Getting older is not the reason why we gain weight

One excuse people often like to use when reasoning about why they got overweight is because they got older and their metabolism isn’t what it used to be. They say things like “When I was in high school I was eating two ice creams a day and I was skinny as fuck, but now, now I can’t even eat a potato without gaining two pounds. My slowed metabolism is the reason why I got chubby.

This is absolutely not true. The amount of energy our body needs to sustain itself doesn’t change that much with aging. Our daily calorie requirements go down with 2-3% per decade. For the average Joe running on 2000 calories/day that’s between 50-70 calories decline over ten years. That’s less than an egg-worth of calories – over ten years!

We gain weight as we get older (usually during/after college) not because our metabolism suddenly decides to take a break, but because, becoming responsible adults, we get a (desk) job and our activity levels plummet. All those calories we used to burn walking and running round start to turn into fat tissue. Add in some poor food choices and you’re in for a hell of a transformation.

How to fight against gaining weight? Increase your activity level or make better food choices, or both. And, just as important, track your progress so you know where you’re heading.

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