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It’s not exactly anti-aging, but as I get set to turn 51, my scale says my metabolic age is only 43! The reading comes from a Fitnale Smart Digital Weight Scalesmart scale that I use at home and in the office and gives you these additional readings on an app that you download.  If you want to pick it up for yourself, here is the link: https://amzn.to/2H2I0op.

Basically, this means that for people my age, my numbers are closer to the average or baseline for men age 43. Let’s take a closer look at what this means, and how you can also reverse your metabolic age.  I have to say that 90% of the patients I weigh at the office have a metabolic age that is 5 to 10 years older than their current age.  This number is usually the wake-up call these patients need to realize they need to change some habits.

What is Metabolic Age?

Your metabolic age is how your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or how many calories your body burns at rest, compared to the average BMR for people of your chronological age in the general population. So naturally, the next question is what is BMR?

Your BMR is the minimum number of calories it takes for your body to function at rest. This means that if you wake up, grab the remote, and veg on the couch all day, your body will still burn a certain amount of calories  – which is your BMR. These calories are used up as your body is doing things like breathing, digesting, and circulating blood.

A higher BMR means you need to burn more calories to sustain yourself throughout the day.  A lower BMR means your metabolism is slower.  Ultimately, leading a healthy lifestyle, exercising, and eating well is what’s important, and knowing your BMR and understanding how that number reflects your health is very helpful.

This number does not take into account physical activity. This is important because about 60 to 75 percent of the calories you burn each day happen while you’re seemingly doing nothing (I guess that’s a good thing!).

To estimate your BMR, you have to factor in your sex, height (in centimeters), weight (in kilograms), and age. You can use the Harris-Benedict Equation calculator or use the appropriate formula below:
Male: 66.5 + (13.75 x kg) + (5.003 x cm) – (6.775 x age)
Female: 655.1 + (9.563 x kg) + (1.850 x cm) – (4.676 x age)
Or you can click on this link for a BMR calculator that does show you an exercise modified: https://bit.ly/3o38fM2

How you can improve your metabolic age?

The answer is diet and alternating aerobic and weight-training exercises.  If you cut down on calories, without adding exercise, your body will start to think you’re trying to kill it! Restricting calories from the typical range your body is used to will often cause it to slow the metabolism down, basically resulting in the exact opposite of what you’re looking to accomplish. That’s why diets often fail, and the weight you lose often finds its way back.

If you don’t cut down your calorie intake, and only try to improve your BMR by exercising, you’ll find it will take a very long time. It takes a good paced walk or light jog of about 5 miles per day to just lose a single pound of fat.  And, your body won’t just lose fat, it will also lose muscle since walking and jogging are exclusively aerobic types of exercise  – and that’s also what you’re not trying to accomplish.  In fact, it’s crucial to maintain muscle since we naturally lose muscle as we age, and our metabolism generally slows down as you slow down.  Having more muscle keeps your metabolism revving higher since muscles burn more calories than fat.

The magic formula is cutting calories below your current BMR number and increasing both aerobic and weight training exercises. This will help you avoid the metabolic slowdown that keeps you from losing weight, and also improves your BMR to burn more calories, even while you’re not exercising.  This is often referred to as ‘afterburn’ – and it’s the best of both worlds – your body is at rest and still burning calories from yesterday’s workout!

In Summary

You’ve heard me sing this song before, and I just hope you take the time to memorize the words because it will result in a beautiful melody of health and wellness in your life.
1. Choose whole carbs over refined carbs (think berries, veggies, and quinoa)
2. Choose lean forms of protein (chicken, fish, and turkey)
3. Replace sugary drinks with water and stay away from bottled juices
4. Cut down on portion size – stick to a palm-sized portion of protein each meal
5. Work with a health coach – no seriously!
6. Move your body! Remember it’s diet and exercise in order for your BMR

John Garcia, Certified Health Coach – UpLevel Living

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