Learn the facts about your body’s metabolism, and find out if it is true that a person’s metabolism remains constant throughout life.
Many factors can have a major impact on your metabolic rate. While it’s true that your metabolic rate remains constant, most of these factors are responsible for the other changes in your metabolic rate and not so much the rate itself. The key to understanding what is truly affecting your metabolism and how to increase it lies in how much energy is used. Few things change faster than your metabolic rate as you age, so understanding what’s happening with yours now can be incredibly beneficial. Surprisingly, there are many common denominators among elderly people when it comes to slowing down and having a lower need for calories as they age.
What is metabolic rate?
Metabolic rate refers to the energy your body uses in a given period. Calories are units of energy, and a calorie measures the potential energy stored in food. Your body uses calories to fuel activities, whether digesting food, circulating blood, or repairing damaged tissue.
Metabolism is how your body converts food into energy and other substances needed for growth and repair. Metabolism includes all chemical reactions that occur within your body — from breathing to blinking — and the breakdown of nutrients into smaller components for absorption into cells.
The rate at which your body burns calories (i.e., its metabolic rate) is determined by many factors, including age, sex, muscle mass, hormone levels, weight, and height. Your metabolic rate may also change throughout your lifetime as you age.
Genetics and Your Metabolic Rate
One of the most important factors affecting your metabolic rate is genetics. Even people who work out all the time can still have a lower metabolic rate than people with a higher one. If you’re wondering if you have a low metabolism, check a few things, including your BMI and waist circumference. Another thing that affects your metabolism is your diet. Some foods can help you speed up your metabolism, while others can slow it down a lot. Caffeine, for example, reduces your metabolic rate by 15% on average, so be cautious! Hence, foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates burn up less energy as they break down in the body, so it’s recommended that you eat more protein and vegetables to keep your metabolism up and running at its best.
Nutrients and Your Metabolic Rate
Most of your body’s energy is used for metabolism. Metabolism is a process by which your body takes in oxygen, converts it into usable energy, and expels the waste products that it can’t use. Some more obvious ways to impact your metabolic rate are the amount of oxygen you consume, the food you eat, and how active you are.
Few things change faster than your metabolic rate as you age, so understanding what’s happening with yours now can be incredibly beneficial. Surprisingly, there are many common denominators among elderly people when it comes to slowing down and having a lower need for calories as they age.
Exercise and Your Metabolic Rate
Exercise can be a great way to impact your metabolic rate positively. It helps you burn calories, which can make your metabolism go up a lot and help you stay at a healthy weight. In addition, it may help keep diseases like diabetes at bay by increasing insulin sensitivity, helping to control blood sugar levels, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. High-intensity exercise is what many people refer to as cardio exercise. That mainly characterizes these exercises; they make you work hard enough that your body needs to use more oxygen to complete them. Examples of these exercises include running, swimming laps, or using an elliptical trainer.
Metabolism remains constant throughout life.
Metabolism is the sum of all chemical processes in the body. The body’s metabolism consists of two major parts:
- The resting metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns when you are resting and,
- The total energy expenditure is how many calories your body burns throughout the day.
The only time that your metabolism slows down is during childhood and adolescence because they have high growth rates. After this point, there are no changes in metabolism until later in life when organs begin to fail, and muscle mass decreases.
How Much Does Physical Activity Affect Metabolic Rate?
Physical activity can increase your metabolic rate from 5 percent to 100 percent over baseline levels. The increase in metabolic rate after a workout depends on how much energy your body uses during exercise compared with how much energy it normally uses at rest.
For example, suppose you walk for 30 minutes at 3 mph and burn 100 calories more than you would have just sat down all day watching TV. In that case, your metabolic rate will increase by about 20 percent for about an hour after your walk — until it returns to baseline levels.
How Strenuous Exercises Affect Your Metabolic Rate
Strenuous exercise is one of the most common ways to increase your metabolic rate. It’s also one of the few things that can change your metabolic rate and help you lose weight. The more you do this, the easier it will be for your body to go into its resting state. This does not mean you should stop exercising, but finding a balance between working out and giving yourself time to rest is important.
How Does Your Body Composition Affect Your Metabolic Rate?
Metabolism is a complicated process that involves many different factors. One of the most important is your body composition, which refers to the amount of lean muscle tissue and fat you have.
The number of calories your body requires to keep basic activities like breathing, circulation, and digestion is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). At rest, this is the amount of energy you need to survive.
Regarding metabolism, having more muscle can help you burn more calories in a day because muscle tissue burns more energy than fat tissue does. So if you want to boost your metabolism, build muscle through resistance training, such as lifting weights or calisthenics.
It’s important to note that the benefits of a high-protein diet on weight loss are not due solely to increased protein intake but also to increased satiety from consuming higher amounts of protein and fat.
Daily Energy Expenditure
Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. It’s the energy your body uses for all of its functions, including breathing, pumping blood, blinking, and digesting food. Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns at rest or while sleeping.
The amount of calories you burn daily depends on your weight, height, age, and gender, among other factors. For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds burns about 100 calories per hour just lying in bed. A person weighing 80 pounds burns about 60 calories per hour doing the same thing.
A person’s basal metabolic rate accounts for about 60 to 75 percent of total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). The remaining 25 to 40 percent comes from physical activity (like walking around or lifting things) and non-exercise movement (like fidgeting).
Your Diet and Your Metabolic Rate
So what is the key to increasing your metabolic rate as you age? Exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes are the three best ways to increase your metabolic rate. It’s been shown that people who exercise more have a higher metabolic rate than those who don’t exercise at all. Additionally, dieting can have a major impact on your metabolic rate too. Luckily, there are now diets focusing on improving your metabolism. And if you follow these diets religiously, it can be an incredible way to speed up and improve your metabolism.
Other factors that can affect your metabolic rate include stress and sleep. Stress is one of the most common triggers for unhealthy behaviors like overeating and smoking cigarettes. This can cause high blood pressure, which in turn has a negative effect on your metabolism as well as your heart health. Additionally, lack of sleep has been shown to lead to weight gain and increased abdominal fat levels, among other negative effects on overall health.
Shifting Habits Can Increase or Decrease Your Metabolic Rate
While it’s generally true that your metabolic rate tends to decrease with age, some things can be done to increase the rate. One of the biggest ways to do this is by decreasing your time watching TV. Television is a big time-waster and will keep you from burning calories while sitting in front of the screen without a break. If you don’t watch TV or significantly decrease screen time as you get older, you will automatically see a change in your metabolic rate and need fewer calories.
Yes, your metabolic rate, indeed, remains constant throughout your life. But a person’s metabolic rate can be raised by changing how much they work out and what they eat every day. In addition, shifting habits can also increase or decrease your metabolic rate.