Marla Ahlgrimm | What Is Metabolism?

Marla AhlgrimmYou’ve almost no doubt heard someone say, “Just wait. Your metabolism will tank in your 30s!” But, what does this mean? And what is metabolism anyway? Marla Ahlgrimm offers up answers below. 

Q: What is metabolism?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Metabolism is the natural process your body uses to convert food into energy. The more efficient your metabolism, the faster your food is converted. This also means that you can eat more calories and do less physical activity without gaining a significant amount of weight.

Q: Does it really slow with age?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Metabolism does slow with age. Typically, women – and men – began to lose muscle and gain fat sometime around their late 30s. In addition to physical changes, age-related weight gain may also be due to sedentary lifestyles.

Q: What are some factors that affect metabolism?

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm: Metabolism, like most bodily functions, is affected by virtually everything you do as well as your environment. The types of food you eat can affect your metabolism since different foods are broken down and converted into energy in different ways. Lifestyle is another factor, and someone who is more active will have a more active metabolism. Certain medications may also speed up or slow down your body’s ability to turn food into energy. Hormones also play a part, and the older you get the more your endocrine system will have an effect on your metabolic function.

Q: How can I combat weight gain after menopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: First and foremost, if you gain or lose a significant amount of weight during menopause, talk to your primary care physician. They may be able to help by prescribing hormone therapy to help combat the effects of aging. Next, try to be more active, and pay close attention to what you eat. Avoid foods that are more convenient than nutritional, and plan to eat fruits and vegetables instead of potato chips and other junk food when you need a snack.

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