You’re trying to eat well and exercise consistently as you always have, but the pounds are creeping on and it’s becoming more and more difficult to maintain a trim waistline. This article explains why this might be the case as well as some weight loss management strategies.
So, is maintaining your fitness level get more difficult as you age?
Our bodies typically require less energy as we get older, so we might not be able to consume as much as we could when we were in our twenties.
Then, as you approach middle age after turning 40, it becomes more difficult to maintain a healthy weight due to changes in muscle, hormones, and metabolism.
However, it’s not hopeless. You can work to manage your weight more successfully if you are aware of how your body changes.
Why is it more difficult to lose weight as you age?
Loss of muscle
You lose muscle as you age. This has a more significant effect than merely losing muscle tone and definition. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, eating calories becomes more difficult when you have less muscle.
What causes muscle loss then? Even while hormones may be involved, the proverb “if you don’t move it, you lose it” holds true. Finding time to exercise becomes more difficult, and we tend to move less, whether it’s due to a hectic family schedule or unreasonable job hours. Accidental accidents, which regrettably happen increasingly frequently, can make this worse. Therefore, as you age, you need to stay active to strengthen your muscles.
High levels of stress can lead to weight gain. Exercise may go to the bottom of your priority list due to time constraints, and when you’re stressed out. It’s simple to give up on your diet and reach for a sugary treat. The hormone ghrelin, which makes you hungry and promotes fat storage, is also elevated by stress.
Your metabolism works around-the-clock to convert the food and liquids you consume into energy your body can use. It gives your body the energy it needs to breathe, circulate blood, and repair cells even when you’re asleep. As you get older, your metabolism may slow down, causing you to consume fewer calories and accumulate more fat.
Changes in hormones might also sway the scales. Weight gain during menopause is fairly prevalent in women, with a decrease in estrogen being the primary cause, especially around the abdomen. Even in your mid-40s, the menopause transition can result in mood swings that make maintaining a regular balanced food and exercise routine more challenging.
Men also experience the same hormonal rollercoaster that women do. Usually, testosterone levels start to decline around the age of 40. Less testosterone may make it more difficult to burn calories because it controls how much fat is distributed, how strong and how much muscle you have.
With all these physical changes working against you, how can you prevent weight gain as you age?
Consume healthy foods
Concentrate on nutrient-dense foods like fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains that are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.
Watch your portion sizes
Your body will retain excess energy from food and drink as fat if you don’t use it completely. It’s crucial to manage your portion sizes as you age and possibly reduce how much you eat to fit what your body currently requires.
Vary your activity
It’s crucial to incorporate both weight training and cardio exercise into your routine. Running and cycling are both aerobic workouts that increase heart rate and increase calorie burning. By increasing and strengthening muscle, weight exercise is beneficial.
Reduce stress and get better sleep
Find hobbies that will help you reduce tension. You’ll sleep better, have less cravings for comfort foods, and be more motivated to keep with your workout plans.
Drink lots of water and avoid carbonated beverages. Try drinking a glass of water before reaching for a food because mild dehydration can produce symptoms that resemble hungry. Dehydration has also been connected to a greater BMI and a higher risk of obesity.
Consider hormone therapy
Consider restoring hormonal imbalance by opting for hormone therapy.
Health is much more than just a number on the scales
It might be alluring to become fixated on your weight, but health is much more than simply a number on the scales. Focusing on a good diet, engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and taking care of your mental health are all crucial for your overall wellbeing. They can also contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.
Speak with a dietitian or a weight management expert for more details about healthy eating. Enrolling in a weight management program can also help you achieve your goals while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.