Did you know that your metabolism changes as you age? That’s right – the rate at which your body burns calories slows down as you get older. Unfortunately, this can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight and even lead to obesity. This blog post will discuss the changes in your metabolism as you age and provide tips on keeping your metabolism running smoothly!
What Is Your Metabolism?
Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories, and it depends on many factors, including your age, muscle mass, and activity level. A higher metabolism means you’ll burn more calories even when you’re at rest. There are a few ways to boost your metabolisms, such as exercising regularly and eating high in protein and fiber foods. Some people may also have a naturally high metabolism, which can be hereditary. If you’re looking to increase your metabolism, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
People Are Less Active With Age
As you age, your metabolism naturally slows down due to several factors, including muscle loss and decreased hormone production. So even though your metabolism may not be as spry as it once was, there’s no need to give up on your fitness goals!
Although there are some things you can do to boost your metabolism (like strength training and eating more protein), the reality is that you’ll have to work a little harder to maintain your weight as you age. One of the best ways to offset the effects of a slower metabolism is to stay active. Regular exercise helps build muscle, which in turn helps boost your metabolism. In addition, staying active helps keep your hormones balanced and can even help reverse some of the effects of aging.
People Lose Muscle With Age
If you’re feeling sluggish, it could be more than just a case of the winter blues. As we age, our metabolism changes in ways that can make us feel tired and gain weight. One of the biggest culprits is muscle loss. Starting in our 20s, we lose muscle mass at about 1% per year. One percent loss of muscle mass might not sound like much, but we can have lost up to 40% of our muscle mass by reaching middle age. This muscle loss directly impacts our metabolism since muscle is more metabolically active than fat.
Metabolic Processes Slow Down With Age
Chemical reactions inside your body determine your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your sodium-potassium pumps and mitochondria are two cellular elements that help organize these processes. The sodium-potassium pumps to aid in producing nerve impulses and muscular and cardiac contractions, while the mitochondria generate energy for cells.
According to studies, both elements lose effectiveness with age, slowing down your metabolism. For example, one research compared the speed of sodium-potassium pumps in 27 younger individuals and 25 older men. The pumps were 18% slower in older adults, causing them to burn 101 fewer calories each day.
Another study compared nine younger individuals (average age of 39) and 40 older persons (average age of 69). Scientists discovered that senior citizens had 20% fewer mitochondria and that their mitochondria were about 50% less efficient at converting oxygen into energy, which contributes to the metabolism. However, compared to activity and muscle mass, these internal components lower influence your metabolism’s speed.
How Much Does It Slow Down?
Demonstrating that keeping your muscles healthy and active is critical as you get older. Your metabolism varies according to your exercise levels, muscle mass, and other things. As a result, metabolic speed differs from person to person. For instance, researchers compared the RMR of three age groups: 20–34, 60–74, and 90 or over.
People aged 60–74 burned about 122 fewer calories than the youngest group, while over 90 burned around 422 fewer calories than the oldest. However, after considering variables such as gender, muscularity, and fatness, scientists discovered that people aged 60–74 burned 24 fewer calories daily than those over 90 years old.
Weightlifting is an excellent method to keep your metabolism going strong. It has the advantages of exercising without sacrificing muscle mass, which affects your metabolism rate. According to one study with 13 healthy men aged 50–65, 16 weeks of resistance training three times a week increased RMR by 7.7%. Another study with 15 older adults found that half a year of resistance training three times weekly enhanced RMR by 6.8%.
High-Intensity Interval Training
You can avoid a slowing metabolism through high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It’s a type of exercise that alternates between intense anaerobic activity with brief rests. After you’ve stopped exercising, HIIT burns calories for a long time. Studies have shown that HIIT may burn up to 190 calories over 14 hours after exercising. Thanks to HIIT, your body may build and preserve muscle mass with age.
Plenty Of Sleep
According to studies, inadequate sleep may reduce your metabolism. Fortunately, a good night’s sleep can compensate for this loss. One research discovered that 4 hours of sleep resulted in a 2.6 percent reduction in metabolism compared to 10 hours of sleep. Fortunately, a night of extended rest (12 hours) restored metabolic rate.
Because your RMR is affected by muscle, losing muscle may cause it to slow down. It appears that insufficient sleep might also contribute to muscle loss. If you have difficulty falling asleep, unplugging from technology at least one hour before bedtime can assist. Taking a sleep supplement is another option.
Eat Enough Food
A low-calorie diet might put your metabolism into “starvation mode.” When you’re younger, a low-calorie diet has advantages; however, maintaining muscle mass becomes more important as you get older. Older persons generally have a reduced appetite, leading to lower calorie consumption and a slower metabolism. If you have trouble eating enough calories, consider eating smaller amounts more often. Cheese and nuts are also excellent high-calorie snacks.
In all, your metabolism changes as you age. It slows down due to a loss of muscle mass and efficiency in your mitochondria. However, plenty of sleep, eating enough food, and exercising can help prevent this slowdown. Now that you know how your metabolism changes with age, it’s time to take action and keep yours going strong!