Your metabolism is central to your nutrition, weight loss and gain, and your energy levels. People know that a fast metabolism helps keep weight off. They also know a slow metabolism is responsible for weight gain. But what exactly is metabolism, and how does it impact your body day to day and as you age?
What Does Your Metabolism Do?
Simply put, metabolism is the process through which our body converts food and drink into the energy it needs to move and function. As our body breaks down the food we eat, calories are released and combined with oxygen to release energy in a usable form. This energy is what keeps us running, and goes into everything from your heartbeat and breathing to your exercise at the gym.
What Is Your Metabolic Rate?
Every day, you burn a certain number of calories doing everything you do. Some of those calories are burned through automatic processes that keep your body running, some through daily activities like moving around the house, cooking, or turning the pages of a book, some through the process of digestion itself, and some through intentional physical activity. The combination of all these things makes up your metabolic rate, which also gets called your metabolism. When you burn more calories than you consume, you end up losing weight, and when you take in more calories than you use, you will start to gain weight as the excess calories are stored in fat tissue.
How Does Your Metabolism Change as You Age?
As people grow older, their metabolism tends to slow down. There are a variety of factors that contribute to this. The higher your muscle mass, the more calories you burn both from basic actions and intentional exercise, so when you lose muscle mass as you age, you also burn fewer calories. In addition, we also tend to exercise less as we age. The loss of muscle mass is also exacerbated by changes in hormone levels that come with aging. The combined effect of these changes means that as we age, we are prone to gaining weight and losing further muscle mass with time.
How Can I Increase My Metabolism?
Luckily, there are ways to counteract the slowing of your metabolism that comes naturally with age. Increasing the amount that you exercise may be necessary to maintain the weight that you are used to. It can also help to change your diet to include fewer calories and a more balanced supply of nutrients. At Revita Medical, we can help you develop a comprehensive medical plan in order to increase your metabolism, build muscle mass, and lose weight. We’ll be sure to listen to your needs and goals, and then work together to find the exercise, diet, supplements, and more that can help you increase your metabolism and keep your body in the kind of shape you want it in.