Tom Phillips, an author, and journalist, once wrote:
In the same way, I’m sure this is where the myth of age-related metabolism slowdown originated from. Person A said:
Person B added:
Then person C went:
And person D wrapped it all up with:
Listen, age is not what’s holding you back from losing weight and getting fitter (I’m not talking about serious disease states). Your metabolism is probably as good as it has ever been even if you’re 60.
It’s because we don’t really have a slowdown of our metabolism as we age. A recent study (Pontzer et al., 2021) found that our metabolism is extremely stable over the years 20-60:
Even after age 60, metabolism starts to decline only by 0.68% per year. About 7% decline in 10 years. That equates to 140 calories if you consume 2,000 calories. Or a large banana.
You see, your metabolism isn’t affected by age. It’s affected by inactivity and the loss of fat-free mass. Notably muscle mass:
So you’re not broken. It’s not too late to lose weight and change your body composition. There’s nothing holding you back except your mindset (again, injuries and diseases aside).
Fat loss fundamentals are the same whether you’re 30 or 60:
- Eat fewer calories than you burn.
- Hold on to your muscle mass by lifting weights 3-5 times per week (here’s how to create a resistance training program).
- Stay as active as possible throughout your life aka get those 10,000 goddamn steps (read why non-exercise activity thermogenesis so crucial for fat loss).
- Eat mostly nutritious foods and enjoy some “fun” foods too (flexible diet, remember?)
- Increase protein intake.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Ignore *Insert nonsense (such as insulin) that doesn’t matter here.*
This article should empower you because YOU CAN lose weight even if you reached the point in life where your idea of cool time is to sit in a rocking chair for half a day drinking green tea and reading a newspaper.
So don’t blame your age for your weight loss struggles. There’s time and place for this story. And it’s never and nowhere.
You might not become Mr. Olympia in your 50s. By “might” I mean absolutely 100% most definitely not.
But if you live in the same solar system as I do, you can both lose weight and build muscle pretty much until the day you become worm food.
Originally published by me on Medium on October 15, 2021