How to improve metabolism to lose weight. It’s one of the biggest challenges for every woman who’s gained weight in menopause. And it’s infuriating, because the weight just seems to pile on out of nowhere. You haven’t changed your diet. You haven’t changed your exercise routine. But the scale mocks you every time you step on it.
Here’s the thing. Weight gain in menopause isn’t something you just have to live with. But you may need to adjust your battle plan when it comes to improving your metabolism so you can lose weight.
In this article, I’m outlining my top 10 tips for increasing your metabolism as you age. And if I’m being honest, there are some really easy things you can start doing today to jumpstart your weight loss and boost your metabolism.
Let’s take a look and get started boosting your metabolism to lose weight.
1. Slow Down And Actually Chew Your Food
My first tip has everything to do with improving your digestion. Because at the end of the day, you can eat all the healthy food in the world, but if you’re not actually digesting it, you can’t benefit from it.
So, what helps improve digestion?
Slowing down, being more mindful during meals, and actually chewing your food. (1,2)
We’ve all been conditioned to scarf down our food and get onto the next “productive” thing on our list. Eating meals slowly and lingering at the table is frowned upon — and eating while driving or working at your desk is considered great productivity.
However, if you want to speed up your metabolism, improve digestion quickly, and lose weight, you need to be willing to do something different here.
Devote an entire 20 minutes or so to just eating each meal. Sit down with your food, at a table, without your phone in hand or a computer in front of your face. Ideally, share a meal with another person and have a leisurely conversation while you eat.
Take a bite of food, set your fork down, and chew until the food in your mouth is liquefied. Try shooting for 30 or more chews for each bite. Continue this process, paying attention to each bite. Savor the flavors. Actually taste what you’re eating.
And don’t forget to pay attention to your fullness cues. Ideally, you should stop eating when you feel about 80% full — but when you eat quickly, you eat right past this mark and wind up at 110% full…which means you’re eating more calories than you should, flooding your body with too much glucose in the process.
Trust me, making this one change can improve your metabolism, help with digestion and bloating, and contribute to weight loss.
2. Intermittent Fasting For Your Menopausal Metabolism
Menopause and intermittent fasting go together like peanut butter and dark chocolate.
Because as you enter menopause, your insulin sensitivity declines. And that leads to insulin resistance, brain fog, diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
Intermittent fasting helps improve your insulin sensitivity. (3,4,5) Which in turn improves so many menopausal symptoms, from weight gain to hot flashes and night sweats.
Intermittent fasting for weight loss doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult. You can begin intermittent fasting by simply stopping eating at 7 PM — and delay eating breakfast until 7 AM. Eventually, you can work up to delaying breakfast until 11 AM.
The benefits of intermittent fasting for women are significant, and I often say that intermittent fasting and menopause weight loss go hand in hand.
But if you really want to supercharge your metabolic results from fasting…Read the next tip, which combines keto and intermittent fasting for women.
3. Which Foods Increase Metabolism And Burn Fat?
Let’s talk about menopause and ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state your body enters when it’s deprived of carbohydrates and switches to ketones as its fuel source.
Maybe you’ve heard of the ketogenic or keto diet.
This is a diet where you intentionally deprive your body of carbohydrates and encourage it to run on fats instead, therefore putting your body into ketosis. Women everywhere love this diet because when you focus on fat intake and cut out carbs, it helps regulate your blood sugar. While this is a great start to experiencing the benefits of ketosis for menopause, most of these keto diets encourage you to just load up on any kind of fat and shun vegetables.
However, you can’t truly experience the increased metabolism and fat-burning effects of the ketogenic diet this way. Sorry, but eating nothing but highly processed bacon and cream cheese isn’t going to yield the metabolic results you’re looking for.
And that’s where my Keto-Green® diet comes in.
Keto-Green® focuses on the quality of the fats you consume and asks you to load up on fiber-rich, alkaline vegetables so you can truly ramp up your metabolism and finally lose that menopause weight.
It includes all of the healthy fats and foods that increase metabolism like:
- Olive oil
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Coconut oil
- Grass-fed butter
- Grass-fed beef
- Organic eggs
The easiest way to dip your toe into the Keto-Green® life is to have a Keto-Green® Shake for breakfast. It’s filled with powdered greens, vitamins, minerals, and the perfect amount of protein to keep you full until lunch!
4. Will Exercise Increase Metabolism?
Exercise is the magic bullet when it comes to increasing your metabolism, improving your heart health, and losing weight. (6)
If you can make your cardio workout a little more intense, even if just for short bursts, you can increase your metabolism and improve your body composition.
And muscle building is crucial if you want to increase your metabolism and lose weight, too. Muscle helps improve your insulin sensitivity, burns more calories as you go about your daily activities, and improves bone strength. (7,8,9) That’s something we all need to prioritize in menopause.
Here’s the important thing to remember — exercise doesn’t have to involve a gym membership or anything else you don’t want it to.
You can get a perfectly good cardio exercise by doing jumping jacks. You can build muscle using your body weight for resistance with exercises like push-ups or yoga. The important thing is that you find something you enjoy doing and do it regularly.
5. Herbs For Increasing Metabolism
Incorporating more herbs and spices into your diet is fantastic for boosting metabolism.
For one thing, herbs and spices are full of vitamins and compounds that improve health across the board. Plus, they add flavor and interest to healthy meals without adding significant calories. That makes them a huge win in my book.
Some of my favorite herbs for metabolism include:
- Green Tea
I often recommend these herbs for menopause weight gain and they play a starring role in my Mighty Maca® Plus powdered drink formulation.
Cinnamon can help with that all-important insulin sensitivity we’ve talked about so much. (10-13)
Green tea is another herb that’s shown to offer a metabolism boost — studies suggest green tea can increase your metabolism by as much as 3-4%. (14-17) And one study showed that drinking 4 cups of green tea a day helped study participants shed pounds and improve their blood pressure, too. (18)
Bromelain is another one of those herbs for menopause weight gain that I love. It’s an extract from pineapple that is really powerful and helps with that all-important digestion. Remember, if you don’t digest your food, you can’t benefit from it. Chewing your food properly and some bromelain added into your diet can go a long way towards improving your digestion and eliminating bloating.
6. Estrogen And Metabolism
Estrogen is not just a “sex” hormone. It plays a major role in so many bodily functions.
Which is why you feel it so acutely when your estrogen levels drop as you approach menopause.
One of the places you notice this lack of estrogen is in your body composition. Because estrogen helps your body to maintain muscle mass. When muscle mass decreases, you gain weight because muscle burns more calories than fat.
Then there’s the fact that estrogen is involved with hunger hormones and glucose metabolism. In other words, when estrogen levels wane, you feel hungrier and you become more insulin resistant. (19,20,21)
All of which leads to weight gain.
One of the key things you can do to support your body’s natural hormone levels when your ovaries quit making estrogen is to give your adrenals extra love.
Your adrenals can serve as a kind of backup generator of your sex hormones, because they pump out DHEA which then turns into estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Your adrenals can be quite demanding, though, and they require plenty of vitamin C and magnesium to function properly. They also respond quite well to a class of herbs known as adaptogens.
My Mighty Maca® Plus formula includes everything your adrenals need to keep chugging away with DHEA production and support your body in making its own estrogen.
7. Stand More And Improve Metabolism
Modern life can be so tough on your body. Not because you’re working in a field to grow your food or build shelter, but because you have to sit so much to do your job.
And sitting for hours every day is horrible for your health and your metabolism.
Plus, when you sit all day long it zaps you of your energy and it makes working out before or after work seem quite unappealing.
While I wholeheartedly encourage you to exercise before and/or after work, one thing you can do to help improve your metabolism is to stand up more during the day.
If you can’t get a standing desk, at the very least take a break once an hour and move your body. Studies indicate that even just exercising for a few minutes a time throughout the day can vastly improve your health and metabolism. (22)
You can take a quick walk to the breakroom, or do a few squats. The important thing is to just keep moving!
8. The Connection Between Sleep And Metabolism
Sleep is so important for your body, your hormones, and your metabolism.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your stress hormones rise — and that affects everything. For one, it keeps your adrenals pumping out cortisol instead of focusing on their support role of DHEA production.
It also leads to increased blood sugar and increased levels of the hormones that make you feel hungrier. This obviously leads to weight gain and tanks your metabolism.
Bottom line: don’t skimp on sleep. I go into detail about how lack of sleep affects your weight and how to finally start getting enough sleep here.
9. Does Drinking Water Help Metabolism?
Maybe you’ve heard the advice to drink more water, but you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet because you don’t love plain water or you don’t love running to the bathroom all day long.
But I’d urge you to reconsider.
Because drinking more water has been shown to increase your metabolism. One study showed that 500ml of water increased metabolic rate by a whopping 30%. (23) So this is one of those simple things you can do that could really add up at the end of the month or the end of the year.
If you don’t love the taste of plain water, you can always add some fun things to it like cucumber or lemon to make it a bit more exciting.
10. Gut Health And Losing Weight
Maybe you’ve heard the hype about “gut health” or how important probiotics are to maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
But getting your gut health in order can also greatly improve your digestion and your metabolism. (24,25,26)
Here’s the thing about gut health though. Simply taking a probiotic isn’t enough to set things right. Your gut requires plenty of whole foods, especially a wide variety of plant fibers (both probiotic and prebiotic) to truly thrive. To improve digestion and gut health in a meaningful way, you have to focus on minimizing those processed carbs and increasing the variety of plants you eat.
The easiest way to do that? Take a scoop of my Mighty Maca® Plus every day. It’s filled with gut-loving beta-glucan and a wild amount of green goodness so you don’t have to chop up veggies all day to properly feed your gut microbiome. Just one scoop and you’ve got your gut health and adrenal health covered.
Final Thoughts On How To Improve Metabolism And Lose Weight
I know how difficult it can be when you gain weight in menopause and it seems like your metabolism just screeches to a halt.
But you do have so much power to improve your metabolism and lose weight.
If the tips on this list feel overwhelming, just start with one of them and work your way up. Choose one to tackle for every month this year, and by this time next year, you’ll be looking at a smaller number on the scale, improved blood pressure, and even a better mood.
I’ll be there to support you every step of the way!