How to Speed Up Your Metabolism after 60

What is metabolism? First and foremost, metabolism refers to biological and chemical processes that take place in your body as it converts foods and drinks into energy. As we grow older our metabolism slows down. This is because our bodies experience a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in body fat. Incidentally, the effects of a slowing metabolism is most felt by those over 60 years of age. So, if you fall in this age group, this post shows how you can speed up your metabolism after 60 years of age.


The Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is the number of calories you burn as your body performs basic (or basal) life-sustaining functions. Commonly also termed as Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), RMR is the calories burned if you stayed in bed all day. By the way, you can use the BMR to calculate your body’s metabolism rate.

Your BMR contains up about 60 to 70 percent of the calories you use (or burn). This includes the energy your body uses to maintain the basic function of your living and breathing body, including:

  • The beating of your heart
  • Cell production
  • Respiration
  • Maintaining body temperature
  • Blood circulation
  • Nutrient processing

By the way, your unique metabolism rate, or unique BMR, is influenced by number of factors including age, weight, height, gender, environmental temperature, diet, and workouts. Typically, the BMR ranges from 1000 to 2000 calories. Or, in other words you need to ingest 1000 to 2000 calories each day to just fuel your basic functions while you are resting.

Harris-Benedict formula

Incidentally, your BMR is calculated through the following basal metabolic rate formula also known as the Harris-Benedict formula.

For men the formula is: BMR = 66 + (6.2 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.76 x age in years).

While, for women the formula is: BMR = 65.5 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years).

So, using your weight, height, and age, you can calculate your personalized BMR.


Using the above formulas, the BMR for average men depends on their age as shown below:

  • Men aged 40 to 49: BMR is 924 calories/day,
  • Men aged 50 to 59: BMR is 900 calories/day,
  • Men aged 60 to 69: BMR is 876 calories/day,
  • Men aged 70 to 79: BMR is 852 calories/day.


Meanwhile, the BMR for average women also depends on their age as shown below:

  • Women aged 40 to 49: BMR is 876 calories/day,
  • Women aged 50 to 59: BMR is 840 calories/day,
  • Women aged 60 to 69: BMR is 816 calories/day,
  • Women aged 70 to 79: BMR is 792 calories/day.


Next, based on your lifestyle, you multiply the above numbers by factors shown below:

  • Sedentary (minimal to no workouts) - 1.2
  • Lightly active (light workouts: 1 to 3 days a week) - 1.375
  • Moderately active (moderate workouts: 3 to 5 days a week) - 1.55
  • Very active (hard workouts: 6 to 7 days a week) - 1.725
  • Extra active (very hard workouts: 6 to 7 days a week) - 1.9

Adjusted BMR

So now, you can calculate your individual BMR or calories per day to sustain your lifestyle. For example, for average men aged 70 to 79 with a moderately active lifestyle, their BMR would be:

852 x 1.55 = 1,321 calories per day

Which means that if you want to lose weight and burn belly fat, you need to consume or eat less than 1,321 calorie a day.


Now, people, regardless of their body size and composition, might have fast, slow, or average metabolism. Also, age affects metabolism, as metabolism slows as you grow older, even if you start out with a fast metabolism. Differences in metabolism rate are evident in how easy or hard it is for people to gain or lose weight. A slow metabolism burns fewer calories, which means more get stored as fat in the body. A slow metabolism is one reason why some people have difficulty losing weight by just cutting calories. On the other hand, a fast metabolism burns calories at a quicker rate, which explains why some people can eat a lot and not put on extra pounds.

However, a slow metabolism isn’t always the reason for putting on the pounds. In fact, metabolism often plays a minor role. Indeed, the biggest factors for weight gain, as you age, are often poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

So, adopting a healthier diet and making sure you get enough exercise, may give you the extra push you need to lose and maintain weight.


As you can see from the previous paragraphs, regular workouts help you increase your BMR. And the more intense your workouts the higher the BMR. So, pick up the pace of your workouts. And, if you can, add some high-intensity interval training to your regular routines. In fact, after a period of interval training, your metabolism can stay high for as much as a full day.

Now, you shouldn't overdo it. In fact, going to extremes  with high-intensity interval training is bad for you. So, put in the intensity you are capable of without going to the extremes. For example, if you find yourself gasping for air, then you have gone too far and you should slow down.

As another example, when you're walking or jogging on a treadmill or outdoors, increase your intensity by speeding up for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, slow down to your normal pace. And, repeat the cycle for eight to 12 minutes.

Eat Proteins

Next, your metabolism increases whenever you eat, digest, and store food, a process called thermic effect of food. By the way, protein has a higher thermic effect compared with fats and carbohydrates because proteins take longer to be digested by your body. So, increase the amounts of proteins you ingest daily, which is one answer to the question: how to speed up your metabolism after 60.


Finally, studies suggest the best approach is to combine increased protein consumption with weight training, which increases muscle mass. And this increased muscle mass increases metabolism which is another answer to the question: how to speed up your metabolism after 60.

So, use your personalized BMR to find out calories you can ingest and the lifestyle you need to engage in to lose weight and belly fat.