The Truth About Metabolism

yoga-ladyAlthough it would be convenient to take a magic pill that would reverse the laws of nature and the need for exercise- it’s just not possible, at least not now. Someday scientists predict we may all be able to regulate our genes to block fat storage but, until that fantasy springs into reality, we are left with the cold hard facts. The more you exercise, the more calories you burn and less you have to worry about what you eat.

Living in this fact-based reality we are faced with another problem. As we age, our metabolism slows. The resting metabolic rate we are born with is a genetic luck of the draw. This baseline dictates the amount of exercise we need to maintain our weight. Some people are lucky to inherit a faster metabolism than others. We all know those annoying girls that complain about keeping weight on. They can stuff their faces with burgers, fries and milkshakes and never seem to gain weight, while others of us can merely look at a chocolate cake and gain a pound. Well, that may work for them in their 20s, but eventually time catches up with all of us.

For most of us, our metabolism starts to slow down in our mid-thirties when our muscle mass begins to decline at a rate of about 1% a year. If left unchecked, this is where the problem begins, because lean muscle burns more calories than fat. You can maintain the same workout regimen in your 30s as you did in your 20s and still gain weight. Even worse, muscle mass continues to decline with every passing year.

The only solution to this unfortunate trick of father time is to increase the frequency and intensity of weight training and cardio in your 30s and beyond. It’s not just about staying toned, it’s necessary to continue to build lean muscles just to maintain the metabolism you had in your youth.

Sadly, there are no shortcuts, no metabolism-boosting food, shake or supplement that will change the fact that as we age we must work harder just to maintain. Another disappointing truth is that the process of burning off alcohol in the liver actually supersedes the burning of fat calories. When you drink a hundred calories of alcohol, your body is prevented from burning a hundred calories of fat. Hence the wine waist. If you want to keep your girlish figure, you’re going to have to go easy on the alcohol and fatty foods and work out more. No one ever said life was going to be fair.

Reference: Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program

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