5 Effective Ways To Increase Your Metabolism After 50

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // February 20, 2023

Do you want to increase your metabolism after 50 and stay healthy in your golden years? It’s possible. After the age of 50, our metabolism can slow down due to lifestyle habits. However, with the right knowledge and effort it is possible to boost metabolism even at this stage of life.

At age 57, I’ve managed my way through aging and menopause. As a certified personal trainer and health coach, I will walk you through how to increase your metabolism, even if you’re in perimenopause or menopause and your metabolic rate has hit a major speed bump.

Sluggish metabolism isn’t set in stone.

Women over 50 often find they can boost their metabolism with simple changes to their eating habits, exercise habits, and sleep habits. Also maintaining nutrient levels and managing stress levels will make a difference.

I’ve outlined my main tips for improving your metabolic health. Yes, you can make changes at any age. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to speed up your metabolism after 50 in five simple steps; but first, let’s take a look at how your metabolism works in the first place.

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    How Does Metabolism Work?

    Understanding how your metabolism works and how it changes over 50 is the first step to changing it. Your metabolism isn’t a switch or a dial that can be adjusted with any single lifestyle change. Instead, it’s a series of complex processes inside your body to turn food into energy so your cells can function properly.

    A person with a “fast” metabolism needs more energy and therefore burns more calories at rest and throughout the day.

    Someone with a “slow” metabolism burns fewer calories at rest and during the day. Because your metabolism isn’t one process but rather a series of interconnected processes, there are many different reasons that your metabolism might be “fast” or “slow.”

    Age, gender, body size (height and bone structure), and family history can influence your metabolism, but these are things you can’t change.

    Fortunately, there are things you can change to boost your metabolism over 50 and reach your goal weight.

    Eating Habits To Increase Metabolism

    Eating habits play an important role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. Eating small meals more frequently throughout the day can help speed up your metabolism after 50 and keep it running at its optimal level.

    It’s important to eat balanced meals that include lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods high in sugar and saturated fat as these can slow down your metabolism over time.

    Here is a list of 21 Top Foods That Increase Metabolism And Burn Fat.

    Protein is an indispensable factor for maintaining a vigorous metabolic rate, as it can contribute to the formation of muscle mass which boosts daily calorie expenditure.

    Make a goal to eat protein at every meal from sources like meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, dairy and eggs.  

    Complex carbohydrates are also important for increasing metabolic rate because they provide energy without spiking blood sugar levels like simple carbs do (e.g., white bread).

    Whole-grain staples like brown rice and quinoa, starchy veggies such as sweet potatoes, fruits including apples or berries, and legumes for example beans or lentils are all examples of complex carbohydrates that can aid in boosting metabolic rate without causing abrupt increases in blood sugar levels.

    Healthy fats are also necessary for boosting metabolism since they provide energy while helping regulate hormones that control appetite and digestion.

    Healthy fats can be found in a variety of nourishing sources, like avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters (e.g., almond), fatty fish (salmon) and flaxseeds/chia seeds/hemp hearts; all essential components for achieving optimal wellbeing.

    Of course, hydration plays a role in metabolism.

    While water may not be specifically a hormone fix, research shows water could speed up your metabolism after 50 and really at any age. On the other hand, if you’re not properly hydrated, dehydration can slow your metabolism, not to mention make you have cravings, have blood sugar spikes, and feel sluggish all around.

    Hydration is the secret to everything, so drink up!

    And if your goal is weight loss, don’t forget that a calorie deficit is key to reducing your weight. It’s still an equation of calorie intake versus calorie expenditure.  

    Next, let’s look at how exercise can help increase your metabolism after 50 even further.

    Exercise For Metabolism Boosting

    50 year old woman lifting weights

    Exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle at every age. Working out consistently makes a difference in both your mental and physical well-being.

    And most definitely plays a part in keeping your metabolism alive and well.   

    Strength training is especially beneficial to boost your metabolism especially after age 50. This type of exercise involves using dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells or even your own body weight to build muscle mass, which increases the body’s ability to burn more calories even when at rest. 

    Here’s the deal: muscle mass decreases over time if you stop using it.

    In other words, if you become less active and don’t use your muscles with weight-bearing exercise, your muscle mass starts to decline. 

    Studies have shown that as early as age 30, women start to lose their muscle mass if not doing anything to maintain it. Muscle tissue uses more calories at rest than body fat does.

    Fewer muscles results in less daily calories burned. Therefore, body composition is an important topic when it comes to metabolism.  

    The good news, you can build muscle at any age so get going and rev up your metabolism. Strength training is the key to daily calorie burn as well as aging gracefully and feeling capable.

    Strength training also builds bone mass, another benefit for us women over 50. 

    In addition, cardiovascular exercise is important for daily calorie burn, overall heart health and mental health. Aerobic activities such as walking, swimming, dancing, or biking are great ways to get your heart rate up and improve your metabolic rate.

    These exercises help increase blood flow throughout the body while burning extra calories in the process. Do what you like to do but get your heart rate up everyday. If keeping it low impact is better for your joints, no problem.

    I have plenty of clients who keep their exercise low impact but still work out at a high intensity. 

    Interval training is another way to maximize calorie burning during workouts by alternating between short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest or lighter activity. For example, if you are walking on a treadmill try jogging for 30 seconds then slow down for 1 minute before repeating this pattern several times throughout your workout session.

    Interval training has been shown to significantly increase metabolic rate both during and after physical activity compared with steady state cardio exercises at a consistent pace over longer periods of time.

    Finally, don’t forget about stretching.

    Stretching not only helps prevent injury but it also helps keep muscles toned, aiding in increasing metabolism as well as improving flexibility and range of motion in joints so that they remain strong into old age.

    Now let’s look at how managing stress can further enhance our metabolic rate.

    Stress Management For Metabolism

    older woman in dress on a bike

    Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but when it persists and becomes too intense, it can have a detrimental effect on metabolism. Chronic stress can cause the body to release extra cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.

    High cortisol has been associated with lots of issues like weight gain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and other health issues. It’s important to find ways to reduce stress levels in order to keep your metabolism running smoothly.

    Yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress levels while also providing physical benefits such as increased flexibility and strength. Yoga combines breathing exercises with postures that help relax the mind and body while reducing tension in muscles.

    Regularly engaging in yoga can not only enhance one’s well-being, but also stimulate metabolism by soothing the nervous system and improving digestion.

    Meditation is another great tool for managing stress levels while boosting metabolism at the same time. Meditating can aid in heightening self-awareness, so you can spot any hints of pressure or uneasiness before they become too intense.

    Taking just 10 minutes out of each day for meditation can make a huge difference in how well your body functions overall including its metabolic rate.

    Deep breathing exercises are another effective way to manage stress levels while increasing energy production within cells which helps speed up metabolism naturally.

    Deep breathing techniques involve taking slow deep breaths from the diaphragm instead of shallow chest breaths which help calm down both mind and body quickly allowing for better focus throughout the day as well as improved metabolic functioning over time if practiced regularly enough.

    Engaging in regular physical activity has been proven time and again to be one of the best methods for reducing stress levels effectively while simultaneously helping boost metabolic rate due its positive effect on hormone balance within our bodies – something we all need.

    Exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones, into our bloodstream making us feel happier instantly thus decreasing cortisol, the stress hormone, production leading directly towards higher energy production and resulting in faster fat-burning processes happening inside our bodies.

    Stress management is key to kickstarting a healthier lifestyle and thereby revving up metabolism beyond the age of 50. It’s an essential step in creating a more balanced life for ourselves.

    Next, let’s look at how adding certain supplements can help us further boost our metabolism after 50.

    Supplements To Increase Metabolism

    doctor helping woman in an office

    As we age, there are natural supplements that may help increase your metabolism after 50.

    Vitamin D is important for bone health as we age.  According to WebMD, it also helps with anti-inflammation, immune support, muscle function, generating brain cells, and giving your body antioxidants.

    Fall prevention is a big deal as we age, but if you do fall, strong bones and muscles are key to preventing serious damage.  Not naturally found in many foods, the most common way your body produces vitamin D is by converting direct sunlight into an active form of the nutrient.

    However, over the age of 65, your body converts less effectively, and most elderly don’t spend as much time outside in the sun so supplementing can be very helpful.  

    Omega-3s are critical for overall wellness and have a role in sustaining an efficient metabolism. They help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, and support the body’s ability to burn fat more effectively.

    Probiotics are a beneficial form of bacteria that inhabit the gut, aiding in digestion by breaking down ingested food into more easily absorbable particles for the body.

    Research suggests probiotics may also help boost metabolism by increasing energy expenditure during physical activity or exercise sessions as well as reducing hunger hormones like ghrelin which makes us feel hungry all the time.

    In addition to these supplements, eat a balanced diet rich in plant foods as mentioned earlier to get your vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Supplementing to boost metabolism can be a key element of sustaining wellness. 

    If interested, try the Athletic Greens supplement I take every morning.

    Next, let’s explore the impact of sleep on metabolism.

    Sleep Habits To Improve Metabolism

    woman sleeping

    It’s no secret that getting a solid 8 hours of sleep sets you up for success during the day. You’re more alert, energized, and ready to make healthy choices.

    It’s obvious that getting less sleep can make your metabolism more sluggish. And here’s the problem: most of us overeat to compensate for the energy dip. That’s because two key hormones, leptin and ghrelin, get thrown out of whack when you’re sleep-deprived. 

    These hunger hormones can make you crave salty or sweet food and be more prone to overeating to maintain steady energy.

    That’s why it’s important to create a bedtime routine that encourages 7-8 hours of sleep most nights.

    Charge electronic devices away from your bed, avoid nighttime computer work and watching TV in bed. Darken the room and try to set a consistent bedtime each night. Try some sleepy time tea, magnesium glycinate, or melatonin to help with sleep.

    Metabolism FAQs

    How do I start to boost my metabolism after 50?

    Reaching a healthier weight after the age of 50 can be difficult, but by no means impossible. Start by focusing on healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. Consume a diet rich in fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains while avoiding processed foods and added sugars. Include physical activity in your daily life; even a brief 30 minutes of walking can have significant impact on your well-being. Take the proper supplements and lastly, don’t forget to get enough sleep. 7-8 hours each night is ideal for optimal health and weight loss. Paying attention to these things and being consistent over time can and will lead to results.

    Will menopause slow down my metabolism?

    Many women feel like menopause is synonymous with weight gain, but I promise if you implement some of these tips, your journey will be much better. By incorporating these strategies mentioned above, you can stimulate your metabolism and maintain a healthy lifestyle during your perimenopausal and menopausal years,.

    How can I speed up my metabolism to lose weight?

    Reaching a desirable weight necessitates more than just boosting your metabolism. In order to shed pounds, you must create an energy deficit by burning more calories than what you consume. Creating an energy deficit can be accomplished by altering eating habits and physical activity. Basically, eat less and move more. Make healthy choices for your meals and eat smaller portions. Move your body every day for at least 30 minutes or more. Get in more steps and do some strength training. There is no magic to weight loss. It’s a calorie deficit with consistency over time. 

    The key to increasing your metabolism after 50 is understanding how it works and making lifestyle changes that will help you boost your metabolism.

    Eating habits, physical activity, stress control, supplements, and sleep can all contribute to improving your metabolic rate. Consistency and the correct approach can lead to an improved lifestyle with greater energy levels, as well as enhanced overall well-being.

    You are never too late or too old to start taking better care of yourself. Knowledge is power and establishing better habits as we age will absolutely pay off in the future.

    READ THIS NEXT: 11 Strength Training Moves for Women Over 50SaveSave


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      Healthy Living, Menopause, Women's Health

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      on Reply

      I'm following Diet and workout since the last two years. It helped me a lot including improving Metobolism.

      on Reply

      This is very informative. I'm not over 50 yet but I will prepare for that day. This is very useful. I hope this desciplinary action will work for my mom.   #Colombian Women

      on Reply

      What are your thoughts on the latest craze of Intermittent Fasting? I did this for about 6 weeks and felt like I lost muscle. Now I’m just doing 12-13 hours and go 6:30 pm- 8:00 am. Something that feels more natural. I work out early am and do muscle training 5-6 days/week and HIIT 2x/ week. I also have low T3 thyroid. Have celiac gene. I eat low carb/higher fat also, no grains. Feel like I’m stuck a bit. Been wondering if I should go back to longer daily fasts if 16 hours and skipping breakfast. I just don’t want to lose the muscle. I’ve heard mixed reviews with IF especially with women. Any advice and thoughts would be great! Thanks so much!

      on Reply

      I'm a pear shaped teen who's been really struggling with weight loss. I want to lose weight fast but realistic fast, i did some research telling me how pear shapes aren't really supposed to lose weight or it's harder for them so i don't know what to really do.

        on Reply

        Hi Arriel - I have not heard anything about "pear shaped" individuals not being able to lose weight. Weight loss can be a long and difficult process but your shape is not the determining factor. We have several articles on our site about weight loss. Just type "weight loss" in the search bar and a lot of options will come up.

      on Reply

      Thank you very much for all the good information you gave me re Metabolism. I really appreciate it. For my age I am very active but I want to keep my figure as it is.

      (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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