In the eternal race against weight gain, age and lifestyle conspire against us. Once you hit 40, habits are set in stone, sedentary lifestyles have become the norm, and all weight gain issues are easily blamed on a very misunderstood term - metabolism. As a matter of fact, metabolism merely plays a small part in weight loss battles after you cross 40 years of age. Here's a look at why metabolism isn't to blame and what you can do to lose weight after 40.
Losing weight after 40: Understanding metabolism
Your body burns calories even at rest. The rate at which you burn your calories is called resting metabolic rate. It is a scientific fact that as one tends to age; your metabolism rate tends to slow down by approximately 5% for every decade of life past 40 years of age. Say if your metabolic rate is 1,200 calories per day at age 40, it will be approximately 1,140 at age 50. Therefore, experts are of the opinion that after you have crossed 40 years of age, you must eat 100 calories less each day in order to maintain your weight as you age.
Losing weight after 40: Going beyond metabolism
Doctors say that in actuality metabolism is merely a small part of the story. This is because as we age, we have less time for ourselves and most of our day to day activities involve looking after our children, work, ageing parents and so on. Thus, we tend to pay hardly any, or in most cases no, attention to what and how we are eating. Ageing tends to come hand-in-hand with mindless eating and a serious lack of physical activities. So, it would be safe to say that age and lifestyle play eually important roles in the battle to lose weight after 40.
Losing weight after 40: Factors on which metabolism is based
According to experts, our metabolic rate (as we age) depends on two main factors:
- Thyroid function based on gender specificity: Women have more thyroid issues than men, by at least 10 to 1. Thus, many a times women find that they lose a bit of the metabolic edge during their 40s because of the thyroid issue which begins to spring up.
- Muscle mass: When you hit the 40s, you lose muscle mass and tone if you don't exercise to maintain your body's muscle composition. Recently concluded research proposes that on average women will lose muscle mass twice as fast as men of the same age, making a huge difference in their capacity to lose or maintain weight. The key to maintain your weight at 40, and beyond, is to exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy metablic rate.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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