Health Glossary
Health Glossary

Metabolic Age

Metabolic age is all about how many calories your body burns at rest (or the energy your body needs to maintain its everyday functions) and how that compares to other people of your age. It’s a good gauge of your efficiency in burning the calories you consume.
Date 2021-07-14
Updated on 2021-07-29
What does metabolic age mean? What is the ideal metabolic age? Why is my metabolic age higher than my actual age? What does it mean to have a higher/lower metabolic age? How to lower metabolic age? Make Appointment for Medical Services

What does metabolic age mean?

It is calculated by comparing one’s basal metabolic rate (BMR = rate of energy expenditure per unit time at rest) to the average of one’s chronological age group.                                                   

The fitter, healthier, and stronger you are, the lower your metabolic age will be. Muscle burns more than fat, which means someone who has a high level of muscle mass will burn more calories sitting down, than someone with a lower muscle mass.                                     

Calculation of your metabolic age goes by this formula, called the “Mifflin St. Jeor Equation”.  

Once you know your BMR, you’ll compare it to a metabolic age chart.                                                       

For men
BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women
BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161

What is the ideal metabolic age?

If your metabolic age is higher than that of your real age, you may want to improve your metabolic rate. For example, if you are 30 years old and your metabolic age happens to be 25, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if you are 30 and your metabolic age is 35, you may need to work on lowering your metabolic age.

Why is my metabolic age higher than my actual age?

Several factors influence your metabolism and metabolic age:

  • Low Calorie Intake
    The body needs energy (in the form of calories) to function properly. Many individuals trying to lose weight cut their calorie consumption such that it falls way below the required levels. When calorie consumption is too low, the body enters starvation or conservation mode. Your metabolism slows down to compensate for reducing the number of calories you are taking in. The body reduces calorie expenditure to prevent death from starvation.
  • Poor quality of Sleep
    Sleep plays an important role when it comes to metabolism. Research increasingly shows that sleep deprivation can alter glucose metabolism and hormones that regulate appetite (decreased leptin levels and increased ghrelin levels) over time. Sleep loss is also linked to an increased risk of weight gain and diabetes
  • Altered Body Composition
    Body composition refers to the proportions of fat and fat-free mass in the body. Your body composition describes the percentages of muscle, fat, water, and bone in your body. Healthy body composition should include a higher percentage of non-fat mass and a lower percentage of fats, with specific healthy ranges for males and females.

Body composition affects your metabolism—the higher your metabolism, the more calories your body burns. A higher metabolism is beneficial to weight loss and your overall weight. 

The body requires more energy to maintain muscle compared to fat. The more muscle tissue a person has, the more calories are burned at rest. Therefore having a higher percentage of lean tissue can increase your metabolism.

What does it mean to have a higher/lower metabolic age?

If your metabolic age is younger than your actual age, this is great news and shows you’re in good shape. If your metabolic age is higher, this is a sign that you need to improve your metabolic rate by changing your diet and fitness habits, and probably get a health check done.

How to lower metabolic age?

  1. Make sure that the number of calories you consume does not fall too low such that it compromises your body’s functioning. Always consult a dietitian or doctor before you switch to very low-calorie diets.                             
  2. To avoid metabolic dysregulation due to sleep loss, try to sleep for about 8 hours a night.
  3. Unlike fat tissue, lean tissue is metabolically active. To increase your basal metabolic rate and decrease your metabolic age, you should strive to build more muscle. Weight lifting is a great way to build muscle and reduce the percentage of your body fat.   
  4. Balance between your nutrition and exercise. Exercise is needed to burn calories. Proper nutrition, on the other hand, provides the energy and nutrients we need to function properly.
  5. Ensure you consume enough calories but avoid the consumption of extra calories found in sodas, energy drinks, and ultra-processed foods. Also, ensure that you remain physically active to burn calories and build muscle. Eating protein helps you build lean muscle and helps speed up your metabolic rate.

Replace all those simple carbs with complex carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole-grain barley, whole wheat products, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes. The complex, whole foods require more energy to break down, which will help prevent a metabolic slowdown. This, in turn, will help improve your metabolic age.

Make Appointment for Medical Services

Bowtie & JP Health provides a full range of medical services, including body composition analysis services. Call 3169 2269 or click here to make an appointment!

Bowtie x JP Health

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