HEALTHY LIVING
10/03/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

4 Ways To Supercharge Your Metabolism

There is a simple explanation for the middle-age spread: our metabolisms slow by 5 percent each decade after the age of forty. Slowly, but surely, we pack on an extra five to ten pounds a year as our bodies become less efficient at burning calories.

And there are plenty of other factors that can affect our metabolism: motherhood, illness, certain medications, and metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance. To understand what causes insulin resistance check out this link.

But we can fight back! With proper nutrition, the right nutrients, a little exercise, and a good night's sleep we can all become calorie burning machines at any age.

Eat Protein and Eat Often

Never eat fewer than 1,000 calories per day. Our metabolisms thrive on food. Eat three protein-packed meals and two protein snacks per day. Snacking will actually give your metabolism a boost while protein provides a thermal (fat burning) affect superior to that of carbohydrates. Eating enough protein also helps to build and maintain muscle mass, another important factor in revving up the metabolism. Eat as often as every two to three hours. Never allow more than five hours between meals. Fish, turkey, nuts, low-fat cheese, avocados, and eggs are excellent choices. And don't forget to spice it up! Many studies have shown that spicy foods, like hot peppers, can boost metabolism.

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