It’s no secret that as we age, our metabolism slows, and the rate at that we break down food decreases significantly with each passing decade. Having a fast metabolism can affect the aging process but we must first understand the metabolism. Metabolism reaches its peak much earlier in life and slows down much later than we previously thought. So, what is metabolism and its role in our lives? Metabolism is a process that everybody needs to understand, especially as you travel through your 30s and beyond your 40s. This is where the metabolism meaning starts to become more apparent.
Metabolism is how our cells change the food we eat into the energy needed to survive. The metabolism meaning is precisely that. It transforms our food choices into the power to breathe, move around, sit and think, and everything in-between. We mention the milestone 40s age because by this time, the metabolism meaning becomes more apparent and visible in our body shape and how we maintain it or let it go. Some people continue to eat as if they were still young, vibrant adolescents. A time when you could down a few burgers and half a cake and not gain an ounce of weight. Continue that diet into your 40s, and you will find yourself wider around the hips, stomach, glutes, and everywhere else. By the time you are 50, you’ve reached a 30 percent drop in the metabolism, meaning that a nightly bowl of ice cream equates to an additional 3500 calories per week, which results in unwanted fat.
There are other factors as well including the speed of your metabolism. This can influence the aging process. In fact, a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that higher metabolic rates predict early natural mortality, indicating that higher energy turnover may accelerate aging in humans. Higher energy turnover is associated with shorter lifespan in animals, but evidence for this association in humans is limited. To investigate whether higher metabolic rate is associated with aging in humans, this study examined whether energy expenditure, measured in a metabolic chamber over 24 hours and during rest predicts natural mortality.
Let’s break down the metabolism meaning as you age. First, the body experiences a loss of muscle mass. This affects metabolism because as you age, your metabolism slows, and you burn calories at a lower rate. Secondly, most people are less active as they age. Physical activity starts to come at a higher price when you age. Bones hurt, muscles are sore, and it’s more challenging to maintain the exercises you did at a younger age. Not getting enough exercise leads to weight gain, loss of energy, and cardiovascular diseases. These elements all contribute to slowing your metabolism and the metabolism’s meaning. Lastly, your gender and genes contribute to defining the metabolism meaning. Men, over women, have a faster metabolism because they have more muscle mass, heavier bones, and less body fat (sorry, ladies). Genes also play a factor in defining the metabolism meaning. Genes determine a person’s muscle size and ability to grow muscle mass. The fewer amounts you have (muscles), the slower your metabolism becomes.
In another study, it was shown that a person’s metabolism peaks much earlier in life and slows down much later than originally thought. The minimum amount of energy needed to carry out these basic processes while an organism is fasting and at rest is known as the basal metabolic rate, or BMR, which can be calculated using a variety of online calculators that consider an individual’s height, weight, age, and sex. BMR is often referred to as resting metabolic rate, or RMR. Total energy expenditure (TEE) is a combination of BMR, plus energy used for physical activities and energy used to digest food (known as dietary thermogenesis). For sedentary adults, BMR accounts for about 50% to 70% of total energy output, dietary thermogenesis for 10% to 15%, and physical activity for the remaining 20% to 30%.