Metabolism and Your Age
Your body’s metabolism will start to
slow down starting at the age of 30. By then, your metabolism will continue to
slow down for about 5% every ten years. This could mean that when you hit the
age of 45, your body will be burning 200 fewer calories compared to when you
were only 25. This increases the likelihood of gaining as much as 12 pounds a
This change in metabolic rate also
impacts other functions in the body. Energy levels as well as cognitive
functioning can be affected. Aging also can cause muscle loss which adds to the
body’s metabolic rate decline.
In turn, lean muscle tissues may be
replaced with fat. If nothing is done to prevent this fat accumulation the
person’s midsection will begin to increase. We’ve almost certainly all heard of
‘the middle-age spread’. The same thing may occur to the hips and thighs.
Therefore, the metabolism can largely
spell the difference between losing weight or gaining weight.
Metabolism and Physical Activity
People who are physically active are
more likely to utilize more calories, which is to be expected. This is why
active people are less inclined to gain weight.
However, if a person eats more
calories than their body’s energy requirements, weight gain is inevitable. This
is because unused calories are stored as fat. Being sedentary largely impacts
your metabolism in several ways.
For example, if you sit for long
periods of time you will inhibit your body’s metabolizing of sugars and fats.
Plus, your muscles will weaken, and testosterone and estrogen levels are also
How Basal Metabolic Rate Affects
Conversely, being physically active
will increase the body’s ability to utilize fat and glucose even while not
exercising. This is because those who are physically active have a higher
metabolic rate than those who are sedentary, so their bodies burn more energy
even at rest.
Your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is
responsible for up to 70% of your body’s total energy expenditure. BMR refers
to the speed at which your body consumes energy when you are not physically
active. This means that even when you are just sleeping or lying on a couch,
your body is still using energy to fuel your body processes.
So if you want to lose weight, speed
up your metabolism and work towards increasing your basal metabolic rate by
being more physically active.
Increase Basal Metabolic Rate By
Exercising to gain muscle mass is one
of the best ways to increase your BMR and lose weight. This is because your
muscles are the most metabolically active compared to any other tissues in the
body. As your body breaks down old proteins, while also synthesizing new
proteins, it will consume about one fifth of your BMR. It also helps break down
Therefore, if you gain more muscle
mass it translates to less fat and a healthier weight. One way to do this is to
engage in strength training.
Medical Conditions Can Affect Your
Weight gain can also be caused by a
medical condition. There are people who gain weight due to thyroid problems,
while other people’s excess weight may be caused by diabetes or as a side
effect to steroid treatment.
However, for most people weight
control is just a matter of simple mathematics – calorie intake should equal
the body’s energy requirements.
How Caloric Consumption Affects Your
Some people, in their effort to lose
weight, consume extremely low amounts of calories thinking that this will help
them to lose weight faster. What they may not realize is this can cause their
metabolism to backfire.
This is because the human body is
designed to sense and prevent starvation. If the body senses that it is not
ingesting enough calories for survival, it automatically signals the metabolism
to slow down. The body thinks it is facing a famine so it will conserve as much
energy as possible. This causes a slowing metabolism. This is one of the
reasons why losing weight is not an easy process.
On the other hand, any excess in the
amount of calories ingested will be stored by the body as fat reserves. This is
stored for times of potential famine. The excess energy (or food consumption)
is often referred to as unused energy.
This unused energy is what leads to
excess pounds. Today, we mostly don’t have a need to store excess fat, as most
of us can access food at any time, unlike our ancestors who had to lay down fat