Track metabolism in your 40s

By You Desk
Tue, 04, 24

This week Zainab Sarwar, a Dubai-based nutritionist, shares strategies for keeping your metabolism healthy after 40. Read on…


Keeping your metabolism healthy after hitting the milestone of 40 can feel like a daunting task, but fear not! With a few lifestyle tweaks and some proactive measures, you can keep your metabolic engine revving well into your golden years. So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of metabolism and discover how to keep it in top gear after 40.

Zainab Sarwar
Zainab Sarwar

First and foremost, let’s understand what metabolism actually is. Simply put, metabolism is the process by which your body converts food and drink into energy. This energy fuels everything you do, from breathing to exercising to digesting your food. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions while at rest. As we age, our BMR naturally decreases, mainly due to loss of muscle mass and hormonal changes. But fear not, there are ways to counteract this inevitable decline. Read on…

Strength training: One of the most effective strategies for keeping your metabolism humming is to prioritise strength training. Building and maintaining muscle mass is crucial for keeping your metabolism firing on all cylinders. Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, meaning it burns more calories even at rest. By incorporating strength training exercises into your routine at least two to three times per week, you can offset age-related muscle loss and keep your metabolism revved up.

Drink plenty of water: Hydration is another often overlooked factor in metabolic health. Drinking plenty of water not only keeps you hydrated but also supports proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and metabolic function. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and consider sipping on green tea, which contains compounds that may enhance fat burning and boost metabolism.

Eat healthy: Of course, maintaining a healthy diet is the key to supporting a healthy metabolism. Focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid highly processed foods, sugary snacks, and excessive alcohol consumption, as these can wreak havoc on your metabolism and contribute to weight gain over time.

Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of protein. As you age, your body becomes less efficient at synthesising protein, making it essential to consume an adequate amount to support muscle maintenance and repair. Aim to include protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and tofu in each meal to promote muscle growth and keep your metabolism humming.

Intermittent fasting: But it’s not just about what you eat; it’s also about when you eat. Intermittent fasting has gained popularity in recent years for its potential metabolic benefits. This eating pattern involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, with common methods including the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour window, or the 5:2 method, where you eat normally for five days and restrict calories for two non-consecutive days or vice-versa. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, boost fat burning, and may even increase levels of human growth hormone, which can help preserve muscle mass as you age.

Sleep well: Getting an adequate amount of sleep is crucial for overall health, but it’s also essential for keeping your metabolism in check. Lack of sleep disrupts hormone levels, including those that regulate hunger and appetite, which can lead to overeating and weight gain over time. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night, and establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help you unwind and prepare for restful slumber.

Avoid stress: Stress management is another key component of metabolic health, especially as we age. Chronic stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that can lead to increased appetite, cravings for unhealthy foods, and abdominal fat storage. Incorporate stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies you enjoy into your daily routine to keep cortisol levels in check and support a healthy metabolism.

Stay active: Finally, don’t forget the importance of staying active throughout the day. In addition to structured exercise sessions, find ways to incorporate movement into your daily life, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your destination, or going for a walk during your lunch break. Every little bit adds up and contributes to your overall metabolic health.

In conclusion, keeping your metabolism healthy after 40 requires a multifaceted approach that includes strength training, protein consumption, intermittent fasting, a healthy diet, hydration, adequate sleep, stress management, and staying active throughout the day. By prioritising these lifestyle habits, you can keep your metabolic engine running smoothly and enjoy optimal health and vitality well into your golden years. So, lace up those sneakers, grab a dumbbell or lay out your yoga mat and let’s keep that metabolism fired up for years to come!

Zainab can be reached at, or @lifestylebyzainabsarwar on Instagram