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Age-related metabolic changes and their impact on health

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It is widely known that as we age, we experience changes in our metabolism that can affect our ability to maintain a healthy body weight. These changes are related to how our body processes the food and drinks we consume, converting them into energy. Understanding these changes is critical to making informed decisions about our health and lifestyle as we age.

Metabolic slowdown

One of the main factors contributing to age-related metabolic changes is the loss of muscle mass. From the age of 30, if we do not take active measures to counteract this process, such as resistance training, we begin to lose between 3% and 5% of muscle mass per decade. Since muscle tissue is more metabolically active than adipose tissue, this loss reduces the basal metabolic rate (BMR), that is, the amount of energy our body needs to function at rest.

Hormonal changes

In addition to muscle loss, hormonal changes can also influence metabolism as we age. In women, menopause can cause a decrease in estrogen levels, which can contribute to weight gain, especially around the abdomen, and a decrease in metabolism. In men, testosterone levels also gradually decrease, which can result in a reduction in muscle mass and therefore a decrease in BMR.

Reduced physical activity

As we age, it is common for us to become less physically active. This decrease in physical activity contributes to lower overall energy demand, which can lead to excess calories that are stored as fat if we do not properly adjust our food intake.

Impact on health and management strategies

These metabolic changes can have a significant impact on our health. Weight gain and body fat accumulation can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Therefore, it is crucial to adapt our eating and exercise habits as we age to counteract these negative effects.

Strategies to maintain a healthy metabolism

To maintain a healthy metabolism as we age, it is advisable to follow these strategies:

1. Increase physical activity

Include both resistance exercises to help build and maintain muscle mass, and aerobic exercises to improve cardiovascular health and burn calories.

2. Adjust caloric intake

As the metabolism slows down, our calorie needs also decrease. It is important to adjust the amount of calories consumed and focus on a diet rich in nutrients, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

3. Maintain hydration

Water is essential for an efficient metabolism. Ensuring you consume enough water each day can help optimize metabolic function.

4. Monitor metabolic health

Have regular checkups with a health professional to monitor indicators such as blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.


Although it is natural for metabolism to slow with age, taking proactive measures can help minimize the impact of these changes and maintain optimal weight and health over the years. Adapting our lifestyle habits to the changing needs of our body is key to aging in a healthy and active way.

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