A number of factors work against us in terms of weight gain throughout our lives. Some of these factors you can control, some you can hope to mitigate, and some will need a Belle Medical intervention. One of the factors we hear most about is time itself. If you’ve ever wondered “Why do we get fatter with age,” read on for some answers.
Why Do People Gain Weight as They Age?
First, the hardest truth: The amount of fat your body carries will increase with age, making losing weight after 50 a little tougher. For women, this fat tends to accumulate in the midsection due to a drop in estrogen levels. For men, the drop in testosterone shifts fat deposits down toward the hips. While this increase in fat is inevitable, it can cause some health concerns if it goes unchecked, so it’s important to keep an eye on your weight gain in old age.
Not only do our fat cells multiply but our muscle mass also decreases as we age, another reason why we do gain weight as we get older. Having weaker muscles means our bodies burn fewer calories and usually leads to us being less active overall. This muscle loss begins around age 30 and increases throughout the years. Focusing on resistance training and making sure to stay active can slow the process and keep you leaner into old age.
Another link between aging and weight gain is the change in our skeletal systems. As we get older, our bone density drops, our height decreases, and our skeleton itself sort of shrinks down. When we’re not at our full height, our bodies tend to look less lean.
While their severity may vary from person to person, all of these are factors beyond our control—but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to lose weight after 50.
How to Avoid Weight Gain as You Age
Plenty of folks look and feel fabulous in old age, and they all have a few things in common. Here are some of our top tips for how to mitigate the weight gain that comes with age.
First, don’t give up. Just because our bodies will naturally change doesn’t mean we can’t stay healthy and active for years to come. The first step in any lifestyle shift is mental, and this is no different. So, chin up! Your golden years may be your best yet.
Strength training and cardio are your friends. Strength training can help slow the loss of muscle mass, and cardio keeps your body slim and your heart in good shape. A healthy mixture of both—strength training a few times a week and some cardio every day—is sure to slow weight gain in older age. You may not be able to handle the same routines as you did in your youth, but do your best. If you don’t have the strength for weight lifting, try resistance training, like pool aerobics, and if a run sounds too strenuous, a walk will do.
Eat foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients, like fruits and vegetables. These foods fill you up and keep you healthy without upping your calorie intake. Add in some lean proteins to aid in building muscle mass and increase your energy.
Finally, drink plenty of water and eat water-rich foods. As we age, our body’s water content decreases, so make sure you’re replenishing your resources and staying hydrated. Now that you understand some of the factors that explain why we gain weight when we’re older, you’re ready to combat them. Of course, if you need a little extra help, we’re here for you too. Belle Medical can help you remove diet- and exercise-resistant fat and restore the youthful figure you remember.
McKay has a love and passion for health and physical aesthetics. He went to Utah State on a full-ride academic scholarship, majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition. McKay is currently the CMO of Belle Medical, a competitive bodybuilder, and a Certified Personal Trainer and Dietitian. When he’s not reading up on the latest breakthroughs in health and fitness research, he’s working hard to set trends of his own. Most importantly, McKay truly believes that with proper eating habits, training, and the right medical interventions (a la Belle Medical), no physique or personal body goal is out of reach for ANYONE.