I’ve Put On Weight. But That’s What Happens When…

“I’ve put on weight. But that’s what happens when you turn (insert age)”

Older Man With High MetabolismThis is one I hear a lot. Usually from a guy with more than a little excess belly fat. The argument seems to be that as you age your metabolism begins to slow down, which they’ve probably seen as a headline in a magazine and taken as fact, without actually reading the article. My usual response to this is to ask how old they are. In nearly every case they are pretty much the same age as me or younger, which destroys their excuse for having a belly, as my body fat is always around 7% to 15% depending on what training I’m doing. Plus I know many people who are 40 or 50+ and have high muscle mass and low body fat.

The photo is of Jim Morris. Age 77.

So, Does Your Metabolism Slow As You Age?

The articles I’ve read on this subject tend to have misleading and or attention-grabbing titles like:

“Why gaining weight isn’t your fault.”
“How age slows your metabolism and causes weight gain.”
“It’s not the diet it’s your age!”

Many fitness magazines are just as guilty of this and while overall the article might be factually true, this isn’t the part the reader wants to know and doesn’t remember it. So let me answer the question: yes, your metabolism can slow down as you age, but there are some factors that need to be taken into account.

Physical Activity

Your metabolism, or metabolic rate, is simply the amount of calories your body burns in a given time. As the average person ages the amount of physical activity decreases, therefore so does their metabolic rate and the amount of calories they require. Plus with less activity comes more time to eat.
Keep Your Physical Activity Level High To Help Keep Your Metabolism High.

Exercise

Many articles on slowing metabolism talk about how ageing effects the average person, but the average person doesn’t do any exercise whatsoever. And the average person who does exercise doesn’t have a very good diet, eats junk food and drinks alcohol, which is why they got overweight and started exercising in the first place.
Exercise To Help Keep Your Metabolism High.

Diet

People in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s generally have less free time available than someone in their 20’s due to pressures of work and family. Far from having 5-7 equally-sized, regular-spaced meals it tends to be no breakfast and a rushed lunch of junk food followed by a large, carb-heavy evening meal and a glass of wine or beer.
Eat 5-7 Equally-Sized, Regular-Spaced Meals To Help Keep Your Metabolism High.

Sleep

Another common effect of less free time is lack of sleep. The average person requires 7-9 hours every night but gets far less, which can result in changes to glucose metabolism, thyroid secretion and cortisol levels. After just 3 nights, poor sleep has been shown to make otherwise healthy people less resistant to insulin, resembling the effects of insulin resistance.
In Other Words, Get 7-9 Hours Of Good Quality Sleep To Help Keep Your Metabolism High.

So in summary remember the following:

Keep your physical activity level high to help keep your metabolism high.
Exercise to help keep your metabolism high.
Eat 5-7 equally-sized, regular-spaced meals to help keep your metabolism high.
Get 7-9 hours of good quality sleep to help keep your metabolism high.

Click to read how to burn fat faster and boost your metabolism.

As always, any questions or feedback leave a comment below.

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