With each passing birthday, the dreaded scale doesn’t seem to move. Is it just your imagination, or is it harder to lose weight as you age? In fact, there’s hard science to supporting that it is harder to lose weight as you age. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality published that we tend to gain 1-2 pounds per year as we age. Those pounds start to add up over time, and can even cause obesity. Read on to discover more reasons why it’s harder to lose weight as you age.
Metabolism is the key to burning fat, and as you age, your metabolism slows down drastically. Sarcopenia, or loss of muscle mass due to age, decreases approximately 3-8% per decade after the age of 30, according to the National Institute for Health. Muscles use more calories than fat, and if you’re intaking the same amount of calories as you did when you were younger, this can easily cause weight gain.
Do you work from home and sit at a desk all day? You’re not alone. According to The Office for Professional Employees, there are over 65 million professionals working on an office setting, making up 41.2% of the total U.S. workforce. When you’re sitting at a desk eight hours of a day, your job is contributing towards a sedentary lifestyle. Working from home is now part of the new normal, but weight gain is an unwanted side effect.
For both men and women, middle age is a time your body undergoes significant hormonal changes. Women experience a drop in estrogen levels, (due to menopause or perimenopause), whereas men experience a drop in testosterone. Estrogen and testosterone help regulate metabolism and body weight, and these lower levels may lead to weight gain.
As we get older, taking certain medications becomes inevitable. While medications can be good for you, and solve a number of physical and mental ailments, an unwanted side effect can be weight gain. RX reports that the most common medications that can cause weight gain include:
• Blood pressure medications
• Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications
• Anti-seizure and nerve pain medications
You may be growing your family, making more income and eating out more and cooking less, or taking more vacations because you have more time for it. As time goes on, your lifestyle changes drastically from when you were a broke college kid. While we celebrate many of these milestones, these lifestyle changes can cause weight gain, too. With a busy schedule, there’s less time to work out, and bad habits like eating out can translate into more pounds on the scale.
How can you combat age-related weight gain?
Focus on healthy foods and portion control: Integrating more produce into your diet, especially fruits and vegetables, will make a huge difference. Eating smaller portions will help combat a slowing metabolism as well since you’ll be consuming less calories.
Exercise more and integrate strength training: Making sure you exercise at least 150 minutes per week, plus integrating strength training will help fight sarcopenia. Remember, muscle burns more calories than fat, so building up the muscles you have will help burn calories more efficiently.
Join our medical weight loss programs: Joining our RM3® or RM Lifestyle program, led by our Medical Weight Loss Providers, will provide the guidance and support you need to overcome these age-related weight gain challenges. Book an appointment at your nearest Red Mountain Weight Loss center today.