Are you close to 40? If so, you may be one of the legions who is desperately racing to shed that unwanted weight before hitting that magic number. For others, the weight-loss marker is 30 and they spent the last year of their 20s feverishly exercising and dieting. Why are people trying to lose weight before the age of 30 or 40? Generally, the accepted belief is that it becomes very difficult to slim down after one of these ages (which one depends on who you believe) because our metabolism slows down. In this case, where there is smoke, there is fire. There is some truth to the belief, but it isn’t as simple as it seems.
The metabolism is the complex physical and chemical process by which our body converts the food we eat into mass and energy. Simply put, it helps to fuel us. Some people have a fast metabolism and the food they eat is quickly converted to energy; they seem to be able to eat endlessly and never put on weight (we all have a friend like that). Others have a slow metabolism which means they store the food as fat before it burns. For all of us, the metabolism slows down as we age. But, there is no magic number; it doesn’t simply stop at age 30 or 40. It is more of a slow progression and can take several years. While genetics can play a role, there are several reasons why our metabolism slows down as we age:
Loss of Growth Hormone
As we get into our 20s, our body starts to decrease the amount of growth hormone we have. By the time we hit middle age, it has pretty much completely stopped. Without the growth hormone, our body has one less reason it needs to burn calories, so the excess energy is stored as fat. There is also some evidence that we lose mitochondria as we age. Mitochondria use oxygen to create energy which helps the metabolism.
Loss of Muscle Mass
There is a reason why we seem to shrink with age; we lose muscle mass. This is directly related to the depleted growth hormone. Less muscle mass means that our resting metabolism slows down. Basically, there isn’t as much for our metabolism to do so it just stores fat.
Less Physically Active
This reason is one that is in our control. As we get older, it isn’t so much our metabolism is slowing down as it is that we are moving less. Work, children, and other responsibilities take over as we move into our 30s which means we don’t pay as much attention to keeping active or healthy eating. Once we get past middle age, we may be physically unable to be very active.
What to Do?
Is there anything that can be done about a slower metabolism? Do you have to be resigned to accept it? Absolutely not! You can’t change genetics or growth hormones, but you can take steps in speeding up your metabolism. Have a healthy diet plan and eat on a regular schedule; don’t skip meals! It puts your body into starvation mode and that is when you store fat. Make sure to have breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up; it will rev up your metabolism. Eating protein with all your meals will help keep some muscle mass. As well, drink lots of water and get regular sleep.
Need more advice? Reach out to a health care professional today through the LOMI App. LOMI is so much more than just an effective diet plan app. It will put you in touch with health care professionals, including dieticians and nutritionist, all with the push of a button. LOMI can help with healthy diet plans, advice, and so much more! Down the LOMI App today!