Burn Baby Burn As we age, we talk more and more about our metabolism slowing down, but does it have to? Is it a myth or is there something to it? Can the way we really increase or decrease our metabolism? Yes, your metabolism slows down as you age, but the amount is minuscule and the only reason it does slowdown is because you tend to lose muscle mass as you age. So build a lean and muscular body and maintain it for the rest of your life. This doesn’t mean bulking up on muscles and heavy weight lifting. But it does mean doing a bit of something that continues to keep muscles from getting sedentary, sitting in front of the TV. and saying we are old is an excuse. Get up and move. Muscle burns at least three times more calories. “A woman who weighs 130 pounds and has a healthy 25 percent body fat will burn about 200 more calories per day than a 130-pound woman with about 40 percent body fat — a typical level for women at midlife,” says David C. Nieman, Dr.P.H., director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. “If the woman with more body fat doesn’t start modifying her diet or increase her exercise, she could start putting on weight really fast.” Eating 6 small meals doesn’t necessarily make you burn more than eating 3 meals. It’s all about the calories. You could eat 6 meals that equal a total of 3000 calories or you could eat 3 meals that total 2500 calories so eating more often and smaller doesn’t always equal a fat burner. Eating the right foods and the right amount of foods is key. There are a few things that help (I’d say more like assist) with your metabolism, but they aren’t magic pills. Amp up the protein (lean) and add more calcium. Switch to whole grains, eat iron rich foods and drink cold water. Cut out the processed foods and shop the outer perimeter of your grocery store. Forget the fad diets, the fasting, and the “all liquid” menu. Even the Paleo and Mediterranean diets have their drawbacks. It’s not something you can easily sustain for great lengths of time. (Seriously, even if you go to a restaurant and get chicken and vegetables do you know what kind of oil they used or if there were prepared seasonings or processed ingredients used?) Plus honey isn’t allowed on a Paleo diet but wouldn’t it be better than white sugar? Listen to your body and if you do one exercise a day, let it be “pushing away from the table”! by Mona Ward, A.F.P.A. Certified