Many people complain about increasing weight as they age, even though they have tried to eat less than they did before. Aging can certainly be accompanied with increasing body weight; however, it is something that can be avoided or at least minimized.
Your BMR as You Age
BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate refers to the number of calories that you burn every day to be able fuel the involuntary processes that are taking place inside your body as your heart beats, your brain functions and your digestive system continues to perform its duty.
It is an estimation of how much energy your body needs to maintain its status quo in a resting state. Intake of energy above this level, minus energy expended on physical and mental activity, will determine if there is likely to be a net gain or loss in body weight.
A person’s BMR depends to a large degree on their body composition. This means that people who have more muscle mass will have more calories burned within a 24-hour cycle. This is because muscle needs more calories than fat to sustain. Muscle cells are more active than fat cells which are principally storage cells.
With other factors being equal, those who are overweight, inactive and have a diet based on simple carbohydrate foods will have a lower and slower BMR than someone who is active and has a diet based on protein, healthy fats and whole foods. The concept of “fat-burning” includes actions which increase the BMR.
Most people tend to decrease their level of physical activity as they age. This means that their bodies need fewer calories now than they did when they were still young and actively working or playing sports with their peers.
The average individual will lose about 10 per cent of their muscle mass per decade starting at the age of 45. Therefore, by the time they reach 45 years old, they will start losing up to one-half pound of muscle every year while their body gains the same amount of fat. If you are now in your 60’s your body will no longer need as much calories so you should adjust your intake accordingly.
The Importance of Having a High-Nutrient Eating Plan
Many studies have concluded that caloric restriction is one consistent factor that helps prolong a human being’s lifespan. It is increasingly obvious that a healthy diet, which means consuming the right types of food daily, will help reduce the body’s desire for more caloric intake.
Simply focusing on counting calories, but basing intake on simple carbs, sugars and starches will lead to constantly feeling hungry and deprived. Eating nutrient-rich food with adequate protein and fat included will help feel sated with less calories consumed.
This will help to increase both BMR and lifespan. When your body becomes accustomed to eating less calories you will find it easier to enjoy food without the need to battle against the urge to overeat. Check out the eating plans on our sister site, Good Nutrition Naturally.
Exercise Remains the Safest Way to Raise Metabolism
During exercise, the body’s peripheral tissues will be activated, causing the body to utilize more calories while also increasing total muscle mass. This will result in increased total caloric expenditure. It is also well-known that exercise is essential for promoting longevity.
Combining healthy eating patterns and exercise routines that include aerobic and strength components will contribute greatly to delaying the adverse effects of aging on health and wellbeing. Senior fitness materials are coming soon to Good Fitness for Families. Check us out!