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Transform Your Health by Understanding Your Metabolic Age

Dave Asprey on metabolic age

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Summary: Your metabolic age can be a powerful tool for achieving your health goals. Learn how to calculate it and make lifestyle changes to lower it.

Your metabolic age can be a powerful tool for achieving your health goals. Learn how to calculate it and make lifestyle changes to lower it.

Picture yourself stepping onto a scale, feeling a tinge of anxiety as the numbers reveal your weight. But what if there were another metric that could provide more profound insights into your overall health and vitality than just a number on a scale?

Enter metabolic age, an emerging concept that’s taking the world by storm and redefining the way we understand our bodies.

Improving yours can help you perform at your best. And bonus, you’ll likely look and feel younger than your actual age.

What Is Metabolic Age?

Your body’s metabolic efficiency—that’s simply what metabolic age is. It very much differs from your chronological age (which is a fancy way of saying how old you are).

You see, your age doesn’t necessarily reflect your body’s optimal functioning. So that’s where metabolic age comes in. And it’s affected by a few factors:

  • Diet and physical activity. Junk food and a sedentary lifestyle result in a higher metabolic age than your chronological age. On the other hand, a healthy diet and regular workouts make you younger, metabolically speaking.
  • Genetics. It’s another significant player in your metabolic efficiency. Some people are just lucky to have a faster metabolism, regardless of their lifestyle choices.

So knowing where you stand metabolically can give you insight into the state of your physical health. Plus, it can help you focus on what changes to make in terms of diet and exercise. 

Metabolic age vs. chronological age

A great analogy to explain the difference would be your birth certificate and your driver’s license. The former shows how many years you have been operating this human vehicle, while the latter indicates how effectively you have been caring for it.

While chronological age is relatively simple to determine, metabolic age considers a variety of elements. This includes your body composition, muscular mass, and resting metabolism—all of which can have an impact on how effectively your body is operating. 

Let’s put it all in a handy-dandy comparison table:

Chronological AgeMetabolic Age
DefinitionHow many years you’ve been aliveA measure of your body’s metabolic efficiency
FactorsNoneBody composition, muscle mass, resting metabolism
ImportanceUseful for legal and societal purposesA more accurate picture of overall health
Health risksNoneAssociated with a greater risk of health issues such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
Chronological age vs. metabolic age table

The bottom line is that your chronological age is important for legal and societal purposes, and your metabolic age measures how well your body is functioning. 

So knowing your metabolic age can help you implement essential changes to be healthier and younger. And remember, age is just a number—it’s how you feel that really counts.

How Is Metabolic Age Calculated?

The obvious follow-up question is, “What’s my metabolic age?” From simple online calculators to more complex tests, there are a few methods to choose from:

  • Metabolic age calculator. You input your age, height, weight, and activity level, and they calculate your metabolic age. Sounds like an easy option? Yes, indeed, but they may be easily inaccurate. You can try the Harris-Benedict Calculator.
  • Metabolic age chart. It estimates your body’s metabolic rate compared to the average for your chronological age group. It helps you see if your metabolism is faster or slower by comparing your age with the metabolic age values.
  • Specialized tests. They include a metabolic rate test or a body composition analysis. The great news is, they picture your body’s metabolism and composition in more detail, which is crucial when you have specific health issues. 

Calculate it yourself. There is a generic and simple calculation you can use to determine your metabolic rate. Here’s how to do it:

  • Determine your body mass index (BMI) first. You can calculate it by dividing your height in meters by your weight in kilograms.
  • Measure your waist circumference at the level of your belly button.
  • Using your BMI and waist measurement, calculate your body fat percentage. You can use an online calculator or chart.
  • Use an online metabolic age calculator or equation to estimate your metabolic age based on your body composition and other factors.
  • Calculate it by using the metabolic age formula: For men: 66.5+(13.75 x kg)+(5.003 x cm)—6.775 x age; for women: 655.1+(9.563 x kg)+(1.850 x cm)—4.676 x age.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are limitations and potential inaccuracies with any method of calculating metabolic age.

One is due to genetics, medications, and certain health conditions that can affect your metabolic rate. And the second is that different calculators or tests may use different equations or methods, leading to varying results. 

Metabolic Age and Health

To reiterate, understanding your metabolic age can provide valuable insights into your overall health and risk for certain conditions. It can also help you identify areas for improvement in your lifestyle and habits. The key is to monitor it continuously so that you can track the results and make further adjustments.

Most importantly, by improving your metabolism, you can age gracefully, as aging and metabolism are inextricably linked.

Plus, there is plenty of research looking into this topic:

  • If you lower it by at least one year over twelve months, it will result in a 60% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to this study
  • Another cohort study has shown that if you lower it by two years, it will improve your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity.

So regardless of your current metabolic age, by making small but sustainable changes to your lifestyle and being consistent in your efforts, you can lower it.

Dave Asprey, the father of biohacking and trainer of Mindvalley's Smarter Not Harder Quest
Dave Asprey, trainer of Mindvalley’s Smarter Not Harder Quest

How to Lower Your Metabolic Age, According to Dave Asprey

Improving metabolic age entails a comprehensive approach that involves a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. And Dave Asprey, renowned biohacker and trainer of Mindvalley’s Smarter Not Harder Quest, is the perfect person to turn to for guidance.

With his tips and insights, here are seven biohacking techniques to lower your metabolic age:

1. Try whole-body vibration training

There are two things to know here:

  1. Whole-body vibration training (WBVT) plate, which is a little device that can help you hack your strength and recovery in just minutes every day.
  2. Whole-body vibration training plate, which is a platform that vibrates at a specific frequency to activate your body’s systems simultaneously, improving flexibility, blood flow, and reducing muscle soreness and cortisol levels.

Dave explains that WBVT increases strength and explosive strength, promotes fat loss and hormonal balance, increases bone mass and mineral density, and, in other words, makes your body perform at its best.

How to use a vibration plate:

  • Simply stand on the plate with your knees bent at a 30-degree angle for thirty seconds or one minute in the beginning.
  • You can perform your favorite exercises to stimulate muscle growth.
  • Work your way up to 15 minutes per day.

2. Be mindful of what you eat

Healthy fats, lean proteins, and non-starchy vegetables will help you lower your metabolic age. And processed foods, refined sugars, and grains will make you metabolically older. 

If you are ready to modify what you eat, try Dave’s Bulletproof Diet.

How to follow the protocol:

  • Eat more: grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafood, organic vegetables, low-sugar fruits, avocado and coconut oil, raw nuts, and seeds.
  • Eat in moderation: berries, grass-fed butter, ghee, and gluten-free grains like quinoa and rice.
  • Avoid whenever possible: processed foods, sugar, grains with gluten, vegetable oils, and most legumes.

3. Do intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting supports metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity. In fact, it’s one of the most researched and scientifically proven ways to improve your metabolic health, increase your health span, and increase your longevity. 

How to do intermittent fasting, according to Dave:

  • Skip breakfast.
  • Break your fast and have your first meal at noon.
  • Eat dinner between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Stop eating by 8 p.m.
  • Repeat the next day, with your first meal at noon.

The key is to experiment with different protocols and find the one that works best for you.

4. Try cold therapy

Cold therapy is another scientifically proven way to lower your metabolic age. According to this meta-analysis, exposure to cold makes your body burn more whole-body glucose and utilize more fat.

Another benefit of cold therapy is that it makes you more receptive to dopamine. Simply speaking, being cold equals being happy.   

Three or five minutes of being cold equals ‘I’m happy all the time,’ ‘I have more energy,’ ‘I have more things done.’

— Dave Asprey, trainer of Mindvalley’s Smarter Not Harder Quest

How to do cold therapy:

  1. Take cold showers in the morning,
  2. Try a cryotherapy session, and
  3. Immerse yourself in ice baths. Start slowly by dipping your face first to allow your body to adjust to the low temperatures. 

5. Prioritize high-quality sleep

Scientists have found that poor sleep and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are almost synonymous in terms of their detrimental effects on your overall health. They both lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

So, how many hours should you sleep to improve your metabolic age? The magic number for metabolically-optimized sleep is seven to eight hours per night. 

How to prioritize your sleep:

  • Set a consistent sleep schedule to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment, such as a cool, dark, and quiet bedroom.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to help calm your mind and prepare for sleep.
  • Try sleep-enhancing supplements like magnesium, GABA, and melatonin to help improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Use technology to optimize sleep, like the Oura ring or a Fitbit, to monitor your sleep patterns and identify areas for improvement.
  • Get sunlight during the day.

6. Reduce stress

Just like impaired sleep, persistent psychosocial stress makes you susceptible to metabolic disease. The more stressed you are, the older your metabolic age is.

One of the best ways to manage your daily stress is to learn how to relax and breathe properly. When you are able to do both, you calm your nervous system. 

How to reduce your stress:

7. Reduce environmental toxins

We’re all exposed to over a hundred environmental toxins every day. They are disguised in dust, food, tap water, personal care products, makeup and skincare products, fragrances, cleaning supplies, household goods, building materials, and devices.

According to this study, they disrupt your endocrine system and metabolic health. It means that there is another factor apart from the genetic background, changes in diet and exercise, and natural aging. Specifically, environmental factors are increasingly contributing to all sorts of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Get rid of all plastic and BPA-containing items and scented products.
  • Choose natural and organic products.
  • Air your house early in the morning and late in the evening, or get an air purifier.

Grow Younger, Not Older

With metabolic age, it’s not about counting the candles on your birthday cake. But it sure does give you a far better picture of where you stand in terms of your health and overall performance.

If you want to learn how to improve your metabolic age, join Mindvalley’s 14-day Smarter Not Harder challenge with Dave Asprey.

By following his tips and strategies, you can take control of your health and make the most of your biology.

Want a sneak peak? Sign up for a free account and get access to the first lessons from this Quest. Your health will thank you for it.

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Written by

Irina Yugay

As a former self-development and self-transcendence writer at Mindvalley, Irina uses words to transpire empowering ideas, transcendental feelings, and omniversal values. She's also an ascension coach who helps her clients grow their spiritual awareness and actualize their true nature. With a deep empirical understanding of the spiritual journey, Irina shares her insights and experiences with the readers to inspire them to transcend their limiting beliefs and achieve higher states of consciousness.
Picture of Irina Yugay

Irina Yugay

As a former self-development and self-transcendence writer at Mindvalley, Irina uses words to transpire empowering ideas, transcendental feelings, and omniversal values. She's also an ascension coach who helps her clients grow their spiritual awareness and actualize their true nature. With a deep empirical understanding of the spiritual journey, Irina shares her insights and experiences with the readers to inspire them to transcend their limiting beliefs and achieve higher states of consciousness.
Dave Asprey, Mindvalley's Smarter Not Harder Quest trainer, is a pioneering biohacker. He's renowned for transforming personal biology and well-being.
Expertise by

Dave Asprey is the trainer of Mindvalley’s Smarter Not Harder Quest. He is an entrepreneur, four-time New York Times best-selling science author, and host of the top 100 podcasts, The Human Upgrade, formally Bulletproof Radio, which has more than 200 million downloads.

He’s the founder of Danger Coffee and a leading voice in the movement to take control of our own biology. News outlets like The Today Show, CNN, Wired, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, and many more call him the “Father of Biohacking” because he started the movement and hosts the largest and longest-running biohacking conference.

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