Keeping your carbs in check—especially the refined kind—can help combat age-related insulin resistance and promote steady blood sugar levels, Cederquist says. Adding more protein to your diet can also help. Not only does the nutrient help stave off age-related muscle loss, but it also helps keep your metabolism revved, because the body has to work harder to digest it than, say, a bagel, Cederquist says. How much of each nutrient you consume each time you eat matters, too. In a perfect world each meal and snack should have:
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Here’s how to rock a Wild Workout: Warm up with light cardio, mobility, and dynamic stretching (at least 60 seconds). Work out and get your blood pumping for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat 10 times for a total of 5 minutes. You can do simple exercises like jumping rope or pedaling as hard as you can on a stationary bike. If you’re more athletic, try burpees or hill-sprints. Do whatever full-body movement is best for you—but do it as hard as you can and don’t forget the 10 second rests (hint: if you’re doing it right, you definitely won’t forget to rest between sets!).
"The main culprit that slows metabolism and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call shrinking muscle syndrome," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center and the author of The Overnight Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of the metabolism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. "The average sedentary woman may have lost nearly 15 pounds of muscle by the time she reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause her to gain nearly the same amount in body fat," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, a Prevention advisory board member and the director of fitness research at Quincy College in Massachusetts.
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