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Age Slows Metabolism - True or Myth?


#1

Been having this debate with the missis lately. She's been unable to shed any fat for years and so we're stepping things up and going all out.

She feels (and her friends are backing this up) that, well, that's just what happens as you get older. She's 37 and had been slim her entire life until about 32 when the breaks went on and body fat only accumilated, never burned, despite under-eating and being a carb-o-phobe. (don't worry we're remedying that now)

I've heard this notion of metabolism being related to age, but then I thought - is metabolism just muscle mass + hormone balance? and if so, providing one got hormone testing (AND provding hormones levels can be restored - big caveat there), could one in theory have similar metabolism throughout life?

I suspect the origin this notion of metabolism being inverse to age is because naturally, if you didn't lift, you'd lose muscle and to mainstream idiot doctors, they would likely conclude that it's age doing it, not lifestyle. Thoughts??


#2

[quote]threecoaching wrote:
She’s been unable to shed any fat for years[/quote]
While there is such a thing as age-related metabolic decline, if she’s already been trying to drop fat “for years” without success, then, sorry Mrs. Threecoaching, but it’s not the age’s fault. It’s been the wrong plan.

Dialing in an appropriate training and nutrition plan can work “like magic” especially in beginners who’ve never gotten everything in order before.

Could anything else have happened around that same time when she noticed a change, like um, having kids? Not uncommon for women to have issues losing “baby weight” or just dealing with the internal aftermath of growing and expelling a person.

If we’re talking about manipulating hormones, then we’re dealing with a whole new ball of wax. HRT (hormone replacement therapy) absolutely opens the door to resetting the body’s inner mechanisms and getting things running like they were in the good ol’ days.

But that’s probably not necessary right now. For sure, get the Mrs. a full check-up with a complete blood panel (E2, Test levels, thyroid, the whole nine), and act on the results as needed. But definitely put the priority on simple lifting, maybe some cardio, and smart eating.

Some articles that may help:




#3

She hasn’t had kids, no.

HRT, isn’t that the horrendous one that causes osteoporosis? You only get that during menopause, surely?

We have had those tests in mind actually. Just expensive at the moment.


#4

It does slow slightly, but follow the info on this site and you can get shredded at any age


#5

I don’t have too much advice, but Mr. RampantBadger mentioned it has a minor influence.

It’s really hard to make assumptions on forums, I don’t normally give any advice but I’m just a tiny bit older (tiny bit mind you) than your wife. I’m finding it harder to shift the weight, but I have a couple of issues of my own. From my experience most of us feel tired from an increasingly demanding career in our 30’s, extra stress, etc, not only just our bodies changing, but slowly our habits. What used to just work for us, slowly stops. Kind of frustrating, but you have to experiment on yourself.

Is she on birth control, or has changed birth control over the last couple of years? Does she or has she ever done any lifting before? I agree with you, that at this age our muscle mass would’ve started to lessen year after year, unless she has been or is doing something about it? Under-eating certainly would not have helped the situation. With under-eating for so long, there is also a risk of low & high cal binging, without really even paying attention to it.

I am not sure what angle her friends are coming from, are they talking from their experience, or just about her? Last thing I’ll say, especially since you do use the word ‘debate’ is to help her discreetly, set a good example, but I highly suggest for both your sakes that she find a good objective person (not someone who she most likely feels has a stake in her appearance) to help her if she really, truly, feels like she can’t help herself. Keep the marriage smooth sailing :wink:


#6

[quote]minimaltechno wrote:
I don’t have too much advice, but Mr. RampantBadger mentioned it has a minor influence.

It’s really hard to make assumptions on forums, I don’t normally give any advice but I’m just a tiny bit older (tiny bit mind you) than your wife. I’m finding it harder to shift the weight, but I have a couple of issues of my own. From my experience most of us feel tired from an increasingly demanding career in our 30’s, extra stress, etc, not only just our bodies changing, but slowly our habits. What used to just work for us, slowly stops. Kind of frustrating, but you have to experiment on yourself.

Is she on birth control, or has changed birth control over the last couple of years? Does she or has she ever done any lifting before? I agree with you, that at this age our muscle mass would’ve started to lessen year after year, unless she has been or is doing something about it? Under-eating certainly would not have helped the situation. With under-eating for so long, there is also a risk of low & high cal binging, without really even paying attention to it.

I am not sure what angle her friends are coming from, are they talking from their experience, or just about her? Last thing I’ll say, especially since you do use the word ‘debate’ is to help her discreetly, set a good example, but I highly suggest for both your sakes that she find a good objective person (not someone who she most likely feels has a stake in her appearance) to help her if she really, truly, feels like she can’t help herself. Keep the marriage smooth sailing ;-)[/quote]

Thanks for the input :slight_smile: sorry for late response, wasn’t notified.

She was on birth control and a few people said that when they went off that, the weight came off. So she came off and nothing happened (along side some exercise and always a sensible, if not skimpy diet. So possibly not sensible. I just mean no cakes or pastries or sugar etc).

She does have a history of sporadic bodybuilding, yes. Some results in muscle gain in the past too. But she’s incredibly weak and can hardly do a push up and it took about a solid year of training to do one positive chin up rep.

And yes, I have heard from a lot of people to get an impartial 3rd party for the sake of the marriage! :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

Ask yourself why it would slow. Your body doesn’t magically get more efficient with increasing age (which it would if nothing else changed, some activity, muscle mass etc for less energy output)
As people age they generally:
lose muscle mass and
become less active.


#8

There are real experts here so I’ll just offer my anecdotal evidence. I turned 40 this year and spent most of my 30’s as a drunken slob. I have been lifting for about three years with an intermediate focus on weight loss and middling results. This past year I have focused mainly on strength. My metabolism is firing on all cylinders now.

I had blood work done and thyroid, etc. is damned near perfect where by all rights and family history I should be talking about diabetes right now. I am pretty much out working a poor diet, BTW, but my goals are different. I’d say if her diet is really dialed in she needs activity, well either way she needs activity. The metabolism/age slide is minimal at best compared to the damage of a sedentary lifestyle.


#9

It doesn’t have to happen. I know many women in their 40’s and 50’s who look great, even after having kids.

BUT I know very few who look great with no regard to diet or exercise. There were a lot more people in that camp in my high school and college years. Now, the people who still maintain their optimal weight tend to know how to eat.

I know a few otherwise lean women who have developed a menopause tummy, but I think that’s probably due to a combination of muscle loss, lax muscles from childbearing, and hormonal changes that make them carry fat differently than when they were younger. Most of this can still be prevented, IMO.