Overcome the inevitability of gaining weight after 40

Did you go on a diet and not get the results you expected? Natural age-related changes in your body can sabotage your efforts. Here’s how to find or keep the streak after 40 years.

Never had trouble losing or maintaining weight before, but now the scale won’t move? There’s a scientific reason for this: As we age, our bodies react differently to weight-loss efforts. In fact, as we age, we tend to gain 2-4 pounds per year. It may not sound like much, but over time it can lead to significant weight gain and, in some cases, obesity, a condition characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.

The incidence of obesity begins to increase in the twenties and peaks between the ages of 40 and 59, and then decreases slightly after the age of sixty. Not everyone will be overweight as they age, as body weight is greatly influenced by genetic makeup, level of physical activity, and food choices. It is sometimes said that genes carry the gun and lifestyle pulls the trigger. But in general, everyone will find it difficult to maintain or lose weight each year.

Weight gain and age: what’s going on?

1. You suffer from age-related muscle loss

The amount of lean muscle we naturally possess begins to decrease by 3-8% every decade after the age of 30, a process called sarcopenia. You can also lose muscle if you are less active due to age-related health issues, such as arthritis, or if you are inactive due to injury or surgery. All of these factors taken individually do not cause a significant decrease, but rather lead to a cumulative decrease.

Why is this muscle loss important? Because lean muscle consumes a lot of calories. Therefore, unless you regularly do strength training with weights to maintain and build muscle, your body will need fewer calories each day. This increases the likelihood of weight gain if you continue to consume the same number of calories you did when you were younger.

2. You are going through normal hormonal changes

Both men and women go through hormonal changes as they age, which is why middle age is the ideal time to gain weight.

For women, menopause, which often occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, causes a dramatic drop in estrogen that encourages extra weight to settle on the abdomen. This change in fat storage can lead to significant weight gain and an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 1 diabetes.

Additionally, fluctuating estrogen levels during perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause, can cause mood swings that make it difficult to stick to a healthy diet and exercise program. As a result, the average weight gain during the transition to menopause is about 5 kg.

On the other hand, men experience a significant decline in testosterone as they age, which begins to decline gradually around the age of 40 at a rate of about 1-2% per year. Testosterone is responsible, among other things, for regulating fat distribution and muscle strength and mass. In other words, decreasing it can make the body less efficient at burning calories.

The pituitary gland’s production of growth hormone decreases since middle age. One of the many functions of HC is to build and maintain muscle mass. So when HC goes down, it’s harder for your body to build and maintain muscle, which in turn affects how many calories you burn.

It’s the snowball effect. You start accumulating more fat, reduce lean body mass, burn fewer calories, and keep accumulating over time.

3. Your metabolism is slower than before

This decrease in muscle mass is likely to slow down the metabolism. A complex process that converts calories into energy. Having more fat and less muscle reduces calorie burn. In addition, many people become less active as they age, which also slows down the metabolism. But age isn’t the only thing that determines your metabolism: Your height and gender also play a role. The same goes for some health conditions, such as hypothyroidism.

4. You are more lethargic and more tense

By the time you hit your 40s and 50s, your career will likely be in full swing, which, while great, can cause some weight loss issues. For one thing, you’ll probably move less. You can commute from home to work for an hour or so, sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day, and have so much to do that you don’t have time for a walk or exercise during the workday.

You may also be too busy to break for lunch, which increases your chances of getting something from the vending machine or ordering fast, high-calorie meals. And you may be more stressed at work, which can increase your levels of the hormone ghrelin, making you hungrier.

5. You are going through major changes in your lifestyle

Some of the causes of weight gain in middle age have nothing to do with what’s going on in your body and all it does is how life changes as people enter their thirties. One of the biggest changes happens when you start a family.

Suddenly, the hour you spend in the gym after working with your child at home has passed. Then, your child’s after-school time is filled with games, homework, and other activities that require your attention. It looks like you don’t have time to yourself anymore. As a result, your intentions from your diet and exercise can get derailed, resulting in you gaining a few pounds.

7 Winning Actions to Lose Weight or Avoid Gaining Pounds

Focus on healthy foods

In general, increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and reduce the amount of junk food, sugar and other processed foods you eat. You should also focus on whole foods, vegetables, beans, nuts, and fruits that are full of fiber. It will be easier to control calories because they are bulky foods, take up more stomach space, while contributing fewer calories to your daily intake.

reduce your stakes

Learning how to adapt your diet to your body’s lower calorie needs is a gradual process. Start by reducing your daily diet by 100 to 200 calories and adapt it as needed. You’ll be amazed at the difference such a simple change can make.

stay well hydrated

It is easy to confuse feeling thirsty with hunger. Keeping water hydrated (instead of high-calorie drinks, such as sodas and fruit juices) speeds up the metabolism, which increases the breakdown of fats.

Relax

For many people, stress leads to a compensatory diet high in sugar and fat. Do whatever you need to do to relax, whether it’s a twice-weekly yoga class or short five-minute meditations throughout the day.

Work on training the major muscle groups

Respond to muscle loss by adding strength training exercises to your workout routine. With more muscle being used, you will burn calories more efficiently and you will be more active because you have better balance and have more endurance.

move more

Try to do half an hour of aerobic exercise every day. That is, anything that raises your heart rate, such as jogging, walking, biking, or swimming. Can’t find time to get fit in 30 minutes in one go? Put an end to it by doing, for example, three brisk 10-minute walks throughout the day. Short bursts of activity have a cumulative effect and count toward your daily exercise goal.

good night sleep

If you don’t wake up refreshed, you’ll be less active during the day and burn fewer calories. You should try to sleep between seven and nine hours each night.

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