Everyone knows that when you are young your metabolism is pumping away and then when you approach middle age it comes to a screeching halt and that is why weight gain in middle age is so common. This is why teenage boys can eat constantly and not gain weight – their metabolism is in high gear. We all know this right? Or do we? Is this really the truth?
Very recent research has revealed some very different information. According to a new study published in the journal Science, the daily energy expenditure of more than 6,600 people between the ages of 8 days and 95 years old were analyzed. Surprisingly the results were not what researchers expected or what we have always been told.
Rather than peaking during puberty, researchers found that babies at 1 year old are burning calories 50% faster for their size than adults. So if your 2-year old all of a sudden doesn’t have as good an appetite, it makes sense, They don’t require quite as many calories now.
Then, metabolism slows down by about 3% every year until it levels off in the 20s. The even bigger surprise was that during the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, the participants’ energy expenditures remained stable. They only started to gradually decline by about 0.7% per year after 60 years old.
So what does this mean to us? Well for one thing we have no excuse for gaining weight every year after 40! I have long said it is lack of activity, which causes a decline in muscle mass (muscles boost metabolism), and an overly processed, unhealthy diet that cause weight gain. Keeping our cells well nourished with real, minimally processed, one-ingredient foods and staying active were found to be important ways to offset any reduction in metabolism.
Does this new information surprise you? Are you finding yourself gaining weight and wondering why?
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