METABOLISM AND AGEING

Do you believe that simply because you’re getting older that your metabolism is slowing down? It appears to be a common belief that I thought I would look deeper into.  I’m now in my forties, well into my forties and just have that niggling doubt that my efforts to lose weight are compromised and sabotaged by my age. Do you have the same belief?

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I ask myself whether eating right and exercising right is ever  going to be enough, as I quickly head towards the big 5 0? On one hand I’m kind of reassured that hey, it’s not me it’s my age and we all know there is nothing that can make us physically younger. Unless of course you know something I don’t, like the discovery of the fountain of youth!

The other part of me, the part that refuses to believe I can’t have control over everything argues  with this concept.

 

 

METABOLISM AND AGEING

If metabolism really slowed down because of age, why is it that we have an epidemic with childhood obesity? Surely children should be able to eat anything and everything without putting on weight if their metabolism was high?  And why do we have people well into their forties, fifties and beyond who look amazing? Think Elle Macpherson, Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kylie Minogue etc.  I know they’re celebrities but all these women are in their forties or fifties. No one is exempt from age no matter how famous they are!

So off I went to do the research! And wow! Here is everything you need to know to blow this belief right out of the water. Here are the 3 things slowing down your metabolism, and age isn’t one of them! If you’re using your age as an excuse, I’m sorry you don’t have a leg to stand on! Read on..

ACTIVITY

The fact is that most of us, as we age, our activity levels drop. Older people generally become a lot more sedentary because of the belief that we slow down just because we’re getting older! You know, you get up for the old woman on the bus, carry the old man’s shopping to the car etc. This is because they have gradually over time reduced what they do and have lost muscle mass and strength. It’s not simply because of age.  I once met a woman in her nineties. She swam IN THE OCEAN everyday! She had done so her whole adult life! Nuts! But she was built like a tank! Her muscle tone was better than mine and I was forty years younger than her!

High level of activity, especially strength training, to maintain your muscle mass will keep your metabolism going no matter how old you are! Read more here about that. More calories are burnt the more muscle you have. No ifs ands or buts, get off the couch!

NUTRITION

Thermogenesis is the process that happens when we eat food. It literally means heat-producing. It is connected to our metabolism. Eating food increases metabolism because your body has to work hard to digest it.  Older people tend to eat a lot less because their appetites are low. They don’t have much of an appetite because they’re inactive! If they do overeat, like anyone else, they put on weight. This is regardless of whatever age you’re at.

HORMONES

And of course the dreaded hormones! There is no getting around it. As women age, we hit menopause! But does this really have an impact on our metabolism and weight gain? The general belief is that it does but I’m here to tell you, that it’s not significant enough to make you helpless in losing weight!

OESTROGEN

When we hit menopause, our oestrogen levels fluctuate. Oestrogen is involved in weight in the following ways;

Oestrogen receptors in the brain are known to help control appetite. If your oestrogen levels drop then your appetite tends to increase. It’s also the reason just before a period you might feel like you want to eat a horse (in my case a block of chocolate). During menopause and beyond this could be an issue for you. But again, if you don’t over eat you won’t put on the weight. Age has nothing to do with it.

Fat cells is another area where oestrogen is produced. If your levels are low your body may be more inclined to put on weight easier to have more fat cells to do this.

Oestrogen causes fat to be stored in the lower half of the body. Read more about oestrogen here.

INSULIN AND CORTISOL

Believe it or not, the hormones insulin and cortisol far outweigh any effects oestrogen may have on your weight loss efforts. Keep insulin and cortisol levels low and your ability to lose weight is far improved. How to do this? Eating low carb (no to low processed foods) and keeping stress to a minimum. Read more here, here and here on carbs and weight loss.

And there you have it. Forget the excuses. Your age has nothing to do with your metabolism. Otherwise everyone under menopause age would be within a healthy weight range and everyone over would be obese!

Boringly enough it’s still about nutrition and activity! If these two are in check you have it made. And if you’re really keen , you can start swimming in the ocean everyday!

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DEE xx

 

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8 comments

    1. It is all about our choices! I’m trying to chose NOT worrying about my age. Weight and health are very much lifestyle choices not age specific problems!

  1. Okay, I’m not an old bird — yet — but I find all of this to be spot on! It’s hard for me to be okay with being 10 pounds heavier than I used to be. (It used to be 20 pounds, but I managed to lose 10). At the same time, I’m actually getting better and am okay with my body now, more than ever. I also know what’s coming!! I’m 44 and I anticipate this slow down even more. Best to take great care of myself and love ME. Thanks for a great post. 🙂

  2. I too am not old, but I could see myself using my age as an excuse. Well I could have, not anymore. Great post and very informative. 🙂

    xx

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