Have you ever felt like when you eat a slice of cake, you gain weight? But when you were in your 20s, you could eat a whole cake without gaining even a single pound? Don’t worry; this is not your imagination running wild. As you grow older, your metabolic process slows down considerably. Simply put, the rate at which your body breaks down food decreases every decade by 10 percent after the age of 20.
Metabolism is the number of calories or energy that your body utilizes to maintain itself. Through BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate, you can find out how many calories you are burning when you rest. Furthermore, you can also find out your muscle to fat ratio as well as the amount you exercised. According to researchers, when you are at the age of 50, your metabolism will drop by 30 percent.
Reason Why Metabolism Slows More After 50
People Tend to Be Less Active With Age
All activities, exercise, or otherwise can burn up to 10 to 30 percent of your calories daily. If you are an active person, then this number can increase by up to 50 percent (Source).
You can also burn calories through methods such as thermogenesis. These activities include washing the dishes, standing, walking, and perform other household tasks. However, an older person will be less active and burn fewer calories when performing any activity.
Research suggests that around one-quarter of Americans between the ages of 50 and 65 do not exercise after they work. For more than 75 aged Americans, this figure has increased to a third (Source).
The research found that if a person is older, they will burn 29% of calories through thermogenesis (Source). Staying active will maintain this drop in the metabolic process. Other studies suggest that regular exercise for endurance will prevent your metabolism from slowing down when you are aging. (Source)
When You Are Ageing You Will Lose Your Muscles
When an average adult reaches the age of 30, they start losing three to eight percent of muscle every decade (Source).In fact, according to research, people in their 80swill have 30 percent less muscle mass than when they were in their 20s (Source). The condition of losing muscles while aging is called sarcopenia, which can result in early death, weakness, and fractures (Source).
Your metabolism will also slow down during sarcopenia, as muscles play a significant role in metabolism. On the other hand, having more muscle mass will increase your metabolism while resting (Source).In a study based on 959 people, people aged above 70 contain 9 kg (20 pounds) fewer muscles and have 11 percent RMR than 40-year-olds (Source).
Staying healthy and active is the key to maintaining your muscle mass. As you grow older, you will lose even more muscles if you are less active while aging (Source). Other reasons for a slower metabolism include consuming fewer proteins and due to a decrease in hormone production, such as growth hormones, testosterone, and estrogen (Source).
At What Intensity Does the Metabolic Process Decreasing Through Ageing
Various factors, like your daily activities and your muscle mass, affect your metabolism. This is the reason why metabolism differs from person to person. For instance, a study by RMR compared three groups of people. The ages of those people range from 20 to 34, 60 to 74, and the third group was above 90. The youngest group was burning 422 more calories than people in group three and 122 more than people aged around group two.
The metabolic process varies depending on fat, muscles, and gender. And scientists claim that a person age 60 to 74 will burn 24 fewer calories. On the other hand, a person who is over 90 will burn 53 fewer calories every day on average. This means that you need to maintain your muscle growth as you are growing (Source). This will not only allow your metabolism to work correctly but also keeps you healthy and reduces aging symptoms.
In another study, researchers gathered 516 people who were older than 60 years. Researchers observed these individuals for 12 years to check how their metabolic process decreased over a decade. After calculating the difference between fat and muscle every decade, they found out that men burned around 70 fewer calories while resting, and women, on the other hand, burned 20 fewer calories every day.
The results were impressive, as both women and men were all less active and were losing 115 fewer calories throughout the decade. With this research, we found out that it is essential to stay active and exercise as you age to maintaining your metabolism(Source).
However, in another study, there was no difference found between the RMR of every age of women. Yet, in this group, the oldest person had lived for a very long time. She was over 95 years old. She was able to live that much because of her higher metabolic process. She was able to cope with her aging symptoms for a longer time (Source).
So with this short research, we found out that if someone is less active and starts losing their muscle, they will harm their metabolism.
According to research, when you age, your metabolic system slows down. If you are losing muscle, feeling less active, and your body is aching, you might have low metabolism. However, you can improve your metabolism through various methods and fight aging symptoms. These methods include eating sufficient calories, high-intensity training, and weight lifting, consuming more protein, drinking green tea, and getting enough sleep. It would help if you started by adding a few strategies for boosting your metabolism in your daily routine for keeping your metabolic process even faster.