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Great News! Metabolism Does Not Slow Down After Age 20, Contrary to Popular Belief!

This is exciting stuff, and like one of my patients said: empowering. The study shows that metabolism stays at the exact same rate from age 20-60 years old, even during pregnancy.

As people age, there is often an unwritten expectation that maintaining health gets harder. Life gets full for sure, but your body is still working for you rather than against you.

I love the findings of this study because it debunks the negative self-talk that we're doomed after age 30. If you want to get crunchy into the details, here's the source. If you want to cliff notes, keep reading!

DOI: 10.1126/science.abe5017

This study was conducted over the course of 40 years, looking at metabolic rates of people from age 8 days old to 95 years old.

Half a dozen labs collaborated data using gold standard methods for measuring metabolism. All came up with similar results. Metabolic rates don't change between the ages of 20 - 60 years old.

The gold standard for measuring metabolic rate is by tracking the amount of CO2 exhaled during daily activities. This translates to calories burned.

What else they found:

From age 0 - 1 year old, metabolism is firey! It's 50% above the adult average rate.

From age 1-20 years old, metabolism gradually slows by 3% per year (still very fast, but slowing)

Steady from 20 - 60 years old.

From age 60 onward, metabolism declines by 0.7% per year.

Also! No difference was found amongst genders! They adjusted for body size and muscle mass, and found the trend was the same.

Some people will generally have faster metabolisms than others, and if you have more muscle mass, you will burn more calories, but the general trend shows the same. During those 40 years when the average person gains 1.5 pounds per year, we can no longer blame it on slowing metabolism.

Other factors can contribute to unintentional weight gain: stress, thyroid issues, sleep apnea, change in lifestyle, and food habits, and that's where I come in. I'd love to help you feel good in your body again.

Your body is working for you. Sometimes it just needs a nudge.


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