When did it happen?

Was it after turning the page on age 29, receiving that AARP letter in the mail or qualifying for medicare?

Truth is, you’ll likely never know when your metabolism began to slow down–but the exact day doesn’t matter as much as your ability to boost it back up.

Metabolism is the process your body uses to turn what you eat and drink into energy. The faster your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn simply by being.

And as you age, your metabolism slows, making it more difficult for you to keep off the weight.

But luckily, there are things you can do to boost your metabolism just in time for the summer season. Here’s a look at five:

Start with Sleep

According to an article published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, research shows that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can negatively affect your metabolism. So if you really want to keep your metabolism zipping, start by making sure you are getting enough zzz’s.

How much sleep is enough? That depends on a variety of factors ranging from your age to daily activity to overall health, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, but most adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.

Increase Muscle Mass

While it is true that most people’s metabolic rates go down as their ages go up, the rate reduction has more to do with muscle mass than with how many trips around the sun you’ve taken. That’s why maintaining your muscle mass is one proven way to boost your metabolism and keep it firing on all cylinders.

Getting on a regular workout schedule that includes weightlifting is a great way to increase your muscle mass.

Put Protein on Every Plate

Protein is incredibly important to your ability to boost your metabolism. There’s a direct connection between protein and muscle mass. Research has shown that protein makes you much less likely to sneak snacks between meals. And the more lean protein you eat, the easier it will be for you to retain the lean muscle you have on your body.

So if you are serious about boosting your metabolism, make sure you put at least a little protein on every plate throughout the day.

Commit to Coffee

Maybe bacon, eggs and early morning weight lifting isn’t your thing. Maybe you prefer to start your day with a cup of coffee. Perfect!

According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, caffeine and coffee stimulates the metabolic rate whether it is consumed with or without food. It might not be enough to totally counteract the loss of muscle mass that tends to take place over time, but it’s better than doing nothing.

And just imagine the metabolism-boosting possibilities if you were to commit to coffee as well as weight lifting, eating protein and getting enough sleep every night.

Put a Long-term Plan in Place

New Year’s Eve. A couple of weeks before your Caribbean vacation. Just before swimsuit season.

These are the times when most people tend to start thinking about finding a way to boost their metabolic rates and quickly drop some weight. Sadly, many people turn to short-term solutions rather than putting in place a long-term plan for success.

If you really want to boost your metabolism and live a long, healthy life, you need to think about lifestyle changes–the kind Derry Medical Services can help you make.

Derry Medical Wellness Center offers a host of services. The physicians, licensed dietitians and health educators at DMC Primary Care want you to know that our Wellness Center at 14A Tsienneto Road offers the highly successful HMR/Weight Sense Program, a medically supervised or at-home accelerated weight loss program, which was rated number 1 by US News & World Report. We also have experienced health educators, nutrition experts and diabetes care specialists who provide lifestyle counseling. Plus there is aFitness Facility that includes a gym and class studio with over 40 different classes per week.