Everyone and their mother will tell you that age negatively affects their metabolism.
Sure, it’s a quick and easy way to explain why you “just aren’t as thin as you once were,” but is your chronological age truly to blame for all the weight gain?
Do we see a general increase in weight as people in our society get older? Certainly we do. There seems to be a “correlation,” but is it “cause and effect?”
It’s not exactly the turning of the clock that does it.
It’s the loss of lean body mass, and that’s exactly what researchers cite when explaining our “situation.”
In a rather oxymoronic statement, we say “metabolism declines naturally 2-3% per decade, with the loss of lean body mass.”
The next question one should be asking is “do we naturally lose lean body mass?”
The biggest reason we lose lean body mass is NOT due to our chronological age, but rather the loss of physical activity AS we age – and it’s largely our fault.
Think about it. In high school, where you may have been your lightest at your current height, were you perhaps more active than you are now? Were you involved in sports? Cheerleading? Physical education? Active recreation? Did you play outside? Did you jump rope? Ride a bike? Run? Do jumping jacks? March in a band? Three-legged races? Tug of war? Dodgeball?
When you played your sport, did you play hard? Were you perhaps more intense compared to these days, if you are still enjoying your sport here or there. What about practice? Are you practicing for 2 hours a day, 4 days a week like in high school, before that big Friday night game? Or do you just show up to play recreationally on Saturday, having not put too much previous effort into your performance.
What does fun look like these days? Is it a big dinner, or is it a night of dancing? Is it a movie, or a slam-dunk competition in your backyard on that 8 foot goal?
By now you get my point. We lose muscle because we lose the NEED for it. It’s supply and demand. Create a little demand for muscle, and your body will supply it (with the right materials coming in). Then use that supply to create a little more demand, and so on … Instead, we let things snowball in the wrong direction, then feel better about ourselves by using age as a scapegoat.
You CAN be stronger with MORE lean body mass and a FASTER metabolism NEXT year compared to last, even 5-10 years from now!
Now, if your currently at MAXIMUM ( or near maximum) physical potential (how would you know?), you obviously won’t be able to make huge improvements over the next 5-10 years. (congrats, you probably don’t really need to)
But …. did you know that there are people who at 50 years of age have 20 pounds more muscle than they did at 25 years of age? Do you think their metabolism has “naturally declined?”
See the good news yet? You can “naturally increase” your metabolism with age! It all depends on what you DO with the time that is passing!
If you spent the next 10 years challenging your body and pushing your limits, do you think you would be stronger and have a faster metabolic rate, or do you think you would be “naturally weaker and fatter” simply because you would be 10 years older?
If you answered with the latter, then I feel sorry for you. You have accepted a hopeless outlook – one that robs you of responsibility and therefore any power over the future of your physical quality of life.
I hope you chose the former. If you did, you can do something about your health, your weight, and your performance. You are “of the right mind” and that means your on right path. Just keep moving, and don’t be afraid to get in the fast lane!