Age can take a considerable toll on the waistline. There’s no denying that.
A big part of this is because your metabolic processes slow down with age.
And this process starts as early as your mid-20s.
Which means that, once we hit our 30’s, we are tempted to blame our slowing metabolism for alllllll the extra pounds we gain.
But the truth is:
There can actually be a lot of lifestyle factors contributing to weight gain. For one, some of us tend to eat a little more and move a LOT less which each passing decade.
Ring any bells?
With that said, metabolism does slow with age, and today we’re here to shed light onto the following topics:
○ How metabolism works and what affects it;
○ Exactly how your metabolism changes as you age;
○ How to boost your metabolism & prevent weight gain (the smart way)
Let’s dive right in!
What is Metabolism (In Human Terms)
To put it simply, metabolism is the sum total of chemical processes by which the body converts calories from our foods and drinks into energy. Your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn at rest) also includes the sum total of all the energy expended just keeping you alive (breathing, heart beating, brain function, etc.)
What Affects Your Metabolic Rate?
Metabolic rate is strongly dependent on how much energy is used by the body. The less energy the body uses, the slower your metabolism – simple as that.
So... why do we consume less and less energy as we grow older?
There's more than one reason, actually.
1. Muscle Loss
As we age, we tends to lose muscle – this process is known as sarcopenia.
This can be due to a variety of factors, including a reduction in the ability of muscle stem cells to renew themselves, and a reduction in autophagy – the process by which the body recycles unused proteins (and proteins are a major component of muscle tissue.)
Muscle is one of the largest contributors to the energy expenditure of the body (even when the body is at rest!)
This is because large amounts of energy are consumed to maintain your muscle tissue, i.e. to synthesize new proteins for repair and replacement of muscle.
Thus as you loses muscle, you tend to consume less energy, and consequently your metabolic rate decreases.
2. Activity Levels
Your physical activity, whether or not it has to do with exercise, contributes to approximately 30% of daily calorie consumption. However, as we grow older, we tend to become less active physically, which in turn leads to lower energy consumption.
3. Changes in Hormonal Balance
A change in the metabolic rate as you grow older may also be due to changes in hormonal levels in your body. Leptin is one of the major hormones that regulate metabolism... and appetite.
Simply put, leptin tells the body that it has eaten enough.
It also increases the rate of metabolism to break down the calories.
As we age, less leptin is produced and we tends to feel hungry more often (and for longer while eating), and have lower rates of metabolism.
Not the best combo.
Now that you understand what affects your metabolic rate... what can you actually do about it?
How to Improve Your Metabolic Rate (& Prevent Weight Gain)
1. Resistance Training For the Win
Increased physical activity has been shown to reduce muscle loss, improve muscle strength, and slow down the aging of muscle.
Consequently, you will burn more energy even when you are doing nothing at all!
Different types of exercise can be conducted to combat muscle loss. Be sure to consult your doctor to determine what form of exercise would work best for you.
Resistance training is a form of exercise where your muscles have to work against resistance or force.
This has been shown to improve muscle strength and reverse muscle aging.
The way resistance training does this is by causing damage to the muscle tissue, which is then repaired by the body, resulting in stronger muscles.
This study from Buck Institute for Age Research suggests that resistance training can substantially reverse muscle atrophy and functional impairment associated with aging in just six months!
Again, check with your doctor as to what activity is appropriate for you. And rest assured: regular physical exercise – whichever sport you go for – stimulates the activity of metabolic enzymes and keeps the body sensitive to leptin!
So you win no matter what.
2. Metabolism-Boosting Foods are Your Friends
Certain foods and drinks – among them coffee, different varieties of teas, and peppers – may somewhat increase your metabolic rate.
(Although, and I hate to say this – unlikely that it'll make a game-changing difference.)
People who increased their caffeine consumption over 12 years gained less weight during that period than their counterparts who drank less.
(I'll go ahead and pour myself a cuppa.)
Green tea has also shown to have both short and long term effects on weight loss.
Spicy meals that contain chili peppers can also (again, mildly) increase your metabolic rate and a feeling of fullness.
3. ...And So are Protein-Rich Foods
You could also supplement your diet with protein-rich foods (fish, chicken, beans and nuts to name a few).
A protein-rich diet improves your metabolic rate as proteins require more energy to be broken down.
Besides, the consumption of proteins makes you feel full faster, what we in the biz call increased satiety.
This is because protein-rich foods tend to promote the release of satiety-causing hormones from the small intestine. Consuming protein-rich foods also causes a reduction in the hunger-inducing hormone, ghrelin.
If these reasons weren't enough, consuming more proteins also helps prevent muscle loss and the amino acids from these proteins can be used to build more muscle!
4. Finally, Some Supplements Might Help
Iodine plays a vital role in maintaining our metabolic rate.
Probiotics have been shown to increase the levels of a hormone that makes you feel full faster.
Hydrogen-rich water can aid in weight loss efforts by boosting energy levels and endurance; it can help improve workouts and weight loss.
Studies show hydrogen therapy can enhance athletic performance and support healthy weight management.
Molecular hydrogen is also proven to combat the aging process through decreasing damage caused by free radicals. It's probably one of the biggest health and wellness trends in the upcoming years - don't take it from us, take it from Dr. Jill Carnahan (MD, IFMCP).
Stay youthful and energetic with Vital Reaction! Try our hydrogen tablets today: