You may have heard the phrase metabolic age, or used a metabolic age calculator to work out yours, but what does the result mean, what is normal, and what should you do about it?

What is a metabolic age?

The rate at which we burn calories, also known as your basal metabolic rate, reduces as we get older. This contributes to why people sometimes find they put on weight, or get ‘middle-age spread’ as they get older, despite eating largely the same diet. Reliable metabolic age measurements, like those from a Tanita monitor, compare the rate you burn calories with the average for people of the same age, and calculate your metabolic age based on that. Put simply, your metabolic age calculation gives you an idea of how old you are on the inside. About 70% of the calories you use each day are used by your basal metabolism, to enable your body to do all the normal things it needs to do - you even continue to burn calories when you are sleeping. The more you do and the more muscle you have enabling you to exercise, the more your basal metabolism will increase and the more calories you will burn. This in turn will result in your Tanita monitor recording a lower metabolic age for you.

Why does my metabolic age matter?

Metabolic age is a helpful indicator because it shows us how healthy we are in ways that are not visible when you look in a mirror. You can see if you might want to reduce your body fat, and a simple scale will tell you if you might be too heavy, but many people want to know the answer to the more important question – how healthy am I?

My metabolic age is 40, but I’m only 35 – what should I do?

If your metabolic age is higher than your actual age, it indicates you would benefit from exercising more and building healthy muscle which will in turn help to increase your basal metabolic rate. Maybe get your friends involved agree a challenge for 2020 to see who can lose the most years off their metabolic age? Metabolic age is just one of the measurements that your Tanita monitor can give you to help you keep healthy and you can look back at earlier blog posts to find out more about the other useful measurements such as total body water and body fat percentage. Have fun getting healthier this year and let us know how you are getting on!