As we age, our metabolism has a tendency to start slowing down unless we take some proactive measures to prevent it from slowing down.Remember your metabolism in your twenties? Do you remember how much energy you had and how it seemed like you could eat anything because of your very high metabolic rate?

Do you remember how easy it was to be in better shape and how you could lose weight a little quicker than those of us that are a little older?

However, when you started getting closer to your forties, you may have noticed your energy is not what it used to be and it is just not that easy to do the same exercises as before. Also, you might notice it is easier to gain weight and that it has become very difficult to lose this new addition to your body.

Before you go out there and begin to starve yourself and overtrain, check out these tips to why you might not be losing the weight and how can you change this.

Getting older

When you start getting older, your metabolism and your muscle mass decrease. Muscle is one main factor in reducing fat around the body because the more muscle you put on, the less fat your body will store. The reason for this is that it takes more calories to maintain muscle than it does fat. So if you have lean muscle tissue, your body becomes a calorie-burning machine.

However, after a certain age, this lean muscle tissue begins to decrease and it becomes harder to lose fat. At what age this starts is a topic of debate.

A 1998 article in the “Journal of Nutrition” reported on a cross-section of research that showed the overall loss to be 35 to 40 percent between the ages of 20 and 80. Some research reports changes as early as your 20s, but most agree the most significant changes take place after age 50. Both genders lose the same percentage with aging but women lose less mass overall.

When this happens, your metabolism decreases. You might be used to eating X amount of food on a daily basis ever since you were young. However, when you start to lose muscle mass, your body just cannot burn the same amount of calories as efficiently as it did when you were younger.

Metabolism and resistance training

For people over forty, a solution to this problem is to start (or maintain) a sensible resistance training program. By building more lean muscle tissue or maintaining what you already have, your body will continue to burn calories more efficiently and your metabolism will burn those calories so you won’t gain weight as easily.

Also, you should consider eating less but not starting a starvation diet. When your body doesn’t have enough nutrients to sustain lean muscle tissue, you will lose muscle and your metabolism will be shot. This, once again, leads to weight gain.

Metabolism and stress

People over forty tend to be more stressed because of family and work. Stress causes your body to release the stress hormone called cortisol. This hormone has been shown to slow down your metabolism. Even if you continue to eat the same amount of food, you can still continue to put on weight because of this hormone. The more stressed you are the more your metabolism will slow down and the more fat will be stored in your body. Stress is also linked to a large amount of fat being stored in the abdomen. So be cognizant of your stress levels.

By incorporating a sensible resistance training program, a sensible nutrition program, and keeping your stress levels in check, you can keep your metabolism revved up and keep unwanted fat off your body. It just takes dedication and mental fortitude to implement these programs for a healthy lifestyle.