You might learn about metabolism in science class in middle school, but you really don’t think about it until your 20s and don’t start worrying about it until your 30s or 40s. When you start noticing that the slice of pizza is showing up on your hips or the soda is sitting on your stomach, you might start thinking about avoiding the soda machine when eating out and eating just two slices instead of three. It might not matter how much you want these small changes to be working, they might not be enough. When we start aging, changes in our bodies are inevitable, but there’s something we can do about it! At David McIlhenney Fitness Studio, we’re more than just a gym. We want to educate the community of East Lyme and help them learn new fitness habits while working with personal trainers who know how difficult the metabolism struggle is.
You might need a refresher on what metabolism is so we’re here to set things straight and give you information on how it changes when we age, and what we can do about it.
What Is Metabolism?
BMR, or basal metabolic rate, is about 60 to 75 percent of the calories you burn to run all of the processes that occur in your body. This is determined by various factors including genetics, height, weight, muscle mass, and age. The other 25 to 40 percent of the calories you burn are due to talking, walking, chewing, digesting, exercising, and recovering from exercising.
Your metabolism will start to slow down in your 20s, but don’t stress out if you’re 25 and eating ice cream from the box, it only slows down about 1 or 2 percent each decade. When you hit your 30s, you’ll need to eat a little less (about 150 calories) to weigh what you did in your 20s. When you reach your 40s for men and 50s for women, your metabolic rates decline will begin to accelerate.
There are multiple reasons why your metabolism begins to slow down:
- When we stop growing, our body doesn’t need to put as much energy into that area, so it’s using fewer calories.
- A bigger reason why it starts to slow down is that we have less muscle as we grow older. This can be due to genetics, hormones, and/or inactivity.
Muscle actually uses quite a few calories, even while we are at rest. So inactive people in their 30s to 50s who are not maintaining muscle will begin burning fewer calories.
What’s The Solution?
If our body’s metabolism slows down because we have less muscle, we need to build more muscle! Joining your local gym is a great way to get in the habit of exercising, which will help promote muscle strength. Workout programs can include everything from cardio, lifting weights, or even running, walking, cycling, swimming, or an outdoor activity of your choice! At our fitness studio, we want to focus on an approach that includes a variety of methods to enhance fitness and doesn’t lead to a huge fitness burnout. Our personal trainers will work with you at a pace that is comfortable but still pushes you to be healthier and more fit.
Because fitness, and life in general, has a lot to do with the foods you eat, and our bodies love foods that enhance muscle building, we want to provide you with some of the best and most delicious foods to help you build muscle faster and therefore increase your BMR. Men and women can lose some of the motivation when they start thinking about what foods they can’t eat because of a workout program. But you can look forward to snacking on these foods:
- Whole (chocolate) milk: Whole milk contains 118 mg of calcium
- Almonds: Reduces blood sugar and increases good HDL cholesterol
- Cottage cheese: A ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese gives you 14 grams of protein
- Eggs: Quick, easy, and one egg has six grams of protein
- Fish: Steam your salmon to get omega 3 fats
- Chicken: A 200-gram skinless breast gives you 60 grams of protein
With these foods, you can whip up some pretty fantastic meals. Working with a personal trainer, you can be sure to eat a steady diet that is personalized for your fitness needs.
Joining a gym and consistently putting in the work can be a challenge, but with the guidance and support of our fitness studio, our team will work with you to build muscle and get your metabolism back into shape!