This New Landmark Study Freaks Me Out.

September 15, 2021

This New Landmark Study Freaks Me Out.

May 29, 2023

"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 Thursday in Science."

Those are the first few sentences of a recent New York Times article suggesting most of our beliefs about metabolism are myths. Central to the researchers’ findings was that metabolism differs for all people across four distinct stages of life.

  • There’s infancy 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.

Although we gain on average more than a pound and a half a year during adulthood, we can no longer attribute it to slowing metabolisms. Geez, so our growing gut and widening backside are purely our own fault?

Being on the precipice of 61, I guess I should feel lucky. I now have an excuse again as I’m moving into the fourth era listed above. Of course, that doesn’t explain why my pants have kept shrinking the past few years during my third metabolic stage.

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