Ok…let’s bust THE biggest myth around age related weight gain.
Everyone knows conventional wisdom about metabolism:
- People put pounds on year after year from their 20s onward because their metabolisms slow down, especially around middle age.
- Women have slower metabolisms than men. That’s why they have a harder time controlling their weight.
- Menopause only makes things worse, slowing women’s metabolisms even more.
All wrong, according to a paper published recently in Science. Using data from nearly 6,500 people, ranging in age from 8 days to 95 years, researchers discovered that there are four distinct periods of life, as far as metabolism goes.
They also found that there are no real differences between the metabolic rates of men and women after controlling for other factors.
Central to their findings was that metabolism differs for all people across four distinct stages of life.
- There’s infancy, up until age 1, when calorie burning is at its peak, accelerating until it is 50 percent above the adult rate.
- Then, from age 1 to about age 20, metabolism gradually slows by about 3 percent a year.
- From age 20 to 60, it holds steady.
- And, after age 60, it declines by about 0.7 percent a year.
So…to summarize: this study shows that after controlling for factors like body size and muscle mass, researchers found that there are basically four phases of metabolic rates, and that a slowdown in adults doesn’t occur until after age 60.
So what’s the deal? Many people DO gain weight after 40 …if it’s not because of a slower metabolism, then WHY?
First you could be suffering from a medical condition so be sure to have all of the appropriate age-related medical tests performed to rule that out.
But perhaps the biggest reason people over 40 start to gain more weight is because they STOP moving and start to lose muscle mass. Body composition is one of the biggest factors in your metabolism.
So the question to ask is: How active are you during the day?
- How much time do you spend seated vs. standing,
- how many steps you take each day,
- and more!
We’ve got some great stats for you, that are pretty eye-opening.
If you’ve ever had an office job, or had a job doing something like waiting tables, you will 100% relate to what we are about to tell you, because chances are you will have gone through this firsthand.
It boils down to this: The more active you are, the more active your metabolism will be. Plain and simple.
The difference in your activity can add up to hundreds of calories a day. And this can have a huge impact on whether you stay the same weight, gain weight, or lose weight!
Plus, being less active is linked with a long list of health issues, including
- heart disease,
- obesity, and
- even some kinds of cancer.
First, we want you to think about how active you are every day.
For example, do you mostly sit down, are you up and down a lot, or are you on your feet moving around most of the day?
We’re going to share some CRAZY stats with you, which are based on someone who weighs around 145 pounds. So if you weigh more, you will burn slightly more calories, and if you weigh less, you will burn less.
Also, a quick caveat. We are a firm believer that the quality of food is SO IMPORTANT and goes way beyond the number of calories it has …. but just for illustration’s sake we’re using pizza in our examples below, because it’s an easy reference for everyone!
So here we go! Let’s say you have a desk job – like you’re an accountant, an IT developer, a receptionist, or an office manager.
During the day you would burn an estimated 820 calories during the workday.
Just for illustration’s sake, that’s about the number of calories in just under 2 slices of cheese pizza. For the whole day!
Now, let’s say you are a little more active than that at work. You’re up and down a lot – like a teacher, personal trainer, cook, realtor, healthcare worker, or first responder.
People in this category would burn about 1,020 calories during the day. In keeping with our pizza example, that’s about 2½ slices of cheese pizza.
Finally, here are the stats if you have a very active job, like a farmer, wait person, landscaper, or construction worker. These people not only rack up a lot of steps every day, but they often are lifting and carrying things.
This group burns around 1,400 calories every day. That’s about 3½ pizza slices.
That adds up to a 70% difference between the sedentary job and the most active one!
AND … over the course of a 5-day workweek, that’s almost 1 pound!!!
This is why it is so important to work extra activity into your day whenever possible … especially if you have a sedentary job.
This isn’t just for your weight, but also for your energy and vitality! You will feel so much better.
Can you take a 5 or 10 minute break every hour for a quick walk around the office? If you work at home, can you sneak in some push-ups or squats every once in a while?
Start brainstorming little ways you can boost your activity level. Your body and your metabolism will definitely thank you for it.
If you need help with strategies for this, JOIN OUR FREE 5 DAY METABOLIC JUMPSTART!