At what age does a person’s metabolism start to significantly slow?
-COREY H., SPOKANE, WA
Your metabolism—the rate at which you burn calories—slows down much earlier than you might think. When you’re just 25, it starts its inevitable decline—as much as 2–4% each year—according to celebrity trainer and fitness expert Obi Obadike. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to grow old and fat. Yes, there are a lot of theories out there—for example, that eating hot peppers, drinking green tea, and skipping meals can speed up your metabolism—so it’s tempting to look for shortcuts.
But there’s really only one way to keep your metabolism working properly as you age: By preserving and gaining lean muscle mass through exercise.“When metabolic loss happens, so does muscle loss,” says Obadike. “Between the ages of 25 and 65, you can lose at least five pounds of muscle every 10 years. But you can prevent this metabolic and muscle loss with consistent anaerobic training.”