how to increase your metabolism after 50
Exercise & Fitness Healthy Living

How to Increase Your Metabolism After 50: The Ultimate Guide for Women

(Last Updated On: October 15, 2019)

Who wants to know how to increase your metabolism after 50? Hmmm. I’m looking for the raised hands, ladies. Where are they? Oh, I hear you mumbling something like, “who cares about metabolism anyway?

Well, we should all care. A lot. Here’s why.

When it all comes down to it, once we pass through menopause our bodies have changed. I’ll bet you’ve noticed that. I sure have. Our clothes don’t fit quite the same, the waistline has expanded and things just start to slow down.

Our friend menopause causes those changes in our body composition, and the result is less muscle and more fat, particularly around our middle. Now that we have less muscle, our metabolism is slower, since muscle cells burn more fuel than fat cells. Hence, the weight gain.

And, the type of abdominal, or visceral fat, that appears around our middle, is a dangerous form of fat that increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

What we need to do as women in midlife is understand a little bit more about how our body functions, including our BMR, or basal metabolic rate.

BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the number of calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic life-sustaining functions.

healthline.com

Another way to describe BMR is “the total number of calories your body burns at rest”.

Find out what your BMR is: BMR Calculator. My BMR is 1,082 calories per day. Keep in mind this is the number of calories your body burns while you are at rest. The calories you need each day will go up with your activity level.

When we work out, engage in normal every day activities, we’re burning more calories. But remember:

  • our age,
  • our slowing metabolism,
  • and how they factor into our ability to stay fit, strong and keep our weight under control.

So learning how to increase your metabolism after 50 is worth putting some time and effort into, and even making some lifestyle changes. Still having thoughts of shoving this essential activity way down on the list?

Think about this: the average adult loses 3-8% of muscle during each decade (yes, each) after 30. By the time you’re 80, you’ll have roughly 30% less muscle than when you were 20. That is not something I want to have happen to me without working to minimize the effects, how about you?

Metabolism: the result of all the processes in your body working together to create the energy that keeps you going.

vocabulary.com

This guide to helping you increase your metabolism after 50 is just that; a guide. I have researched the topic and am presenting you with viable options that may help you stay in shape and keep your metabolism running at a healthy pace. I’m not a physician, nor am I telling you what to do. You ultimately know what is best for your body and lifestyle.

There is a wealth of information here for you and I’ve created a free printable so you can keep everything close at hand. More about that later. 🙂

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and decide to purchase a product, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you! Disclosure Policy

foods that increase metabolism after 50

Our Food & Drink Choices That Increase Metabolism After 50

what to eat to increase metabolism over 50

Coffee, anyone?

Well, being the coffee snob that I am, the fact that caffeine can help keep my metabolism humming along and burn up extra calories (around 100 per day) brings a smile to my face.

And, a cup of coffee before a workout can help keep you focused so you burn more calories. Yay!

The caffeine in coffee can provide a number of benefits to our system over and above the increased basal metabolic rate (BMR) as described in this detailed article: Does Coffee Increase Your Metabolism?

Remember to check with your doctor to make sure caffeine consumption is safe for you; and, be reasonable with the amount of coffee you drink. There is a point where it can become counter productive.

An evening cup of tea

I enjoy my glass of wine in the evening, I really do. But if I decided to change my evening routine to help boost my metabolism, a cup of tea would be in order.

A good choice would be chamomile tea. It contains minerals that our body needs and also helps our body detox and get rid of wastes (less bloat, yay!), reduce stress and help us sleep better.

I know…another trip to tinkle during the night…but it may be worth it for the benefits!

Sweet tooth? Reach for the fruit

When that craving hits you for a candy bar, cookie or slice of pie…run away…now! Those empty carbs will slow your metabolism down as well as pile on the pounds.

Instead, reach for some fresh blueberries, melons such as honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon, and citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges or tangerines.

Add fresh lemon juice to your water for a metabolism boosting drink.

Eat the ‘good’ fats

Refraining from eating any type of fat may not be in your best interest when searching for ways to increase your metabolism after 50. Healthy fats can actually help with weight loss by increasing satiety and speeding up the metabolism.

Fatty foods are more filling by nature. They are burned at a slower rate by the body, which is why you can typically make it to your next meal without snacking. Certain fats, like the ones found in palm and coconut oil, are known to increase metabolism.

The key is to select the right types of fats, because certainly some types are not good for you. So what do you want to choose?

  • fats that come from whole foods and are not highly heated or processed.
  • pasture fed and finished animals
  • olives, coconuts and free range eggs
  • raw nuts and seeds
  • wild salmon
  • organic yogurt
  • coconut oil and coconut meat
  • chia, flax, hemp

Avoid fried foods (but you already knew that, right?) and processed foods

Remember that moderation is key, like everything else that we do, and to overdo on the ‘healthy fats’ while excluding other healthy foods will not provide the results you’re after.

Need a Little Boost? How About a Quick Read?



Have an apple first

According to registered dietician nutritionist Kristin Koskinen, eating an apple before you eat anything else could be the one thing that helps you increase your metabolism and lose up to 10 pounds.

Why? Eating an apple first provides enough satiety that you'll decrease your overall calorie intake. A very simple strategy, don't you think?

Eat this for breakfast

Well, the pancakes, french toast, muffins, bagels and donuts are off the list if you are serious about raising your metabolism as a woman over 50, as well as keeping your weight under control.

But you know what? A low carb, no sugar breakfast can be tasty and very filling. I've been preparing two eggs with a variety of fillings such as onions and peppers, a small amount of cubed turkey or chicken (bacon will do quite nicely as well), leftover veggies, sliced tomatoes and some sprinkles of cheese.

Other options to include are mushrooms, zucchini, ham, avocado or kale.

It fills me up and I am not hungry for several hours. The carbs are minimal and there is no sugar at the party! I've become used to this tasty way to tart the day and don't even miss my cereal anymore, and I'm a big cereal lover. Once in a while I might indulge, but I much prefer to start my day with protein rather than processed carbs.

Bedtime Snacks?

Do you enjoy a snack before bedtime? It can be hard to eat the right kinds of food in the evening. Popcorn, chips and dip, some ice cream...it may be fun but doesn't necessarily help the cause!

It was recently discovered during a British Journal of Nutrition Study that consuming 30 grams (approx. 1/4 cup) of protein before calling it a day could help your metabolism. And, you could also see some benefits such as better sleep and wake up feeling great the next morning.

Here are a few examples:

  • 1 slice whole grain toast + 2 tbl hummus = a mini meal
  • 6 oz. 2% cottage cheese + 1/2 cup pitted tart cherries = a muscle boost
  • 1 banana + 1 tbl. nut or seed butter = better sleep
  • 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt + 1/2 cup blueberries = avoid extreme breakfast hunger
  • more metabolism boosting bedtime snacks

Keep the veggies coming!

Vegetables take more work for your body to digest and are on the list of foods that increase metabolism after 50. The extra calorie burn from eating plant foods can last up to four hours, raising your metabolism and helping you to feel energized. Boom.

How about YOU? Are there TWO ITEMS on this list that you could incorporate into your daily lifestyle? WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

Prefer to watch and learn? Dr. Mark Hyman has some practical advice for increasing your metabolism after 50, or at any age!

stay strong and healthy after 50 with proper nutrition

Our Nutrition - How It Impacts Metabolism After 50

drink water to boost your metabolism as a women over 50

Protein throughout the day

A total daily intake of about 30% of overall calories is felt to be effective for maintaining a healthy metabolic rate as well as possible weight loss. So as you go about your day and plan your meals, remember to include some type of protein with each.

When you consume protein your body burns more calories around the clock, including during sleep, as much as 80 to 100 more calories per day.

By the way, another advantage of a high protein diet is that you'll feel less hungry and ultimately may consume fewer calories.

Eat mindfully

What does it mean to eat mindfully? Paying attention to what we are selecting to eat, being aware of our physical versus psychological hunger, and making appropriate choices, being aware of the present moment while eating. This can help us maintain a healthy metabolism.

I have a tendency to eat quickly and not really pay attention to what I'm eating. I like to call it multi tasking, but it's really not healthy or good for me as it relates to mindfulness.

For me, if I'm not paying attention to what I'm eating I may overeat out of habit or simply because I'm not focused on the activity, which is the meal. I know that I have some work to do in this area.

Fast occasionally

Studies have shown that fasting for short periods can actually increase your metabolism.

Intermittent fasting has become more popular and works well as a means to lose weight for many people. Some choose to fast for 2 days per week. Others choose alternate day fasting, which is also called the 16/8 method. You consume all of your food for the day within an 8 hour period and fast for 16 hours.

If you think this might be something you want to try, I would advise doing some research first to make sure you understand the process as well as the pros and cons. Clicking the link above would be a great place to start!

Dieting in moderation, please

Too much of a good thing usually ends up being, well, not good. And dieting to an extreme is one of those things you don't want to get carried away with.

Extreme calorie deprivation over an extended period of time can cause your metabolic rate to drop because your body enters what is called starvation mode.

Remember this - post in on your bathroom mirror (or your forehead) if you have to:

  • common sense
  • moderation
  • healthy choices

Water, water

Drinking water regularly is a topic that is discussed here often. As women over 50 we absolutely have to remain hydrated to retain our overall health.

Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour. So there you go. Another benefit to drinking water.

And, if you like your water ice cold, your calorie burning, metabolism boosting benefit may be even greater. Why? Your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

Consider magnesium supplements

There are several vitamins and minerals that can help boost metabolism:

  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for creating the chemical reactions in our body that produce energy, so is necessary to maintain a healthy metabolism. You can find magnesium in foods like nuts and seeds, spinach, bananas, salmon and halibut, whole grains and potatoes.

A magnesium supplement may be helpful for you, but as with any other supplements, check with your doctor first to make sure it will not conflict with medications you are taking.

Fiber, baby

Fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet for a number of reasons:

  • lowers inflammation
  • promotes healthy gut microbes
  • reduces the risk of heart disease
  • helps kick our metabolism into gear

How does eating fiber aid our metabolism? Simply put, fiber is indigestible and harder for the body to break down, so it burns more calories.

Examples of high fiber foods include:

  1. Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries
  2. Dark colored veggies like carrots, beets and broccoli
  3. Potatoes
  4. Beans, particularly navy and white beans
  5. Legumes
  6. Whole grains like bulgur wheat, brown rice, wild rice and barley
  7. Whole grain breads
  8. Nuts and seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pistachios and almonds

Remember to use good judgement and keep portion sizes as well as other ingredients in mind when selecting high fiber foods.

Spices are your friend!

Yes indeed! Some spices, when added to your diet, can make your body use up more energy to process the food you eat. That turns up the metabolism and your body burns more calories.

Cinnamon - I stir in a dash of cinnamon to my french press coffee before steeping and it not only adds an interesting flavor, it's boosting my metabolism. Cool!

Mustard - can boost your metabolism by up to 25%, with dark mustard coming in on top over light.

Cayenne - contains capsaicin, which 'heats up' you body and produces a thermogenic effect, ie, boosts the metabolism. It really does provide a kick so keep that in mind when adding to sauces and toppings.

Ginger - try making ginger tea with ice water and lemon; it can help flatten your belly.

Cumin - add it to stir fry and rice dishes, or add a teaspoon to yogurt for a savory snack.

Nutmeg - contains a component that may inhibit enzymes that are involved in glucose metabolism, encouraging fat breakdown.

How about YOU? Are there TWO ITEMS on this list that you could incorporate into your daily lifestyle? WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

exercise is essential as a woman over 60

Our Approach to Exercise - How to Speed Up Our Metabolism After Age 50

How exercise can help boost metabolism in women after 60

ID 37099108 © Robert Bayer | Dreamstime.com

Aerobic training is essential!

We know that as women over 50, a combination of aerobic and strength training is essential to keeping strong, fit and helping to control the belly fat.

Aerobic exercise will burn calories and boost your metabolism in several ways:

First, your metabolism is heightened during exercise and burns significantly more calories.

Second, if the exercise causes a rise in your heart rate and respiration, your metabolism will remain elevated and you'll continue to burn calories after the workout has ended.

Third, aerobic exercise helps to maintain lean muscle mass. Your goal should be to combine aerobic and strength training to ensure this happens.

Strength training is essential!

We'll continue on from the section above and say, "ditto!" to the necessity of strength training for women over 50.

This is the second half of the 'secret' to staying strong, fit and keeping our metabolism moving during midlife.

Strength training will help your body by:

  • adding lean muscle mass to your frame. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn by just living and breathing. Remember that we are losing muscle as we age, ladies, so this is so critical for us!
  • your body uses energy to repair muscles that break down while strength training. And, it will help keep us looking toned.

Make sure you use common sense when strength training, and do what is safe and healthy for you. We are all unique and can handle different levels of exercise and intensity.

Don't overdo on the cardio

My guess is that as woman over 50 we might not be prone to this problem, but it needs to be mentioned as a precaution.

Too much cardio (aerobic) exercise can actually cause you to lose muscle, become stressed, and slow down the metabolic process. It can become harder and harder to lose fat.

In general, 30 minutes of cardio 3 times per week can help you burn fat without losing muscle. Again, the combination of strength and aerobic training is what we need to do, ladies.

Increase your steps

Walking is beneficial for so many reasons, and if you walk for aerobic exercise you can increase your metabolism with the level and number of times per week that you walk.

If you can walk at a brisk pace and maintain that pace, your metabolism will burn through calories to sustain your energy levels. A one hour moderately paced walk can also rev up your metabolism.

Walking uphill on a treadmill (or outside if that works for you) at a slow to moderate level can increase the fat metabolism to maintain blood glucose levels.

Shorter, harder workouts

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. This means that your workout involves intervals of high intensity, all-out effort alternating with easier, lower intensity bouts of 'rest'.

This type of workout produces something called EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Your body continues to burn excess calories as it works to return to the pre-exercise state.

Bottom line? You'll burn more calories with an HIIT workout than a regular workout.

If you want to learn more about HIIT workouts for women over 50, my suggestion would be to learn from an expert and woman over 50, Linda Melone. She is highly qualified, offers a number of programs for women in midlife and always uses videos of herself as examples. Here is the post on HIIT.

I know...so much information! But no worries, my friend. I've got a free printable for you that keeps everything short and sweet. You can always refer back to this post for all the details!

How about YOU? Are there TWO ITEMS on this list that you could incorporate into your daily lifestyle? WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

 increase metabolism after 50

Our Lifestyle Choices - Ways to Increase Metabolism

Make wise lifestyle choices to retain your health after 50

Get enough sleep

A good night's sleep has a number of benefits, and keeping our metabolism humming along is one of them. Does restful sleep elude you? That can certainly happen as we travel though midlife.

Here are a few things you can do to help your body prepare for a restful sleep:

  • Be consistent with your bedtime and wake up time. Your body will adjust to that natural rhythm.
  • A bedtime routine can be helpful, similar to a morning routine. Do the same things each night before going to bed, and you'll be telling your body that it's time to wind down and prepare to a good nights sleep.
  • Read a boring book. Or, a book that will not stimulate your brain or emotions and get you all revved up.
  • Avoid exercising before going to bed.
  • Consider aromatherapy, with essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and jasmine to help you relax.
  • Meditation, prayer and yoga can also be helpful to prepare for sleep.

Walk before a meal

A brisk walk 30 minutes or so prior to eating a meal can fire up our body's metabolism and ensure the calories we'll be consuming are burned up after digestion.

So...if you get that brisk walk in before eating, then consume a healthy, clean meal with whole foods and minimal processed foods, think what benefit you'll be giving your body!

Relax!

There are so many good and healthy reasons to relax and let go of the stress that finds its way into our lives, and maintaining a healthy metabolism is another great reason.

When we're under stress our body releases a number of hormones to gear our body up for a response to the stress. Initially it burns calories and increases metabolism.

But, at the same time a hormone called cortisol is also breaking down muscle for energy. Occasional stress may not have much of an impact, but long term continued stressful situations can ultimately cause an overall decrease in our metabolism.

The good news is that we can combat stress with exercise, like taking a brisk 30 minute walk. The key is to be aware of your body and what it is telling you can take the appropriate steps to keep it healthy.

Don't sit too much

Spending all day sitting in a chair is bad for your health. Why? Let me count the ways:

  • sitting strains muscles,
  • slows your metabolism,
  • increases your risk of heart disease,
  • can even shorten your life span

An even more worrisome discovery is that 60 to 90 minutes of daily exercise may not counteract the effects of sitting all day.

If you are in a position that requires you to sit, be sure to get up and walk around every 30 minutes or so. And, keep reading for the next way to help your metabolism stay active even when sitting...

Fidgeting burns calories!

I never sit still. My feet are swinging as I sit in my office chair, I can't sit still for more than an hour while working, and I generally don't stop fiddling until I go to sleep. How about you? Are you always moving, doing something, even if it's tapping your toes?

Well, all of those small movements can burn up several hundred calories a day, depending on how much of a fidgeter you are! Just sayin'.

Keep up the Composite movements

What are composite movements? They are any movement that uses more than one muscle group. Simple, every day actions like doing household chores, gardening, putting away groceries, emptying the dishwasher, doing the laundry, bending down to pick something up off the floor...these are all composite movements.

Why do we want to do this? Well, these types of movements can elevate our metabolism for 24 to 48 hours. And, you don't have to spend hours at the gym to reap the benefits.

So the next time you drop something on the floor, you can feel really good about bending down and picking it up. 🙂

How about YOU? Are there TWO ITEMS on this list that you could incorporate into your daily lifestyle? WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

Free Printable for you to keep this information at your fingertips. It's right here in my Resource Library!

This Ultimate Guide to learning how to increase your metabolism after 50 is chock full of helpful information. There is so much contained here, it's probably more than one person could incorporate into their daily lifestyle.

But, we are all unique creatures with one-of-a-kind physiological structures. For that reason, I encourage you to select one or two items from each of the four main groups and concentrate on those.

Sometimes there is great benefit in taking the time to read a good book and learn more about a topic. It's wonderful to have on hand for a continuing reference, too. Here are some helpful choices I selected for you from Amazon, to help you increase your metabolism after 50:

As women over 50, we are in charge of our bodies, our choices, our lifestyle and to some extent, our longevity. Making wise choices every day, being mindful of what we do, what we eat, where we go, how we structure our day, will only help us to become better and stronger as we continue to mature.

Candi Randolph Midlife Blogger


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How to increase your metabolism after 50 - the ultimate guide for women


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18 COMMENTS

  • Wow Candi! That is a complete guide and so comprehensive. Thanks for putting this together as just because we have reached menopause or passed it, doesn’t mean we have to succumb to some of the aging process. Love this. x

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Sue, I wanted to create a ‘one stop’ type of post for women so they’d have everything at their fingertips to keep the metabolism running well. Thanks for taking the time to review it! xo

  • Whoa, that was incredible information. I posted it on Pinterest and Twitter. So much to learn. I’ll switch to eggs for breakfast, drink more water, and exercise. I’ll start there.Great article.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Thanks so much, Sandra. Yes, there is loads of useful information here! I’ve started putting lemon slices in my water and drinking it cold…a first for me. 🙂

  • Bree

    what a great post. Unfortunately for me mine went awol in my 40’s…didnt know it was my thyroid until I was in my 50’s. Anyhoo Im going to do some of your must haves..visiting from #midlife share the love party

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Bree, I’m glad you learned what the issue was, even if it took awhile. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Joanne Tracey

    Loads of information here – and some quick and easy tips too. I particularly liked the one about water increasing your metabolism for a period after drinking it. Off to fill up my water bottle. Visiting from #MLSTL

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      I do the same thing, Joanne…keep that water glass filled throughout the day. There are a lot of simple things we can do to stay healthy and keep our metabolism moving along!

  • Lisa

    What a thorough post! I will be adding several of these to my routines, and coming back to this list often. Thank you so much for this great info!!

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Lisa, I hope that you’ll find it to be a helpful ongoing resource. Thanks so much for your support. 🙂

  • Savoring Sixty

    Great and informative! I will be back to take notes! Visiting from Midlife Share the Love.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi, yes…please come back and use this guide as a reference. I would love that!

  • That was an enormous post Candi – and so full of helpful information. I think every woman over the age of 50 comments on their slowing metabolism. My first slowed a bit at 30 and then a lot more around 50. I just keep eating healthy and making a point of moving a lot more these days – I can’t get away with an inactive lifestyle anymore!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      I agree Leanne…we must stay active as we go through midlife…it’s not an option! Thanks so much for sharing xo

  • Patricia Doyle

    I just recently added in strength training to my weekly routine…trying to make it a habit! I think my body is in a better place now, at 58, than it has been since I was 28! I went from being a no exercise workaholic to someone who does yoga, zumba, and a hike weekly…. and now strength training. I eat more fruits and veggies and less chips and ice-cream. Less not none. 🙂 I really enjoyed how you added in some of the science “why” behind the tips. Visiting from #MLSTL and posted to SM.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Wow Patricia, you’re doing great! And I agree with you that a fun snack here and there is not a bad thing!

  • Agnes

    What a great list, Candi! I was fortunate to find really good habits in my 40s and, while life has happened and I am unable to exercise as vigourously as I once could, I usually make good eating choices and I love my sleep. A dog anda 9-yr-old grandson ensure I keep moving every day!
    A must-share article for sure! #mlstl

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Thanks for sharing Agnes, and is sounds like you’re doing well with taking care of your overall health. 🙂

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