Metabolic Age. What is it and why is it important?
What is Metabolic Age?
Talk of metabolic age has infiltrated the health and fitness industry in recent years, but what does metabolic age even mean?
Simply put, your metabolic age is an estimate of your body’s metabolic health compared to other people your age. Metabolic health is a term used to describe how well our bodies process energy (food) in the body. In other words, is your metabolism functioning efficiently for your age?
Why is it important?
Our bodies are amazing machines. When properly cared for, they can function optimally, and we can feel our best physically, mentally and emotionally. When our bodies are in a healthy state, they have a tremendous amount of flexibility when it comes to our metabolism. When our metabolism is compromised, or in a state of dysfunction, our bodies begin to pay the price. We become more at risk for chronic metabolic conditions, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Heart disease
It’s not just the risk of chronic conditions to be worried about either, when your metabolism is compromised, it can begin to affect your day-to-day life. Metabolic dysfunction has also been associated with symptoms of depression, poor brain function, anxiety, brain fog, lack of energy, poor memory, mood swings, chronic pain, and skin issues such as acne and psoriasis.
In the United States, it is estimated that upwards of 88% of the population has at least some metabolic dysfunction. That’s a lot of people suffering needlessly!
What is a good Metabolic Age and how is it calculated?
Nobody likes looking or feeling older than they are, and the same is true for your metabolism. Having a metabolic age that is the same or below your actual age is considered ideal.
When calculating your metabolic age, your gender, height, weight, age, and approximate body fat percentage are all considered. As well as your BMI and BMR.
Your BMR is an especially important component when calculating and understanding your metabolic age. BMR represents the minimum calories your body needs to function, or in other words the number of calories your body burns at rest.
You can find a great metabolic calculator here.
How to improve your metabolic age?
First off it is never too late to take back control, and start to shift your metabolic health and your overall wellbeing from day to day. There are three main factors experts recommend:
Maintain a stable body weight
Yes, your calories count. Nearly 75% of adults in the United States are overweight. If you’re more than 10 pounds away from your ideal weight, weight loss is the first step. When your goal is weight loss, you need to focus on a rebalance your portions of protein, carbs, and fats. Like most people, you’re more than likely getting too many carbs, which is overwhelming your metabolism. Staying within a daily caloric target based on your goals is vital.
Protecting and building muscle
Muscles are the foundation of your body’s metabolic system and health. Consuming optimal amounts of high-quality protein to energize and protect your muscles is key. Protein is the secret sauce of muscle health. Eating a high protein breakfast to start your day is recommended in order to start your day off on the right foot. Protein helps you feel fuller throughout the day which can also aid in weight loss if that is your goal.
Routine exercise is vital to maintain muscle function and metabolism. Many people cringe when they hear the word “exercise” because they think that means you must become a gym rat! But if we can broaden our definition to simply mean muscle movement, it becomes easier to wrap our heads around it. Think walking, housework, climbing stairs, yoga, etc.! ALL movement is good muscle movement.
Muscle and metabolic health require an optimal balance between diet and exercise. The big picture for success requires controlling calorie intake to maintain stable body weight, consuming optimal amounts of high-quality protein to energize and protect your muscles, and routine exercise to maintain muscle function and metabolism. The exact balance of these components is influenced by your age, current health status, and your personal lifestyle choices.
Knowing your Metabolic Age and how to improve it, can be a powerful tool to not only feeling better in your day to day life now, but your future self will thank you as well. Functioning and feeling good starts from the inside out.
Find out your metabolic age today! Calculator linked below