Take The Decade View

 8 Ways To Get Older Faster

February 05, 202421 min read


8 Ways to Get Older Faster

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8 Ways to Get Older Faster

If you’re looking to get biologically older more quickly than you’re getting chronologically older, you’re in the right place.  If you want to feel 70 when you’re 50, there are some things you can do to help make that happen.  We’ll talk about 8 of them today and you can see what might work best for you.  The good news is that they’re all really easy and will naturally fit into a normal lifestyle, so your success at feeling 80 when you’re 60 is practically guaranteed.


Have you seen the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks?  From 1988.  He’s a 12 year old boy who wishes he were an adult, and his wish comes true.  It’s such a good movie.  Wishing to get older faster.  Lots of kids wish for that.  How about the movie “Old” produced by M Night Shyamalan in 2021?  Not what I would put on a list of “great movies.”  What’s your opinion?  A family and a few other vacationers discover that the secluded beach they traveled to is making them age more and more rapidly, reducing their entire life to a single day.  It’s a weird one, but if you’re looking to go M Night Shyamalan and age at about 2 years per hour, I have 8 tips for you.  They don’t work quite that well, so you probably won’t get the chance to have a tumor grow to the size of a cantaloupe in 30 minutes or to stalk teenagers through sea caves and have all your fragile bones break and contort to gruesomely hilarious angles.  Sorry.  But there are ways to get biologically older more quickly than you’re getting chronologically older, so let’s jump in.

#8: Increase Your Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is really effective at helping you get older more quickly.  You naturally get more inflamed as you get older, but inflammation is also a sign of aging, so the higher you can get your inflammation levels, the older you look and feel and the more at risk you are for all of the chronic diseases of aging, like cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, dementia, cancer, chronic pain, metabolic diseases like diabetes, etc.  It’s a super effective strategy, because the more chronic inflammation you can dial up, the worse you can make your diseases, and the worse your chronic diseases get, the more inflammation you have.  Lucky for you, chronic inflammation is tied to all of the other 7 ways we’ll talk about to be able to age more quickly.  

-Sleep deprivation is a great way to drive up your inflammation, so put a TV in your bedroom and binge watch away.  Keep your cell phone next to you in your bedroom and check it often.  Have nightlights on and if you can be next to your wifi router while you sleep, even better. 

-Something cool is that the pro-inflammatory foods are the ones that are most easily available at the grocery store, and even better, at fast food restaurants.  Anything highly processed with a long shelf life will probably help increase your chronic inflammation.  Industrial feedlot meat boosts inflammation as do industrial dairy and conventional wheat.  

-In episode 96, we talked all about cooking oils, so making sure to get regular industrial seed oils like canola and vegetable oil will naturally increase your chronic inflammation.  And you can boost that even higher by frying foods in those industrial oils.  

-Sugar is excellent at increasing inflammation, so make sure to get lots of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup to boost your whole body inflammation.  Sugar can also cause a cool thing called glycation, which is like the browning reaction that happens when you carmelize or brown your food and it gets that delicious crust.  Sugar speeds up the glycation of collagen and other body tissues, so you get more wrinkles more quickly when you eat a lot of sugar.  Sweet! (see what I did there?)

-One of the major drivers of inflammation is leaky gut, which we talked about in episode 43.  When you can get those tight junctions of cells in your intestines to hold less tightly and relax their defenses, all kinds of inflammatory stuff like LPSes can sneak through into your bloodstream and cause your body to go into freak out mode and inflammation runs wild.  It can even contribute to autoimmune diseases.  Eating certain foods and keeping certain populations of gut bacteria (like akkermansia) low can increase the permeability of your gut and drive up your whole body inflammation.

-Having low levels of vitamin D and other nutrients is also beneficial for high inflammation.  Low availability to your cells of vitamin D, B vitamins and the food pigments we talked about in episode 106 (phytonutrients) steers them toward inflammation.

-Did you know that  you can create an organ within your body that is metabolically active and very proinflammatory?  Having visceral fat (the fat that collects around your organs) contributes to inflammation levels.  It doesn’t just sit there, it drives disease.  You can be the cause of the creation of visceral fat by getting plenty of inflammatory sugars and industrial seed oils. 

-Lastly, making sure you stay comfortably still will help drive up inflammation.  Move around as little as possible during the day.  Don’t pick up anything heavy and don’t get your heart rate up.  Don’t even stand up from your chair if you can avoid it.  Avoiding hard physical labor like exercise will help make sure that your body is more chronically inflamed more of the time.

#7: Have Suboptimal Hormone levels

All of these things tie together and interconnect.  Inflammation can mess with your hormone deployment and receptors.  Impaired mitochondria in your cells definitely impairs your hormone functionality and suboptimal hormones impair your mitochondrial function.  All you have to do is enter the loop and they all interweave and influence one another to help you get older faster.

You can get older faster by having imbalanced hormone levels where they’re not in the proper ratio to one another.  Some are low and others are high.  Most commonly, symptoms of aging in women are associated with low levels of sex hormones like testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone and estrogen.  

-Low estrogen contributes to decreased bone density, decreased mental abilities and increased risk for heart disease.  

-Low levels of testosterone can increase risk of breast cancer and decrease your muscle mass, brain function and libido.  

-DHEA is often called “the youth hormone,” so having low levels will help you age faster.  

-And having low progesterone levels relative to your estrogen level can increase your risks of disease.  

We talk all about the basics of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in my Udemy course, so if you want to learn more about female bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, that’s a quick way to get smarter than most people about hormone treatments.  I definitely think you should at least learn about it to be able to make a more informed intentional decision rather than just deciding by passively not deciding.  Or getting into something and being blindsided by costs and complexity.

Low thyroid levels are really common and the energy drain that is living with hypothyroidism can definitely make you feel older. 

#6: Get Comfortable (really comfortable!)

Our culture definitely prioritizes comfort, which is awesome in a ton of ways.  I am very grateful for dishwashers and indoor plumbing and indoor heating and robot vacuums and spandex in my socks.  Or is that lycra?  Whatever it is that makes them a little squeezie and a lot stretchy.  Comfort is great, and it makes total sense that we have evolved to innovate for comfort.  Having comfort be our #1 priority 100% of the time makes us weaker, which ages us more rapidly.  We talked about this in episode 99, the side effects of comfort.

I love this topic and could go on and on about it.  Making sure you never get too hot or too cold is good for aging you more quickly.  And it also helps you to be less able to handle other demands on your body.  Like being able to properly fold proteins so that the structures in your body repair themselves and continue to work correctly.  Heat and cold shock proteins also reduce inflammation and and boost immunity, so you don’t want to get any of those if you want to deteriorate more quickly.

Staying sitting for long stretches of time is convenient and it helps you develop a little bit of gravity deprivation syndrome.  Gravity deprivation syndrome is a fantastic way to get older more quickly.  When astronauts come back from space, their bodies have aged at a vastly accelerated rate in a lot of ways, and you can create some of those effects here on earth by sitting for uninterrupted periods of time.  Astronauts’ bone density and muscle mass drop alarmingly fast and their cardiovascular stamina is reduced due to the lack of demands of gravity.

Similarly, if you can avoid getting your heart rate up, that’ll help you feel older in a lot of ways.  The less efficiently your heart is able to pump blood around your body, the more problems you’ll have.  Exercise is stressful on your body, and your body adapts by producing antiinflammatory messengers and making more mitochondria so that you’re better prepared to handle stress again in the future.  

You don’t want to get more resilient and adapt to adversity.  So definitely don’t pick up heavy things, either.  It’s uncomfortable, so it makes sense to just steer clear.  Muscle atrophy is a classic hallmark of aging, so help speed that up by not demanding performance from your muscles.

Your comfort zone is where you want to stay.  You can cozily age more rapidly when you don’t demand more of yourself.  Don’t bother struggling to try new things or learn or understand something different.  Stick with the familiar and don’t take any risks.  Don’t venture beyond your own realm to try to help someone less fortunate than you or fight for an unsung cause.

#5: Promote and Live With Loneliness

One of the best tools for aging more rapidly is loneliness.  Loneliness has physiologic effects.  It’s physically damaging on a cellular level.  Berne Brown says that ignoring loneliness because you’re ashamed of it is like ignoring thirst because you’re embarrassed that you’re thirsty.  Loneliness creates a state of psychological unsafety that we can be completely unaware of, but it’s still stressful to our body.

We evolved to be a valued and contributing member of a tribe, so isolation goes against our nature.  One of the biggest factors (maybe THE biggest factor) in all longevity studies, whether it’s the Harvard Longitudinal study or the study of the Blue Zones is community.  A sense of belonging and a feeling of contribution to and connection with others.  So if you want to get older faster and have more pain and infirmity, definitely boost your isolation and don’t get involved in your community.  Stay away from neighborhood gatherings, community activism and church congregations.

Psychological unsafety, like from feeling isolated or living in a noisy or polluted or nature-deprived environment adds to your allostatic load.  We talked about this in episode 113.  We’re built to handle and adapt to stress, but our stress capacity bucket can overflow when the amount of stressors exceeds our cleanup abilities.  This allostatic overload can come from all of the stressors and traumas in our life and also from our exposures to all of the toxins in our environment.

We can detox from environmental pollutants, toxic personal care products and household cleaning products, medications, oxidized industrial seed oils, electro-pollution and so on, but only to a certain extent.  So I guess tip 5.5 would be to increase your allostatic burden in other ways, too.  Exceed your capacity to recover, and you’ll age more rapidly.  

#4: Increase Your Insulin Levels

If you’ve heard more than a few of my episodes before, then thank you so much for being here, AND you know what your most important hormone is for being able to make you get older more quickly.  Let me hear you shout it out… yes! I heard you!  You’re so smart.  It’s insulin.  High insulin levels are helping people all over the world get older faster.  It’s not just about high blood sugar, which does help you get older faster (advanced glycation end products and all that), but even with technically normal blood sugar levels, you have the ability to age more rapidly and induce chronic disease and infirmity by maintaining high insulin levels.  

So be sure to drink and eat a lot of sugar and simple carbs and then stay still so your muscles don’t burn any of that glucose and you’re on your way to high insulin and more rapid aging.  You’ll be feeling 90 years old in no time.  It’s powerful.  

In addition to consuming a lot of sugar that your pancreas has to constantly produce insulin to deal with, you can also mess up your insulin response by eating a lot of ultra processed foods.  More and more studies are starting to confirm that eating the same diet composition of macronutrients, but in the form of ultra processed foods vs. minimally processed foods dysregulates hormones including insulin and also ghrelin and leptin and glp and a bunch of other things, leading to obesity, metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance.

A classic hallmark of aging is dementia and decreased cognitive abilities.  Some people call Alzheimer’s “type 3 diabetes.”  A good way to speed up your development of dementia is to become insulin resistant.  A lot of times the insulin resistance associated with dementia doesn’t cause high enough blood sugar to qualify for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, but it is enough to cause dementia later on.  It takes a long time, so stay consistent with eating packaged foods, especially the ones which contain a lot of sugar.  Which is most of them.  This will also help increase your odds of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  If your liver isn’t working well, your capacity to detox will be greatly diminished, and your allostatic load will increase and that will help age you as well.

#3: Eat For Your Human Self

A great way to speed up your aging process is to get confused about what to eat.  It’s SUPER easy to do these days, so that makes it really easy for you to become more infirm more quickly.  One thing you could do is choose what to eat solely based on what you’re led to believe will give you the most pleasure to eat.  Another way to go is to choose what to eat solely based on the macronutrient composition of the food.  How many carbs, fats and proteins do you want to get?

This seems like it would slow down your aging process, and to a certain extent it does, but luckily it’s not enough to keep you younger longer.  You aren’t what you eat, but what you’re able to absorb and prevent the absorption of.  What governs your absorption and the restriction of foreign invaders that we so desperately need?  Yes, your friendly (or not so friendly) bacteria.

We talked about this at length in episodes 43 (Is Leaky Gut Real?) and 39 (What to Know About Your Holobiome).  Much of your experience of life and aging is dictated by your bacterial flora.  We eat for them, not for ourselves.  To a certain extent.  Obviously, even if we have the right mix of bacteria on hand, we can’t absorb the amino acids we need if we didn’t eat any proteiIf you’re looking to get biologically older more quickly than you’re getting chronologically older, you’re in the right place.  If you want to feel 70 when you’re 50, there are some things you can do to help make that happen.  We’ll talk about 8 of them today and you can see what might work best for you.  The good news is that they’re all really easy and will naturally fit into a normal lifestyle, so your success at feeling 80 when you’re 60 is practically guaranteed.

#2: Poison Your Mitochondria

I can’t stop talking about your mitochondria, so of course they appear on this list.  In case you forgot, your mitochondria are little organelles that live inside each of your cells (except for your mature red blood cells).  If you remember, cellular organelles are the little factories inside of our cells that do certain jobs.  The nucleus houses our DNA, the endoplasmic reticulum produces proteins, lysosomes break down junk and make the components available for new construction.  

Mitochondria produce the energy you need to stay alive, but they do a lot more than that.  We talked all about them way back in episode 15, so go back and listen to that one if you want to upgrade your life.  Hindering the thriving of your mitochondria will age you faster than pretty much anything else.

I’ve been reading a book by a guy named Joel Greene and trying to incorporate its principles into my life.  He thinks that the end-all-be-all organelle of the cell is the peroxisome, and that all the hoopla about mitochondria is because mitochondrial function impacts peroxisome function.  We might talk more about that in the future.  For now, I still think your mitochondria are your biggest aging lever.

Dysfunctional mitochondria contribute to all of the chronic diseases of aging and a bunch of other diseases, too.  Dr. Chris Palmer, author of “Brain Energy” makes the case that they’re the single cause of all mental disorders.  Poorly functioning mitochondria can make you a poorly functioning human in hundreds of different ways.

Fortunately, the “normal” American lifestyle is optimized for poisoning your mitochondria.  Mitochondria naturally incur damage over time and that damage can be accentuated in a lot of different ways.  Lots and lots of drugs impair mitochondrial function.  So do other toxins like alcohol, smoking, herbicides, pesticides, mercury, outgassing carpets and furniture, cosmetics and personal care products, household cleaning products, air pollution, water pollution and food additives.

Mitochondria are injured in the line of duty - producing energy to keep us alive.  This is why mitochondrial function naturally declines over time.  Energy production is a bit of a risky business, dangerous free radicals must be produced as an energy production byproduct.  One way to speed the lifetime damage to your mitochondria is to ramp up the production and spillage of dangerous byproducts by increasing the amount of fuel you’re taking in and/or decreasing the amount of energy you’re calling for from that fuel.  

Consuming more food than you need to thrive and or not expending all of the energy consumed help your mitochondria to become more damaged more quickly.  Bonus points if you eat ultra-processed foods that confuse your hormones and cause intense hunger and cravings.

The most impactful thing you can do to damage your mitochondrial function is to stay still and comfortable.  We talked all about hormetic stress just last week.  Don’t get really cold or hot.  Don’t get hungry.  And definitely don’t move.  Don’t pick up or carry heavy stuff, don’t get out of breath and don’t get sweaty.  Exercising sends the signal to your body that you need more and better functioning mitochondria in each cell so that you can do more hard stuff in the future.  This makes you more resilient, and we don’t want that if we want to get older faster.  Fragility and comfort are keys to speeding up the effects of aging.

#1  Age Without a Plan

This is awesome, because it’s supremely effective for making you get weaker and older more quickly and it’s so easy.  It’s what almost everyone does.  You’ll fit right in.  You’ll be able to commiserate with all your friends, act like everything is beyond your control, and then keep doing what you’ve always done.

If you ask a group of people what their definition of success is, they’ll usually say “being able to do whatever you want whenever you want.”  This is it.  This is real success.  When you take the wait and see approach, you can just do whatever you feel like doing whenever you feel like doing it.  

Western medicine fits nicely into this life philosophy.  Once something goes wrong enough to meet diagnostic criteria, they’ll give you a pill.  You can completely outsource your physiology to experts.  You don’t have to do anything specific now or take responsibility for what you want to be able to do 30 years from now.  Just wait and see how it all shakes out.  For sure wait for something outside of you to show up and fix you.

The common diseases of aging (like high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks, cancer, dementia, depression, chronic pain and frailty) all take a really long time to develop.  They’re usually years and decades in the making.  The wait and see method of aging is fantastic for increasing the odds of you getting those diseases.  Especially because diagnostic criteria for those diseases are met after the development of the disease has been in full force for many years.  By the time you get officially diagnosed, you’re usually pretty far down that path already.  It’s cool.  They’ll give you a pill.  Waiting for someone or something outside of you to fix you is super effective for getting more frail more quickly. 

There are a bajillion “experts” with a bajillion ideas of what you should do.  Do whatever you feel like.  Pick and choose based on whatever seems easiest or most complex and sophisticated. Or whomever is shouting the loudest. The easier the better AND the more complicated the better.  Stay away from things that are hard or things that are boring or simplistic.

Comfort and the enjoyable sensation of aimlessly drifting through the decades are very effective ways to age more rapidly.  So is learning more and more increasingly complex information.  Debating and comparing the merits of disparate belief systems helps you get older faster as long as you’re all in your head and jumping from one target to another.  Theoretical hypothesizing is easy.  Starting something new is easy.  Consistent follow through is what will change your trajectory.

Most people don’t know exactly what they’re trying to create.  What precisely they want to be able to do 20 or 30 years from now.  If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.  Sweet.  You can just let other people tell you what you “should” care about.  That’s an effective way to get older faster.

If you never get clear about what you want and then drill down to your highest leverage behaviors to produce that result, you can aimlessly drift through the days that add up to be the sum total of your life without focusing on any particular daily rituals or routines.  This’ll put you on the path that everyone else is already headed down.  Normalicy.

Fuzzy goals, like to “eat healthier,”  “exercise more,” or “reduce stress” are awesome, because they  don’t really mean anything, so they won’t impair your progress toward aging quickly.  Keep things nondescript and you won’t run the risk of failing.   You also won’t run the risk of putting more years lived in good health in your life.

Aging can be a long, slow rot of body and mind.  Don’t commit to any one specific change, don’t install habits to run on autopilot, and make sure to keep believing that all healthy behaviors are unpleasant.  Don’t go through all the hard work to become the type of person who creates an abnormal life where you’re physiologically capable of living and giving MORE as you get older rather than less.  Don’t seek out hard things.  Don’t get specific and intentional, don’t develop the grit to be consistent, don’t have any accountability to follow through, and you’ll be biologically aging more quickly than you’re chronologically aging in no time.

What do you think?

Thank you so much for being here today.  What did you think of these ideas?  What other ideas do you have?  If I missed anything, feel free to email me at healthcouragecollective@gmail.com or click “contact me” on my website www.heatlhcouragecollective.com.  I’d love to hear from you.  As a quick recap, some ways to get older faster are to increase your inflammation, have suboptimal hormone levels, get really comfortable, promote loneliness, increase your insulin levels, only eat for your human self, poison your mitochondria, and age without a plan.  Obviously, if you want to do the opposite, do the opposite.  If you want to age according to an intelligent plan, I’m here to help you figure out an awesome plan and get 100% consistent following it so you can shine brighter and give more as you get older.  Next week, we’re going to talk about the villains you need in your life to put more years lived in good health in your future.  Until then, age at a more accelerated rate - wait that is normal. So do the opposite and don’t be normal.

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Christina Hackett, Pharm.D.

Healthspan Coach and founder of The Health Courage Collective

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