There’s a reason standing desks are so popular. 

8. Stand instead of sitting whenever possible

Stand while working in the office

Make a point to stand, rather than sit. | jacoblund/Getty Images

You don’t need to perform strenuous exercise — or any exercise at all, really — to get your metabolism going. StyleCaster notes just standing for a few hours a day instead of sitting can provide you with multiple health benefits. Kian Ameli, the owner of Momentum Fitness, tells the publication that “while we are sitting, we don’t have to use any muscles.” So even just standing more can boost your metabolism.

This is particularly useful for those who experience joint pain and don’t wish to partake in difficult workouts, too.

Next: You’ll definitely want to stay hydrated now.

9. Drink cold water

Drink cold water

Cold water can boost your metabolism. | Pinkomele/iStock/Getty Images

Used to drinking your water at room temperature? Adding a few ice cubes to your glass may be to your benefit. Active notes that one study by German researchers found drinking 48 ounces of cold water daily can raise your metabolism enough to burn an extra 50 calories. That doesn’t seem like much — but it can surely make a difference over time with very little effort on your part.

Next: These types of beverages are bad news for your metabolism.

10. Avoid diet drinks

bottles of coca-cola

If you’re going to drink soda, at least skip the diet variety. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It gets harder to keep the scale from creeping up as you age — so you may opt for a diet soda or two during the day. But for the sake of your metabolic health, this is discouraged. NPR notes many researchers think artificial sweeteners, such as those found in diet drinks, can lead to metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

It’s inconclusive whether it’s the diet soda or other aspects of your diet that may be the bigger problem, however. But researcher Susan Swithers explains frequently consuming fake sugar may induce “metabolic derangements.”

Next: You should definitely add more of this food into your diet.

11. Eat more eggs

Egg Container

Eggs are a great source of protein. | Rightone/iStock/Getty Images

You’re in luck if eggs are your protein of choice. Not only are eggs filling, but Healthline notes they contain all essential amino acids that your body can then use to keep your metabolism humming. Also, the publication notes a diet full of protein can give your metabolism a boost by up to 100 calories a day since proteins take more energy to break down in the body. And when you’re over the age of 50, an added 100 calories a day burned can make a giant difference.

Next: Skip coffee in favor of this metabolism-boosting drink.

12. Sip on green tea

Green Tea

Green tea has several benefits. | isa-7777/Getty Images

Aside from cold water, you should also make yourself a few more cups of tea than usual. Self explains studies show that green tea drinkers may burn up to an extra 100 calories daily. This is due to catechins, an antioxidant that supports your metabolic health.

That’s not all green tea can offer the over-50 crowd, either. Daily Mail Online notes green tea drinkers may be more likely to stay active, mobile, and self-sufficient in their lives.

Next: This vitamin may be key to good metabolic health. 

13. Get enough zinc in your diet

Foods with Zinc mineral

These foods all contain zinc. | bit245/Getty Images

A catch-all multivitamin may not be doing enough for your body. Prevention explains zinc is vital to your thyroid, as it helps it produce hormones that regulate your metabolism and keep your energy levels up. Not only that, but it can also help keep hunger levels at bay.

SF Gate notes many post-menopausal women are deficient in zinc, so eat a serving of shellfish, dark poultry meat, or beef every once in awhile to get your fill.

Next: This seems really strange — but it totally works.  

14. Imagine yourself working out without actually hitting the gym

Young Asian fitness woman doing exercises in the park

Visualize the exercise if you can’t make it happen. | iStock.com/twinsterphoto

Can’t get outside for a walk? No problem. Dr. Oz tells Oprah that visualizing a sweat session has more benefits than you think. In fact, it can actually trick your body into believing it’s being strengthened by physical training, thus burning more calories and giving your metabolism a boost. One study from the Cleveland Clinic found participants who spent just 15 minutes daily imagining flexing their biceps saw a notable increase in strength after only a couple months.

Next: This type of training is a must when it comes to a healthy metabolism.

15. Lift more weights

senior man in sportswear kneeling alone in a gym

Lifting weights fights against muscle loss and helps your burn calories. | UberImages/iStock/Getty Images

You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to see the benefits of lifting weights. Not only can it combat age-related muscle loss, but it’ll also help you burn more calories throughout the day. Self explains muscle burns three times as many calories as fat when you’re at rest. And if you’re not a fan of hard cardio, grabbing a pair of dumbbells can change up your workout and make it way more enjoyable.

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