In a groundbreaking study published last week, researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University introduced a new paradigm for metabolism and aging. For decades, we’ve assumed that as we age, our metabolism (the number of calories we burn at rest) slows. This progressive, age-related slowing of metabolism was thought to be the primary contributor to gradual fat accumulation. When we were 22 years old, we felt like we could eat anything and not gain fat because we had “a fast metabolism.” At 40 years of age, we struggle to shed even 3 pounds of fat because our metabolism has slowed considerably. At least that’s what we thought.
Scientists analyzed the metabolism of over 6,600 people from 1-week old to 95-years of age across nearly 30 countries. Their discovery is shocking: From 20 years of age to 60 years of age, metabolism remains relatively unchanged. If we are gaining weight from age 20 to 60, a slowing metabolism is not the culprit.
Take home message: There’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is, we can no longer blame our slowing metabolism.
The good news is, preventing weight gain is more in our control than we previously assumed.