Skip to content

4 Eating Habits That Speed up Your Metabolism After 50

Just because you're over 50 doesn't mean your body needs to feel its age.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

If you are approaching your 50s, there are a lot of habits that you need to either correct or start doing for your health. It's important to make your routine doctor's appointments, work out regularly, and eat foods that are good for your body to ensure you remain in the best shape possible. However, aging comes with a lot of different changes to your body—your metabolism being one of them.

As you get older, your metabolism slows down. Slow metabolism may lead to tiredness, hair loss, headaches, and weight gain. Although you cannot change the inevitable, there are ways to help progress your metabolism to avoid those situations. Changing your eating habits can be an effective way to make sure your metabolism stays steady, even after 50 years old. Read on to see the eating habits that may help speed up your metabolism. Then, be sure to check out 13 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Burn Belly Fat.

Add chili pepper.

chili peppers

"Adding chili pepper to your dishes may help you speed up your metabolism," says medical expert board member Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook, The 7 Ingredient Healthy Pregnancy Cookbook, and Fueling Male Fertility.

Manaker suggests that the capsaicinoids (CAPs) found in both chili peppers and pepper extracts have been shown to play a role in enhanced metabolism.

According to a Bioscience Reports study, capsaicin—the most common capsaicinoid—plays a role in numerous aspects of your health. Specifically, it has been found to support metabolic health, especially when it comes to weight loss in obese individuals.

 16 Healthy Stuffed Peppers Recipes That Are Perfect for Weight Loss

Incorporate more ginger.


According to Manaker, ginger has been shown to enhance thermogenesis (calorie burning) in some studies. Consuming ginger has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, glucose-sensitizing, and stimulatory effects on the gastrointestinal tract.

Furthermore, this rhizome may help with weight loss in those who are overweight or obese. This is because ginger is full of naturally-occurring plant chemicals which function as antioxidants. Their anti-inflammatory capabilities may also aid weight loss.

Eat more oats.

Oats in bowl and on table

"Oats, and other whole grains, may help people support a healthy metabolism," says Manaker. "In one study, results showed that substituting whole grains for refined options may help increase a person's resting metabolic rate."

Eating oats can help you feel fuller longer and burn more fat. This is because raw oats are a great source of resistant starch: starch that escapes from digestion in the small intestine of healthy individuals. Once it reaches the colon, this resistant starch acts like a food source for the good bacteria that live in your gut. This helps keep your microbial balance healthy by providing a better ratio of "good" to "bad" gut bacteria. A healthy gut has many benefits, such as keeping appetite in check as well as supporting energy metabolism.

Enjoy some chocolate.

dark chocolate

Manaker suggests that eating some flavonoid-rich chocolate, like dark chocolate, can help with your metabolism.

"According to results of a study published in Molecules in 2018, people who had a daily consumption of 2 grams of dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa, for 6 months experienced better aspects of glucose metabolism versus people who had 2 grams of chocolate milk for the same amount of time," says Manaker.

However, although dark chocolate does come with benefits, it's important to consume this sweet treat in moderation and make sure you're only buying 70% cocoa or more; the lower the cocoa percentage the higher the added sugar percentage. Chocolate is caloric, and consuming too much of it (like all good things) may cause weight gain—the opposite effect you want.

Kayla Garritano
Kayla Garritano graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more about Kayla