Does Weight Loss Become Harder As You Get Older?

As we get older, losing weight can become more difficult for many people. Weight loss can be a challenging process in itself because of all the different things that can hinder your progress, so understanding what part age plays in the big picture can help you come up with a strategic plan to overcome these challenges.

Today we are going to talk about some of the reasons why it is harder to lose weight as you age and provide some safe and effective solutions that can help you achieve your weight loss goals and maintain a healthy weight.

Why Is It Harder To Lose Weight As You Age?

Have you noticed that regardless of the fact that you are doing what you have always done, like watching what you eat and exercising every day, the scale is giving you bad news or your midsection is getting thicker? Why is this happening?

When you are in your 20s your body needs more energy to keep it running, so you can eat more calories each day because your body is burning them off pretty fast. Then, as you slide into your 30s, your body requires fewer calories to maintain a steady weight, so if you continue to eat like you did when you were younger, you consume more calories than your body uses, and what is left over turns to fat and excess weight.

This continues to be true into your 40s and beyond, and it can become increasingly challenging to stay within a healthy body mass index range. Some of the most common reasons why losing weight gets harder with age include the following:

Your Metabolism Gets Slower
One of the main reasons it is harder to lose weight as you age is that the process that your body uses to turn the food you eat into energy begins to run slower. Even when you are sleeping, your body is converting calories into energy to perform functions like breathing, your heart pumping blood, etc. The medical term used to describe the speed of this process is “metabolic rate,” and it naturally begins to decline in your mid-twenties. As the old saying goes, it’s all downhill from there. According to Obesity News Today, by the time an individual reaches age 60, their metabolic rate has usually declined by around 30%.
You Lose Muscle Mass
At around age 30, we begin to slowly lose muscle mass, and after the age of 60, we begin to lose it faster. Since muscle mass burns more calories than fat (even when you are doing nothing), this slows your metabolic rate even further, making it easier to gain weight and harder to create the calorie deficit needed to lose it. You might be wondering why your muscle mass begins to deteriorate, and it is mostly because you’re not using them like you used to.

As people get older, they usually have more tasks or responsibilities they are tasked with, which makes it hard for them to find time to exercise. Also, as we get older, we often reach a point in our career where we have long work hours, buckets of stress, and little time for preparing healthy meals. Older individuals tend to have more aches and pains, which may make them less active and more prone to injuries. When you are not actively using your muscles, they will weaken and affect your metabolic rate.

Age-Related Hormone Shifts
According to statistics published by the CDC, hormonal changes around middle age are linked to weight gain in both men and women. When women enter perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause), their changing hormones often trigger mood shifts, which may make it harder for them to make healthy food choices or feel up to exercising. On average, women gain around five pounds during this period of time.

Then, when they reach the full onset of menopause, their estrogen levels significantly decrease, which tends to cause an accumulation of excess weight in their midsection. This is frustrating to many because they begin to put on weight even though they have not changed their eating habits or exercise routine. Aside from the physical changes this causes, it can also wreak havoc on their metabolic health and increase the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

When men hit middle age, their testosterone levels begin to gradually decline and this continues at a rate of about 1-2 % a year. This hormonal shift changes how the body burns calories and manages the distribution of fat and muscle mass.

Additionally, as we get older, our pituitary gland slows down the production of human growth hormone (HGH), which aids in muscle growth and helps reduce fat storage. As our muscle mass decreases, so does our body’s ability to burn calories, which leads to the accumulation of excess fat and creates an ongoing cycle of weight gain.

Elevated Stress Levels
As we get older, our responsibilities at home and at work typically increase, leading to higher stress levels from both areas. Stress releases a hormone called cortisol in our systems, which in times of danger might be helpful, but it does nothing to help us maintain a healthy weight.

Cortisol helps to regulate your blood pressure, immune system, metabolism, and the way your body breaks down lipids, proteins, and carbs and converts them into energy to be used by your body. Chronic stress raises your cortisol levels, triggering your body to retain fat, which can cause serious health problems and weight gain.

Are There Effective Ways To Lose Weight When You Are Older?

Yes, there are strategies that can help you lose weight as you get older, but the process can be more challenging.

Be Mindful Of Your Diet And Eating Habits

  • Focus on foods that are high in nutrients and lower in calories. As you age, the number of calories you require declines, but your nutritional requirements increase;
  • Watch your portions and pay attention to how much you are eating;
  • Avoid foods and beverages that are full of sugar;
  • Avoid processed foods and junk food, and focus on whole foods.

Stay Active

  • To preserve your muscle mass and keep your metabolism running as efficiently as possible, is important to incorporate exercise into your daily routine;
  • Concentrating on a combination of techniques like yoga, cardio, and strength training can keep your body flexible, and your heart strong, and preserve your muscle mass.

Focus On Positive Lifestyle Choices

  • Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Not getting a good night’s sleep can throw your hormones off, which can make you feel hungry and affect how well your metabolism functions;
  • Practice strategies to reduce your stress levels. This will help prevent excess cortisol production and mitigate unhealthy habits like emotional eating;
  • Drink enough water every day, as thirst is often mistaken for hunger, and staying well hydrated helps keep your body functioning at its best.

Seek Professional Assistance

Statistics have shown that, without some type of medical assistance, it is almost impossible for an obese individual to lose enough weight to reach a healthy BMI.

A doctor who specializes in obesity medicine can help identify the issues that are preventing you from losing weight or causing weight gain. Regardless of your age, an expert like Dr. Steven Batash can help you reach your weight loss goals and maintain them long-term.

Non-Surgical Solutions Can Make Losing Weight Easier

At Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center, Dr. Batash offers endoscopic weight loss procedures that can help make your weight journey less challenging. These non-surgical solutions are far less risky than bariatric surgery, have much shorter recovery times, and yield excellent results when combined with healthy lifestyle choices. Another solution that is often used in conjunction with a gastric balloon or Suture Sculpt ESG are prescription weight loss injections. These can boost your metabolism, fight off hunger pangs, and multiply the results of the effort you put in.

Working with the team of weight loss professionals at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center can help you break through any age-related challenges you are experiencing that are preventing you from maintaining a healthy weight. They will be with you every step of the way during your weight loss journey and will be easily accessible to help you with any future challenges that arise. Set up a consultation to learn more about how you can lose weight, regardless of your age.

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