We all know that our metabolism slows with age. In my twenties, I could easily shed weight in no time with a few simple and healthy dietary changes. Now, in my mid-forties, I find that merely glancing at a glass of red wine adds 2 pounds to my thighs. A restful night of sleep is a rarity, especially without the aid of modern medicine, and on most days by 3pm I find my fingers have stopped moving across my keyboard and I’m staring near catatonic at my computer screen because I’m so tired. Sound familiar?
I calculated my BMR (basal metabolic rate) and found that, indeed, I have a sluggish metabolism. The average woman has a BMR of about 1,500 calories a day, meaning that is the minimum number of calories you need on a day when you do nothing but sit at your computer or watch television. Here’s the formula to calculate a woman's BMR:
655 = (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - 4.7 x (age in years).
Or, here’s a simple BMR calculator if you don’t like math. You’ll get slightly different results from each (mine was a difference of about 88 calories), but at least you’ll have a range to go by and will know if your running on the slow side.
If you’re needing to rev up your engine, join me in following these healthy eating tools that will help you burn fat all day long.
Spice It Up
Warming foods such as chile peppers, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, vinegar, cloves and mustard contain calorie-killing properties, so spice up your meals!
Chew On It
Chewing a lot takes energy and burns calories so maximize foods such as nuts, crisp and crunchy whole fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and grains such as farro and brown rice.
Get a Buzz
Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, black and green teas not only keep you awake but they boost your metabolism too - just don’t load up your cup of Joe with dairy and sugar. Like caffeinated drinks, dark chocolate also contains catechins, an antioxidant that helps raise your resting metabolism. So go for about 1 ounce of good dark chocolate a day!
Check out these tips for improving your metabolism from WebMD.