In a new study examining how metabolism fluctuates throughout our lives, a revealing measure found that our metabolism remains largely constant between the ages of 20 and 60. So if you want to get lean, stay fit, or even lose weight, don’t blame your aging metabolism. Instead, take a look at your diet and exercise habits and other lifestyle factors.
The study measured a key indicator of the amount of energy we burn both at rest and during daily tasks like eating and during our daily exercise, namely the amount of CO2 we exhale. This method reliably measures the number of calories we burn because when we breathe, we exhale the carbon dioxide that is broken down when cells use energy for fuel.
The study, published this month in Science, used data from 6,421 men and women aged eight days to 95 years and found that people’s metabolisms do not slow down with age, as we previously thought. Adjusted for weight, height and activity level, women and men have the same chance of keeping their metabolisms healthy as they age, the study found.
A lifetime change in your metabolism
The researcher’s measurements examined “total and baseline energy” output over the years and found that the most dramatic slowdown in metabolism occurs between ages 1 and 20, when we grow into our adult height and weight, and then we hit the cruise control. metabolically to 60. After that it slows down again, but at a much slower rate.
During the first year of life, the growing baby’s metabolism accelerates rapidly as it grows rapidly until the baby reaches the age of 1, and then begins to slow down year by year until the age of 20. Continue eating healthily, a predominantly plant-based diets high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, and we exercise and strength train to maintain our muscle tone allow us to enjoy robust metabolisms during most of our lives.
This is how your metabolism changes over time
- In the first year of life, from 0 to 1 year, your metabolism increases 50 percent more than in adulthood
- Between the ages of 1 and 20, your metabolism drops by almost 3 percent per year.
- Between the ages of 20 and 60, your metabolism does not change
- After age 60, your metabolism drops slightly by 0.7 percent each year
“These data suggest that the ‘mean age range’ that we all know only anecdotally or personally is not due to a change in intrinsic metabolism, as has long been assumed,” he says Rozalyn Anderson, Ph.D., co-author of an article published alongside the study. She is a professor in the Department of Geriatrics at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Overlook Terrace at the University of Wisconsin. “It’s now much more likely that behavioral changes are the cause.” Essentially, what this means is that our diet and exercise, our stress levels, and our lifestyle (how much we sleep, drink, and how we cope with adversity) all play a part how well we age.
Why your metabolism matters
Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories for fuel, and as your energy needs increase, your calorie burning rates change as well. But if you think: As I get older I will inevitably slow down, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy since your body doesn’t have to “slow down”. In fact, studies show that to maintain your muscle tone as you age, you need to add more strength training to your daily routine.
The body naturally loses about 1 percent of its muscle tone every year after the age of 30, studies have shown. This is called sarcopenia and the reason it affects metabolism is because muscle burns more calories than fat at rest. So, the more you maintain your lean muscle tone, the more likely you’ll be able to stay fit, healthy, and maintain a healthy weight as you age.
Building strong muscles and maintaining a healthy diet are keys to keeping your metabolism as high in your 40s or 50s or even 60 as you were in your 20s, this new study shows. “Aging is not a disease. There are diseases of old age, but that doesn’t mean they’re inevitable,” Susan Vannucci, RD, Ph.D. a wellness expert in New York City who offers personalized wellness consultations for people ages 45 and older The carrot. She advises her clients to do strength training at least three times a week and to eat healthily.
Vannucci advises anyone in their 30s, 40s, and beyond to stay away from processed foods, especially junk food, and instead focus on an anti-inflammatory diet made up mostly of plant-based foods. But eat them whole, because potato chips are plant-based but not healthy.
bottom line: Your metabolism doesn’t change much from 20 to 60. If you want to keep your metabolism high and your body burning at a higher calorie rate, then maintain strength training and a healthy, plant-based diet.
The top 20 vegetables with the most protein
Everyone thinking about going plant-based has the same question: where do I get my protein from? Simple answer: vegetables! Contrary to popular belief that to get enough protein in your diet, you need to eat animal protein, one of the best ways to get protein is through eating vegetables. Animals provide protein because they are fed protein-rich plants. So if you cut out the middle man – or in this case the middle cow or chicken – you can get the same protein by going straight to him – the source.