How Essential Is Your Metabolic Age


Metabolic Age: The Best Wake Up Call Ever?

Were you as surprised as I when you found that our Taoiseach's metabolic age is 13 years older than its real age? In case you missed it, Leo Varadkar's metabolic age (53) was revealed in a recent episode of Operation Transformation (he's actually 40 years old). Why is his body “older” than his age? This is a man who has been regularly photographed running and who appears to have lost three stones before being elected Taoiseach in 2017 (some say this was not a coincidence as voters – often unconsciously – have concerns about a candidate's appearance on health and health suitability for the role). Varadkar went from having a very unsuitable lifestyle (apparently quite reliant on ready meals and pints) to marathons and even triathlons. So then what went wrong with his metabolic age on the show?

Cue Claire Byrne, RTE's powerful current affairs moderator. She announced in her program that she would do the same BMR test live in her program after the Taoiseach's bad BMR result that became known.

"Look, I don't lift weights, I don't do any of this … it's going to be awful," protested Byrne, who said that her team persuaded her to take the test and that she thought it was great "crazy" ”.

"I'm 43 years old and I don't lift weights or do any resistance (training). When I'm 53 years old, I'm happy because I think I deserve it," she added.

"We've all heard the excuses now," said Professor Moyna of the DCU School of Health and Human Performance.

"Twenty-eight," he announced to the moderator's delight.

"I'm so relieved, so relieved," said Byrne.

What is the metabolic age?

Your metabolic age is how your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or how many calories your body burns at rest, compared to the average BMR for people your chronological age in the general population. BMR is just a measure of a person's overall health and fitness, and just one of the guideline measurements we use in preparing our client's weight loss program.

Metabolic Age – How Is It Done?

Similar to the devices we use here at Motivation, the manufacturers of Operation Transformation have installed a Tanita scale that shows not only weight, but also body fat and metabolic age. All Tanita body composition monitors use advanced bioelectrical impedance analysis technology.

First, the person's age and gender are also entered. Then when you stand on the Tanita scale, a very low, safe electrical signal is sent through your feet to your legs and stomach from four metal electrodes (anyone with a pacemaker should not be on the scale). Essentially, the scales evaluate how easily the currents can move through your body.

The electrical signal goes quickly through water present in hydrated muscle tissue, but encounters resistance when it encounters adipose tissue. This resistance, known as impedance, is measured and entered into scientifically validated Tanita equations to calculate measurements of body composition.

The result of Leo Varadkar means that he must have more fat than muscle, as fat prevents the electrical currents from traveling and he therefore had a higher metabolic age. This may be because he's carrying more visceral fat than he should (the fat in the middle), and due to the fact that he's so big, we may not notice it that much (and neither will he!).

Because of this, it is important to have other means of measuring our health and fitness. We can't just rely on our eyes!

Metabolic Age – It's Not Just a Number

Do you know how old your metabolism is? After losing weight I was 10 or 15 years younger but I'm sure I would be shocked to see what it is now when I recover from surgery. This means that while I'm gaining fat, I'm losing muscle mass quickly (I eat healthy foods, but my sedentary lifestyle means I'm naturally burning very few calories. Also, I'm over 40, so my body naturally loses muscle and gain fat at every opportunity). Personally, I've used metabolic age to find out how fit I am and whether I'm eating healthy. It's an extremely useful tool that can be very motivating for customers (for example, many will aim to be "10 years younger" by the end of their program – before switching to our maintenance program – and I am excited to say that most succeed). My own plan is to work hard as soon as I can run again to rebuild muscle. In the meantime, all I can do is focus on finding the right food.

Metabolic Age – Use It To Help You Meet Your Goals

When metabolic age is monitored over time, it is a fantastic way to show the effects of a fitness program or weight loss program. As you increase your muscle mass, your metabolic age will decrease over time (as it speeds up your basal metabolic rate or BMR). A person with a high BMR will burn more calories at rest than a person with a low BMR (yes – even if you are sitting or sleeping!).

When motivated, we use the Tanita results to measure your BMR reading, and then we can use that information as the minimum baseline for your weight loss program (in other words, when we know how many calories your body needs to function properly Then, like you should, eat a lot each day to keep you deficit – and when you don't have enough, we know that your body needs to burn its own fat for energy.

We'll adjust this accordingly as your BMR decreases over time, taking exercise and physical activity into account, of course. The more active you are, the more calories you burn and the more muscle you build. So, you need to make sure that you are consuming enough calories to keep your body fit and healthy. However, if your body mass decreases (and you achieve a leaner, "smaller" body shape) because there is less body mass (less of you!), That needs to be taken into account as well, since a larger body will burn more calories than a smaller body mass. It all determines the amount of calories we recommend for your maintenance program.

The BMR increases as the child matures and peaks at 16 or 17 years of age. After that, he usually begins to lose weight. A slow BMR makes it harder to lose body fat and overall weight. It's important to make everyone over 35 aware of sarcopenia, which occurs when we lose muscle and our metabolism slows down in middle age. The good news is that this is not inevitable and there are some easy ways to slow down or even reverse this process: Read more here. At this age, maximizing muscle mass should become a more important priority. If you're new to weight training, try our beginner's guide here.

Can You Improve Your BMR Score?

Yes. I've seen it again and again with Motivation customers. It's so rewarding for them to see their metabolic age change from 10 years older than their actual age to 10 years younger at some point!

A combination of diet and exercise will in most cases improve your score over time. And your weight loss advisor can help you with this (sometimes it can be slow to change, but with patience you will get it; after all, it's just a science so there is no cheating).

What we eat is crucial for building muscle. It's important to eat enough protein regularly to build muscle. Snacks include protein bars, almonds, hummus with carrot sticks, Babybel cheese, or a boiled egg or a small serving of beans. Sources of protein for main meals can be chicken, meat, or fish, or even vegetarian sources like chickpeas, lentils, or other beans (try our great chili recipe to help you focus on red kidney beans.

Who should take the test?


Determining your metabolic age and BMR is useful information, especially if you are on a weight loss program or want to improve your fitness. So the test can help make better use of a workout by determining which form of exercise works best. It is easier to control your weight when you know how many calories you are burning on a daily basis and it depends on the person. With this assessment, you will learn how your natural metabolism is helping or hindering your goals, and your weight loss advisor can point out things you can do to speed up your BMR and thereby decrease your metabolic age.

For me it's a piece of cake. Knowing my metabolic age is one of the best estimates of how healthy I am (a reminder to check if I'm back at the clinic anytime soon).

Let's all be 10 years younger – then we can remind our partners that they are lucky enough to have bagged such a youthful partner!

Check out our first advice on weight loss assessment. For only € 25 we will calculate the BMR and carry out a weight loss assessment.


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