You probably already know your metabolism slows with age. Cutting calories to lose weight delivers a double whammy to your metabolism. When you eat less than you need for basic biological function (about 1,200 calories), your body throws the brakes on your metabolism. It also begins to break down precious, calorie-burning muscle tissue for energy. Who needs that? Here are a few tips to speed up that metabolism in a healthy way.

Eating just enough so you are not hungry, a 150 calorie snack midmorning and mid afternoon between three meals that are about 430 calories each, will keep your metabolism humming and give you what you need to keep going.

When planning meals, dinner should be your lightest meal, and some experts recommend not eating anything any later than 3-4 hours before bedtime. This helps your body process and burn the food when you’re awake and moving around and burning more calories per hour. Getting as much aerobic exercise as you can will also increase your metabolism. Morning exercise gives it an all day boost.

You’ve heard it before but drinking those eight 8 oz glasses of water keeps your body running smoothly. Getting enough protein, fiber and b vitamins will also give your metabolism a boost to burn off those excess calories. As with any lifestyle change, start off slow and incorporate changes gradually. Before you know it, eating healthier and getting exercise will just be part of your routine!

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