Whether you are a man or woman, if you are over 40, your metabolism has most likely slowed down. The function of the metabolism is to convert food into fuel. The part of the cell that performs this function is called the mitochondria. After the age of 40, the mitochondria are significantly depleted, meaning fewer calories are burned, and extra pounds are inevitable.

Besides age, there are other factors that may contribute to a slowing metabolism such as a drop in estrogen (primarily a problem for women), a poor muscle to fat ratio, and a thyroid that is out of balance.

It is important to remain physically active as we age while at the same time reducing our calories intake, even a reduction of 100 empty calories a day can make a difference.

There are many things you can do to speed up your metabolism naturally. Below are five ways particularly suited to those 40 and older.

Five things you can do to boost your metabolism:

Build Muscle

The more muscle you have, the more efficiently you will burn fat. If you don’t have a job or hobby where you naturally build muscle, try weight training. Two or three times a week of training for fifteen minutes should get results. Weight training also helps prevent or slow down osteopenia and osteoporosis. If you don’t see yourself joining a gym, a couple of sets of free weights is all you need.

Drink More Water

It is good advice for anyone to drink 6-8 glasses of water every day but if you are trying to lose weight it is even more important. Not only will it keep you hydrated and make your workouts more efficient but a glass of water consumed 30 minutes before a meal will also help control your appetite. Drinking water will also help to control water weight and assist with proper digestion.

Add Spice to Your Diet

Not only will peppers and curries make your meals more interesting they also help raise your metabolism and offer other health benefits as well. You many find yourself with fewer colds and sinus problems due to the antiviral and antioxidant properties.

Add Healthy Protein

You do want to have a balanced diet but adding more lean such as fish, poultry, lean beef, eggs or low-fat dairy products will help speed up your metabolism and build muscle, which again makes your metabolism more efficient.

Drink Green Tea and Black Coffee

One cannot say enough about the virtues of green tea. Besides its part in appetite control and boosting metabolism, it is also full of antioxidants and antiviral properties. It has also been found to decrease the craving for sweets. Make it a point to enjoy a cup in the afternoon. If you need it sweetened stay away from refined sugar and use Stevia or honey. For your morning dose of caffeine, nothing beats black coffee. As a stimulant, coffee will help your metabolism and your concentration. Stay away from sugar, cream, and fancy lattes if weight loss is your goal.

You can feel and look great into your forties and beyond. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep are also essential for productivity and enjoying life to the fullest.