Factors such as aging and hormonal shifts can cause metabolism to slow. For many of us slower metabolism usually means faster weight gain. It also means that losing those extra pounds is more difficult. Don’t be too discouraged. These three tricks offer easy strategies for coping with a slowing metabolism.

Reduce your calories
Consuming the same number of calories at 50 that you did at age 30 will lead to weight gain. The culprit is a sluggish metabolism. Make easy swaps so that you feel full without tipping the scale. Gradually increase your daily intake of fiber to 25 or 30 grams. You can do this by including fruits and vegetables with every meal and snack. Don’t forget lean protein and a little fat, too. It is also a good idea to use smaller plates for meals to avoid overeating. This strategy lets you reduce calories and feel full without feeling deprived.

white-male-1856182_640Embrace strength training
Not only does metabolism slow with aging but we also must contend with waning muscle mass. Strength training combats this problem. Lift three times weekly to build muscle and help speed up metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat. Muscle is also more compact than fat so you’ll look less pudgy and more lean. You should also embrace all day movement. Don’t wait until you get to the gym. Get up from your seat at least once each hour to boost your NEAT or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. When you raise your NEAT you also raise your metabolic rate.

Eat with a plan
When you skip breakfast and overeat at lunch or dinner you are not doing your metabolism any favors. That’s because you are more likely to overeat and to make poor food choices. According to a study published in the journal Metabolism that could result in harmful metabolic changes. Know how many calories are appropriate for your goals and distribute them throughout the day to stay within that number.

However, the researchers did find that meal skipping as part of a controlled eating plan could actually lead to weight loss and overall better health. Participants severely restricted calories (reduced to 400 or 500) every other day. At the end of two months they lost an average of 8 percent of their body weight and even lowered their cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Inordinate weight gain is not inevitable. Use these tips to speed up your metabolism so you can more easily maintain a healthy weight.