Recently a client said to me, “I used to skip dinner and lose a pound. Now I skip dinner and gain a pound!”
It’s true. As we age, techniques that used to help us lose or maintain weight no longer work.
There reason is, with each passing decade, we lose about 10% of our metabolism. This is due to skipping meals, lack of activity and decreasing muscle mass.
The worst culprit (the one I was guilty of for years) is skipping meals. I’d get up early, drink coffee and not eat until lunch. By that time, my body was starving, so I would overeat. By starving my body, I had triggered the mechanism that caused my body to collect the majority of its calories as fat — just what I was trying to avoid!
Some simple tips to boost your metabolism:
Eat every 3-5 hours. You pack snacks for your kids; why not pack some for yourself? I always have a protein bar, an apple, and an ounce of nuts or seeds in my briefcase. Studies show that people who eat 3-4 times a day are the leanest.
Drink more water. Your body needs water to work effectively, this includes your metabolism.
Laugh daily. Research shows that you burn 10-40 extra calories with every big laugh. This may not seem like much, but it all adds up!
Get your B vitamins. These vitamins are key to having a fully functioning metabolism. Low levels can leave you feeling tired and depressed and will slow down your metabolism.
My favorite sources of B vitamins: spinach, asparagus, bean/lentils, poultry and eggs.
Here’s a great recipe to boost your metabolism.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound spinach washed and drained with stems removed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or mashed
- 1 pound asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream or water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan shredded
In a sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add spinach and garlic and sauté until spinach is wilted and much of its liquid has evaporated. In a saucepan bring salted water to a boil. Blanch asparagus and refresh in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
In a large bowl beat eggs, cream or water ( best choice for low fat), salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan heat
3 tablespoons oil. Add half of beaten, seasoned eggs. As they begin to set around the edges, add spinach and asparagus and start gently lifting egg mixture from sides of pan and push to center, allowing uncooked mixture to touch pan surface. Add remaining beaten eggs. Continue gently moving the egg mixture to center so it becomes self-leveling. As the frittata loses its runniness, place a large plate over the skillet and quickly invert the entire frittata. Slide it back into the pan so the uncooked side is on the bottom and continue to cook until done. When you insert a wooden toothpick and it comes out clean, it’s done!
Next day leftovers? Eat with a salad for a high protein lunch or a mid-morning energy snack.