How To Beat Your Changing Metabolism

Registered Dietitian Melanie Douglass has the two keys to speeding up your metabolism and getting your body to burn more calories.

1) eat adequate calories (but not too much!)

2) exercise (particularly strength training)

Without exercise, our bodies gradually lose bone density and muscle size and strength—which leads to a lower metabolic rate. Strength training is powerful because it literally reverses muscle loss and improves body composition. In a 1999 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found that after just 2 months of strength training, women recover an entire decade of muscle loss and men recover two decades of loss! And that was with just (3) 40-minute sessions a week.

In each decade of life there are unique lifestyle changes that also occur and compound or complicate the “natural muscle loss due to aging” problem. Here are a few things you can do to beat your changing metabolism in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and beyond:

In your 20’s:

– Cut out fast food. Yep, even in the 20’s, metabolic rate starts to slow down. In the teen years, kids enjoy eating whatever they want, when they want… and that list often includes fast food, pizza, take-out and quick snacks and treats. From the teens to the 20’s, most people experience a major shift in activity levels (going from very active to less active). That means it the 20’s it’s time to put a stop to those habits because the body is no longer so accepting of extra calories, fat and sugar.

– Start or maintain a strength-training program.

In your 30’s:

– Don’t skip breakfast! In the 30’s women tend to get caught up with kids, work, church, community… this is the decade they do it all—and in the midst of doing it all, women tend to neglect themselves. Skipping breakfast is a sure-fire way to slow your metabolism down. Take one minute to grab something—a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts—but something to fuel your vital organs and muscles in the morning. There’s also a mental aspect to eating breakfast that is powerfully beneficial to your health; when you feel satiated, you start the day in control… which means you’re more likely to keep your appetite in control for the rest of the day.

– Start or maintain a strength-training program.

In your 40’s:

– Cut back on refined carbohydrates and extra snacking. This is the decade where excess weight hits hard and fast. Many women are shocked at how their bodies change in the 40’s. At this point in life, it’s time to stick to three small meals and one or two small (100 – 200 calorie) snacks. Sticking to the basic foods, like: fruits and veggies, lean protein sources (meat, yogurt, low-fat dairy, eggs, nuts and beans), whole-grain carbs like 100% whole-wheat breads, cereals and pasta, and a good multi-vitamin/mineral (including Calcium) supplement is all your body truly “needs” to stay healthy and fit. Snacks should be fruit, veggies, nuts or proteins. Save bakery items, crackers, chips, cookies, etc for special occasions.

– Start or maintain a strength-training program.

For more information, you can contact Melanie through her website,
And for a limited time, you can sign up for a free 8-week membership to Podfitness where your music is mixed with some of the best personal trainers to create a customized workout for you that you can take with you anywhere you can take your iPod.
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