It seems like tons of people these days are semi-obsessed with how good (or bad) their metabolism is — and for good reason. “Metabolism is the process of transforming food into energy for the body,” says Heather Bauer, R.D., C.D.N., and founder of Bestowed, a subscription service that introduces consumers to healthy foods. “It’s directly related to weight gain and weight loss and therefore to overall health.”
Some are simply born with a stellar metabolism — meaning even when they are doing nada, they are burning more calories than a less-fortunate someone else. But that won’t necessarily always be the case — as you and your friends have probably discussed ad nauseum, your ability to down a slice of greasy pizza, skip the gym, and not gain a pound is fading faster than a Taylor Swift relationship.
As you age, your metabolism naturally slows down — after the age of 20, it can decline dramatically with each decade. “This is because the body loses lean muscle mass over the years, so as we get older, we tend to lose muscle and gain body fat,” says Bauer. “And lean muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat tissue, so when you lose muscle mass, your metabolism naturally slows down.” Catch-22 much?
While you might not be able to get it back to what it once was, you can take it up a notch or two by, you guessed it, hitting the gym and building some lean muscle, which uses more energy than fat to just exist. The other metabolism game changer? Food. Here, the main metabolism boosters you’ll want to weave into your daily diet. Dig in.
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