Metabolism is the process through which the body converts what a person eats into energy. As you age, you lose muscle mass, about 10 percent each decade after age 45.
“Because muscle plays a very important role in calorie burn—it burns more calories than body fat—losing that muscle means a greater likelihood of gaining body fat as you age, Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area, says.
People love to blame their metabolism for gaining weight and usually have a “can’t do anything about it” attitude. This is not true, but it takes little work and a lot of dedication.
“It’s very important to make dietary changes and to prioritize exercise, especially resistance training,” Gorin says. Such strength training can help counteract the decline in metabolism that occurs with aging. After all, muscles burn calories even while you’re resting, she adds.
Staying active is often recommended to boost one’s metabolism. It’s very important on multiple levels. “It’s a good idea to keep in mind that you may need fewer calories than you used to,” Gorin says. For instance, the average 50-year-old woman requires 300 to 500 fewer calories than she did in her 20s to maintain her body weight, she adds.
Eating a balanced, healthy diet, eating every three to five hours, and regularly exercising are really the best things you can do for your metabolism, Gorin says. But you can help it with a few more tips.