Our metabolism slows down after 40, here's what we can do

What happens to your metabolism after you turn 40?

Does it slow down? The bad news is yes, but the good news is, you can do something about it.

By now you've heard the age-old saying that your metabolism slows down after 40, but is there any truth to it? Erica Stepteau, a health coach at Cleveland Clinic, says that it’s true the body’s metabolism changes as we age, but there is a reason why this happens.

Stepteau points out that nutrition plays a key role in staying fit after 40.  She says eating a balanced diet with proteins, fats, a little bit of carbs and good minerals and vitamins from fruits and veggie will go a long way.

"After 40, your metabolism does actually start dropping a little bit, but it’s not in the way that you think," she said. "It's because we are dropping the actual muscle mass in our body three to five percent every decade after you're 30 years old."

Stepteau says that loss of muscle mass taps into the body's energy source, which makes it more difficult to keep burning fat. This is why after 40, some people will begin to see some weight gain as they find themselves doing the same exercises that they were doing in their 20s and 30s but not getting the same results.

The good news is that it's possible to beat the metabolism 'drop-off.'

Even if you haven’t been very active in your 20s or 30s, Stepteau recommends starting with a moderate exercise such as brisk walking or stair climbing. She says that keeping your blood flowing also goes a long way towards the prevention of cardiovascular and other diseases.

Stepteau says you can stay ahead of the metabolism curve by picking up a few weights and adding some resistance training with an exercise band to your routine as you get older.

"In your 40s it is critical to pick up a couple of weights and just so that you can create the muscle mass and keep restoring it because you are losing it every decade naturally," he said.  "It's just we're all going in that same direction."

Stepteau also points out that nutrition plays a key role in staying fit after 40. She says eating a balanced diet with proteins, fats, a little bit of carbs and good minerals and vitamins from fruits and vegetables.

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