We all want to believe it, “My metabolism just isn’t what it used to be.” This is probably true, but if you are trying to pin this problem on age alone, you’ll need to find another excuse!
Research has shown that decrease in basal metabolic rate attributed to aging is no more than 1-2% per decade in HEALTHY, ACTIVE adults. One thing that typically does decrease (drastically) is physical activity. This is normal, and yes, life can get in the way. Work, kids, school, vacations, holidays…the list could go on forever. What you need to understand is the time you used to spend on the court or field growing up is now being spent on your butt, in the stands, watching your kids on the court or field. The 800 calories you used to burn during a game are replaced by 500 calories in a hot dog and soda, making it a 1300 calorie swing. Is that your “metabolism” or circumstances?
Think about all the time you spend sitting as you get older. Between time spent at work and time spent driving kids around you don’t spend near as much time on your feet. Another reason why your “metabolism” has slowly decreased.
Am I saying your metabolism does not change with age? No. I am not even saying you should be able to maintain the same level of activities as you did in your younger years. I am saying that, as calorie expenditure decreases, calorie intake must also decrease, or you will gain weight. We often get stuck in our eating habits from high school. If you are an average adult, you must take this decrease in activity level into account.
If you exercise regularly and maintain your lean mass, you will not see drastic changes in your metabolism with age. Be aware of your current activity levels and set goals appropriately. It is time to take some responsibility and stop blaming our age for ruining our metabolism. Stay active, eat healthy, and control portions…it’s that simple!