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Q&A: Turn Back Your Metabolism

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Q: My husband and I gained at least 10 pounds quickly after turning 50 years old. We have struggled to take it off without eating a very restricted diet. Any suggestions? It just feels like our metabolism has just shut down. — Nancy, Clarksville, TN

A: Metabolism naturally slows with age, but you can fight back. Here are a few ways to spike your metabolism:

1. Challenge Your Body With Exercise

Even body weight movements can help you preserve muscle tissue or gain new muscle, and the more muscle you have, typically the higher your metabolic rate. Remember: It's not just a matter of how much exercise you do, but how hard you're working. For instance, even if you're just walking on a treadmill, you can still adjust the speed and incline at intervals (e.g. one minute hard, two minutes easy) to create new challenges for your body, and increase your metabolism.

2. Spread Out Your Meals

Eating five to six smaller meals spread evenly throughout the day keeps energy levels high and hunger at bay. So you'll be less likely to binge. Fill your diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lean proteins sources so you're eating carbs, protein, and healthy fats at each snack and meal.

3. Switch to Green Tea

This is an easy one. Not only does green tea have great antioxidant qualities, but it's also been shown to increase your metabolism. If you can't skip your morning coffee, try a mid-day cup of green tea to give yourself a boost for the rest of the day.

Tags: Metabolism, Weight Loss, Q&A