When I was youngster, I dreaded becoming “old” because I kept hearing that weight gain after 30 is unavoidable. As it turns out, I’m hitting 40 soon and weigh less than I did during my college days. The same can’t be said about some of my old college buds. So what gives?
One of the things I typically hear from clients is that they’ve always eaten the same amount of food yet are still gaining weight. Oftentimes folks don’t realize that your metabolism can slow down as much as 5% each decade after 40. So if you’re eating at 40 or 50 the same way you did when you were 18 years old, of course you’re putting on weight!
Here’s a look at the caloric needs over time for an average-sized man who exercises moderately (30-60 minutes) each day:
- At 18 years old = 2,800 calories
- At 30 years old = 2,600 calories
- At 50 years old = 2,400 calories
- At 70 years old = 2,200 calories
If his activity level declines over time – which often happens once the kids are born or retirement hits, then calorie needs also decline.