The common thing that happens to people is that when they were able to lose weight and remain lean when they were younger, they find it challenging to do so as they age. In fact, they find that no matter what they do as they get older, they keep putting on weight. Even if they utilize weight-loss tactics that worked for them back when they were in their 20s and 30s. After hitting 40, those tactics no longer work. And it seems as no matter what they do to lose weight as people age, they cannot do it successfully.
Therefore, why do people put on weight more easily as they age, and at the same time, they struggle to lose weight? There are several factors behind this phenomenon. Let’s go with the first obvious reason as to why losing weight is harder as people age.
The Metabolism Slows As People Get Older
The most common issue that aging people face together is that their metabolisms slow down. You can compare it to other things slowing down as you age as well due to wear and tear. However, as you get older your metabolism will become more sluggish. Your sex and body size will have a bearing on how much your metabolism slows down as well and genetics. You also want to check to see if your thyroid is playing a role.
If you do have hypothyroidism where your thyroid is not producing enough hormones and it is slowing down, then there are treatments for it. The best thing to do in order to keep your metabolism working as well as it can as you get older is to stay active and to eat plenty of foods that are high in protein as well as essential fatty acids in moderate portions. Protein will also help when it comes to the loss of muscle mass, which is another contributing factor.
Loss Of Muscle Mass Happens As You Age
You do lose muscle mass as you age and it is a significant issue because muscle burns more calories than fat. Therefore, your body requires fewer calories a day and there is a good chance that you are consuming more than you should. For instance, if maintenance for you was at 2500 calories a day when you were younger, then that is too much for you. Therefore, you would likely maintain at 2000 a day instead.
However, if you do strength-training by lifting weights daily and you have a diet that is high in protein, then once again, you can increase muscle gain which will burn fat, which can be helpful to your metabolism as well. That is not the only cause for your slowing metabolism as changing hormones are to blame as well.
Both women and men undergo hormonal changes as they age which is also a significant culprit in weight gain. Women go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, and before that, up to a decade long, they go through perimenopause which can start in the late 30s. That is the time when menopause is near. Perimenopause does not have a significant impact on metabolism. However, that is the time when estrogen levels fluctuate and that can deeply impact the mood which will have an effect on food choices and attitudes when it comes to exercise.
At the same time, men experience a drop in testosterone which impacts their muscle mass, and once again, loss of muscle contributes to weight gain. The pituitary gland which produces the growth hormone declines over time as well which is why muscle mass declines.
Other causes for weight gain include an increase in stress, life changes, and living a more sedentary lifestyle which can happen to anyone at any age. However, those that are older are impacted deeply by these factors. The best thing to do once again is to eat more protein than carbs, and stick to moderate portions. Do some strength-training, even if it is for a few minutes a day. Go and take half-hour brisks walks daily if you can. And do what you can to keep yourself calm during stressful times such as taking up yoga, mediation, or taking up a new hobby. Drink plenty of water as well to help with weight loss.