Weight Gain And Getting Older? How To Successfully Lose Weight As We Age

By December 20, 2019 No Comments

As we age, it may seem that eating “whatever we want” while maintaining a healthy weight becomes a thing of the past.  When we get older, our resting metabolic rate -which reflects your body’s needs at rest — drops about one to two percent every decade, which in turn affects how much we can eat without gaining excess weight. The bottom line is, none of us can eat anything and everything we may have previously enjoyed like we used to.  There’s a scientific reason why: As we get older, our bodies don’t respond the same way to weight loss efforts. The rate at which your body burns calories — called resting metabolic rate — reflects your body’s needs at rest. However, this rate drops about one to two percent every decade, thus making it easier to pack on the pounds as we age. However, there is no need to just ‘give up’ in despair!   In our new blog, NJ Diet discusses the topic of aging and weight gain, and will explain the ways to prevent the extra pounds from creeping up.  Getting older and maintaining a healthy weight doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds!

Why We Gain Weight As We Age

Studies have shown that as we age, we tend to gain weight to the tune of 1 to 2 pounds per year – and while that may not seem like much, over time it can lead to significant weight gain and, in some cases, obesity.  Everyone will not become overweight ‘just because they are aging,” because body weight is also influenced by your genetic makeup, physical activity, and your diet.
While there are some elements we can’t control, most of the weight gain that comes with aging can be avoided by controlling our diet, and engaging in daily exercise. Most people think that gaining weight and getting older go hand in hand, but the reason we gain weight isn’t just about getting older, it’s about how our habits change. Many of us gain weight because we:
  • Become more sedentary
  • Don’t lift weights to maintain muscle mass
  • Eat more calories even as metabolism slows down

Additionally, both men and women undergo changes in hormone levels as part of aging that help explain why middle age causes significant weight gain in most adults.

  • For women, menopause (occurring most often between ages 45 and 55) causes a significant drop in estrogen that can cause weight gain in your belly.  Weight gain can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
  • In men, the significant drop in testosterone as they age (which gradually declines around age 40) causes issues with regulating fat distribution and loss of muscle strength and mass.  The decline in testosterone can make the body less effective at burning calories.

According to the CDC, when you hit your 30s, you start losing muscle mass, which can greatly affect how well your body burns calories. In this decade, both men and women start losing muscle mass at the rate of three to five percent per decade. In our 40 and 50s, some weight gain may seem to be unavoidable.  Hormones—or their absence—may play a role, but middle-age weight gain can be attributed to diminishing muscle mass, and also that you may not be as active as you’ve gotten older.  Since muscle helps boost your metabolism and as it disappears, your ability to burn calories slows. In our 60s, there may be some promising news!  Studies show that age-related weight gain slows down and plateaus by the time you’re in your 60s.   However, the issue may remain that you need to lose the pounds you’ve gained over your 30s, 40s, and 50s!   Weight loss is one thing that doesn’t get easier with age, and those in their 60s may find it’s tougher to shed fat. Your body doesn’t need as many calories as it used to, you need to be more active.  But aging may have caused pain issues that is hindering daily exercise, so you may not be as active as you should be.

How To Maintain A Healthy Weight At Any Age

It is not impossible to lose weight as we age.  By increasing exercise, focusing on strength training, you will burn calories.  Additionally, focusing on healthy foods such as daily servings of veggies, dairy, fruits and nuts and lean proteins is a great way to start. Sleeping less than six hours or more than eight hours a night were also linked to middle-age weight gain, so getting enough sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy weight.

At any age, we often spend way too much sitting—we sit at work, we sit when we watch TV or on the computer. The main reason for muscle loss, which lowers metabolism, is that we aren’t active enough! Being active will help strengthen your muscles and increase bone density while maintaining a higher metabolism.  Here are some other tips:
  • Eat Healthy: Keeping track of your calories and sticking with healthy eating at least most of the time can help you avoid too much weight gain as you get older. The most important aspect of managing your weight always starts with your diet.
  • Cardio Exercise: Choose activities such as swimming, walking or cycling, and aim for exercise at least 3 days a week. Gradually add time each week until you can do 30 minutes of continuous activity.
  • Weight Lifting: Strength training is an important part of your exercise program, helping to build muscle and strength while also working on important areas like balance, stability, and flexibility – all things that tend to decline with age.
  • Set Realistic Goals: It takes longer to lose weight as we age, so just aim for incorporating regular workouts and eating as healthy as possible. You may not see results immediately, but in time your hard work will pay off.
  • Keep Hydrated: It’s easy to confuse the sensation of thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated with water increases metabolism and helps to keep your diet on track.
  • Reduce Stress: For many people, stress leads to stress eating.  Finding ways to relax is important towards maintaining overall health. Try a  yoga class or short five-minute meditations throughout the day.
  • Get Enough Sleep: You’ll be less active during the day and will burn fewer calories as a result of not getting a good night’s sleep. Aim for seven and nine hours of sleep per night for optimal health results.

** Before getting started with any program, it is important to consult with your doctor, especially if you’re on any medications or have any pain.

* * *

The good news is while getting older is inevitable, older adults these days look younger than ever!  We have learned how to take care of ourselves with exercise and a healthy diet, which leads to more active and healthy older adults.  We may not be the same weight we were as a teenager, but we can be strong, fit and healthy no matter how old we get. By simply eating better and making exercise a priority, you can boost your metabolism, so age really is “just a number!”

  NJ Diet utilizes DNA testing to determine your ideal diet and workout plan. Using blood work, hair and saliva sample, patients typically lose 20-50 pounds in only 40 days. In addition, you will see that dieting is only one component of our program. Our program is also a detoxification and hormone balancing program – where the side effect is weight loss, but the end result is better overall health and well being.

We welcome the opportunity for you to have a consultation at NJ Diet.

A consultation is normally $99, but by registering on our website it will only cost $27! 

Our program is not only aimed at promoting healthy weight loss, but aims to improve your total wellness. Each of our client’s specific needs for vitamins and supplements are assessed, plus many more metabolic factors are genetically tested to make sure you succeed on our program — not just for temporary weight loss, but to maintain good health for life!  

Author John

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