If you’re over the age of 45 you know it gets harder to lose weight as you age. Seniors clients at Liv Fitness in Dublin, CA know they have to work a little harder to achieve their goals. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just a little harder. One reason losing weight is more difficult is that metabolism slows as you age. Sarcopenia—loss of muscle mass—occurs after the age of 30 at the rate of approximately 3 to 5% per year if you’re sedentary. That can affect your metabolism.
Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does.
Not only does muscle tissue burn more calories, increasing your metabolism around the clock, the more muscle tissue you have, the more active you’ll probably be. Loss of muscle mass negatively affects your insulin sensitivity and keeps testosterone levels higher. When you work to build muscle tissue, such as doing strength training, you’ll not only build more muscle tissue, you’ll also burn more calories, not only while you’re training, but for hours afterward. The more calories you burn, whether via metabolism, exercise or afterburn, the easier it is to lose weight.
Your hormones play a role in weight gain and how hard it is to lose weight.
Hormones change in both men and women as they age. Men have a drop in testosterone levels, while women lose estrogen. Hormonal imbalances can occur, particularly in menopausal women. All those things can make weight loss more difficult. Hormonal changes can cause abdominal fat, the most unhealthy type of fat and hardest to lose. Exercise and a healthy diet can help balance hormones and solve some of the problems.
Stress and a sedentary lifestyle can account for some of the weight gain.
As people approach their fifties and sixties, they aren’t normally as active as they used to be. Most people are in less active roles at work, having graduated up to a more sedentary job that also comes with more stress. Commuting becomes part of daily life, so hours are spent driving. With driving and work, stress builds. Stress produces hormones to fight or for flight. One of those hormones is cortisol, which is associated with the accumulation of belly fat.
- A healthy diet is important. Foods high in protein, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats help you lose weight. Avoid foods with added sugar and processed food that can cause inflammation, which contributes to weight gain.
- The older you are, the harder it is to stay hydrated. Studies show that drinking more water can aid in weight loss, particularly if a glass of water is consumed 15 minutes before eating.
- As you reach middle age, your body makes less human growth hormone—GH. GH helps build muscle mass, so with less, you have to work harder to just maintain muscle. Less muscle, fewer calories burned.
- Losing weight is not impossible. Start with a healthy diet, adequate protein, plenty of rest and exercise. Working out a half hour or more five times a week can make a huge difference.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness