Ben Emanuel II
They say that life starts at 40. But what they don’t tell you is that your metabolism slows down significantly as well from this point forward. From 40 onward, the body loses around 5% of its metabolism every decade. And along with a slower metabolism is the expected change in your body composition. That’s why it’s common to see individuals gain more body fat as they get older.
So how do you improve your physique when you’re no longer 20 years old and losing weight is harder than ever?
Three things can affect your metabolic rate. First, you have genetics. If your parents were thin, then you can also expect that you won't be getting too big by the time you hit their age. Next, you also have thyroid functions. Thyroid functions are more common among women than men. By the time women hit their 40s, there is also a chance that thyroid issues are going to be more common as well contributing to a slower metabolic rate.
And lastly, you have muscle mass. Muscle mass is said to be more “metabolically active” than body fats. What it means is that you get to burn more calories even at rest when you have more lean muscle mass.
Now that you know exactly what affects your metabolism, it is important to also make the necessary changes in your approach to be able to improve your overall physique.
With faster metabolism at play when you were in your 20s and 30s, you may have gotten away with a bad diet and still enjoy a great physique. This will no longer be the case once you hit your 40s.
There is evidence that staying active can also affect your appetite. It can signal your body that it needs food. Without proper control over what you eat, there is a chance that you will simply nullify the amount of fat that you’ve burned from your workout.
There are different ways on how you can optimize the food that you eat. First, it is ideal that you get a nutritionist who can help you fix your meals. With the help of a nutritionist, it is possible to not only tweak the meals that you eat to improve your macronutrient and micronutrient intake but to also know the proper timing of your meals.
However, if you don’t have the extra cash to hire a professional nutritionist, you can always stick to your basics. You will need to make sure to not only count your calories. It is equally important to know how much macros you are eating daily.
For those who are looking to improve their muscle mass, it is common to see articles suggesting at least 0.7 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. However, there is a study that points to 0.4g of protein per kilogram of body weight per meal to be able to maximize anabolism. On top of that, you should be eating at least four times a day to ensure that you build muscles.
Another important factor that you have to consider is how much fiber you take in your meals. Fiber is known to help you stay satisfied and therefore lessen cravings that could lead to unnecessary calories. There are simple ways on how you can approach this. For starters, instead of eating white rice, you can now transition towards brown rice. Also, be conscious to eat vegetables and fruits every meal. 38 grams of fiber among men and 25 grams of fiber per day for women can do the trick.
There is no denying that cardio workouts such as running can definitely burn a lot of calories and could help you lose fats. Though running, swimming, and other cardiovascular activities can help build lung capacity, you have muscles to be able to maximize your metabolism. And for you to build muscles, you have to hit the weights.
Does it mean that you have to be bench pressing 300 pounds to be able to improve your physique? You can always start with simple resistance training. If you don’t have access to gyms, you can even start with dumbbells, or freeweights can also do wonders.
Also, if you are going to pick exercises that you can integrate into your program, might as well choose movement that has the most calorie-burning effect. Between squats and bicep curls, the former will require more calories simply because it involves a larger muscle group.
There is no shame in taking more rest days than when you were younger. It is even ideal to get one full day of rest in case you are too tired from your workouts. Rest is often underrated thinking that you are not getting any benefits from it. In reality, rest allows your muscles to grow. Also, it can even help you to mentally reset.
Apart from rest days, you also want to improve your quality of sleep. You will need to sleep at least 8 hours a day plus sleep in a pitch-black room to optimize recovery.
Aging is inevitable. However, it also doesn’t mean that you will not be able to see your best self once you hit 40s. With the right approach, it is even possible to achieve a better physique than in your younger years. What do you think of these tips? Let us know what you think!