Our metabolic rate (the number of calories we burn in a day) decreases as we age. More specifically, it decreases by about 1% each year after the age of 30.
I honestly never gave my metabolic rate much thought. In fact, while I know this is a widely accepted research based finding, I never really believed it. I figured that as long as I continued eating healthy most of the time and working out regularly most of time, I would be a-okay in terms of maintaining my weight.
Yeah, so I was WRONG!
Before I say more, I want to stress that this is a personal post about my body and my journey. EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT! Please keep this in mind. Thanks!
I’ve blogged about my personal healthy living journey at length. The basic gist is that the majority of my 20s were spent trying to lose weight in all the wrong ways. The big turning point came in my late 20s. I was sick of over exercising and not fueling my body the way it needed to be. Slowly but surely, my habits became more balanced, and I gained a newfound sense of respect for my body. I ditched my cardio queen ways and started strength training, and I took an avid interest in understanding food beyond what the labels told me.
During this time, I lost quite a bit of weight. Earlier on it wasn’t necessarily healthy weight loss, but with each passing year, I came to my senses and eventually snapped out of it. And guess what – I learned that it was fairly easy for me to lose and maintain weight in my 20s. I had plenty of energy, and my body responded to food differently. Even after a few days of unhealthy eats, I could get back on track fairly quickly.
Then came my 30s. Or at least the first two years. I’m still on a journey. I have my off days where I don’t love the way I look, but overall, I’m positive Par and know that what I see in the mirror is a very small part of the big picture. My thoughts are more so focused on what I want my body to accomplish in 10, 20, 30 years and what I need to do today to ensure I get there.
That brings me to maintenance in my 30s. I know I’m only two years in, but I can already tell that it’s going to be more challenging to stay fit. Poor eating, more alcohol than intended, larger potion sizes – all things that didn’t affect me as much in my 20s are now harder to recover from. Even when I’m working out regularly.
How do I know this? Well, I ditched my daily scale habit a long time ago, but I still hop on every now and then. And I’ve noticed that over the last couple of years, it takes way more effort to maintain and not gain.
I’m not naïve, I know genetics plays a role in how we put on weight and that different factors during the month impact the number we see on the scale. Let’s just say that what I’m noticing is a trend and not an exact science.
If you thought I was going to share how I’m maintaining my weight in my 30s, I’m sorry but I don’t have much advice to offer except eat smaller portions, eat less junk, drink less alcohol, and move more than you think you need to. It’s not the end of the world though. So many of my friends and family members are in fantastic shape (after multiple babies at that!). It’s possible (phew!), but for me personally and maybe for some of you, it’s just going to be a bit more work than I thought!
Bottom line: Even though it was easier to bounce back in my 20s, I’ll take a (much more) positive mindset and a little extra hard work any day! Bring it on 30s!
Thanks for reading and happy Friday!