Have you ever thought:
💭 “As I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten harder to lose weight.”
💬 “Now if I even look at food, I gain weight.”
🗯 “My metabolism isn’t what it used to be–must be my age.”
Welcome to the club. Ha!
But – I’ll be honest – it’s a very disempowered place to be.
Look, it’s no secret that we can’t stop time so it feels hopeless, right?
I mean, you can’t (officially) change your age so you can’t do anything about the sluggish metabolism either, right?
There is hope. And there is still plenty you can do to keep your metabolism humming and healthy for life.
So if you’re feeling like your body is working against you as you age, stay with me because age doesn’t really slow things down until much later in life … and that’s a VERY GOOD THING. Keep reading and I’ll break down the silver lining.
When does age start to affect metabolism?
For a long time, we thought metabolism naturally started to slow down in our 30s or 40s and that’s why so many people gain weight in middle-age.
However, we now know that’s a crock.
A recent study published in Science looked at data collected from 6,421 people (64% of whom were female) with ages ranging from 8 days to 95 years old and found that the number of calories that our bodies use each day remains stable between the ages of 20-60 (Pontzer et. al, 2021).
So age doesn’t even start to cause a decline in your metabolism until you’re in your 60s.
If a slowing metabolism is not the reason for weight gain in middle age, then what is?
More studies are needed to know for sure but it’s probably a combination of lifestyle choices, behaviors, and habit shifts that commonly occur in middle-age that slow things down for our metabolism.
For example, as you age:
- You might be less active than when you were younger
- Your food choices may have changed – you’re now eating and drinking more higher-calorie grab-and-go convenience foods instead of cooking well-balanced meals
- You might be doing less muscle-building exercise and/or not eating enough protein
- You might be getting less sleep time and/or quality
- You might have dieted your way to a less responsive metabolism (no, your metabolism isn’t “broken”, it’s adapted)
So how do you keep your metabolism from slowing through middle age?
SPOILER ALERT: It’s NOT through so-called “metabolism-boosting” supplements or shakes and teas that promise to “fix” or hack your way to a faster metabolism.
It turns out that we already know all the “tricks” to keep our metabolic fires burning throughout our lives. All evidence points to simple lifestyle changes which I took a dive deep into in my Fuel Your Awesome Nutrition Guide.
But today, I’m sharing the Cliff’s Notes with you 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
So how is this all a good thing?
I know, I know, I promised you a silver lining and here it is:
We can’t change our age but we can change our behaviors and habits. So the good news here is that we actually have a lot more control over our metabolism than we used to think.
But let’s be real here, while these metabolism-maximizing lifestyle changes are SIMPLE, they aren’t EASY.
First of all, lasting habit change is HARD.
Also, most of us already have a ton on our plates – making it even harder to make lifestyle changes.
And finally, there’s a lot of noise and conflicting information out there about the “best ways” to eat, exercise, get more sleep, and manage stress – so it’s tough to know who and what to listen to.
Now I want to hear from you.
When it comes to making positive changes to your nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and stress levels, what are your biggest challenges?
Seriously, I’m not kidding. Comment below, I want to know!!
P.S. Get excited … I’m building something super cool to help give you back your hope and power through totally-doable action items that’ll put these challenges in the rear-view mirror where they belong!