If you are above 40 years of age, you would have experienced that it becomes difficult to lose weight as you age. In your 20s and even 30s, working out and maintaining a healthy diet will help you lose weight quickly. But when you are in your 40s, working out becomes a bit difficult and even if you manage a decent diet low in carbs, you might end up putting on weight. The problem isn’t with your eating habit; the problem is with your lean muscles.
Everyone experiences natural muscle loss as they age. The amount of lean muscle your body consists of determines your metabolic rate. A decrease in lean muscle means a decrease in your metabolic rate. Thus, even if you eat less and have a low metabolic rate, you are bound to put on weight. This is one of the primary reasons for weight gain as you age. Of course, there are other factors such as change of hormones, a sedentary lifestyle and excessive stress.
Lack of proper sleep is an important factor which causes weight gain. Not sleeping well can decrease your metabolism.
Loss of Lean Muscle and Weight Gain
The truth is that you tend to lose muscles naturally as you age. This also causes loss of lean muscle mass. Now, lean muscle mass is particularly important in keeping your metabolic rate high. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you can burn. By the age of 30, your muscle mass starts declining and at the age of 40, this accelerates.
When you eat food, your body cannot burn a lot of calories having lost its lean muscle mass. Thus, the muscles get replaced by fat and you put on weight easily. The process of lean muscle mass depletion is called sarcopenia.
How to Prevent Weight Gain and Sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia or loss of lean muscle can be prevented. Here are a few things that you can do to avoid weight gain as you age.
- Make sure that you exercise with weights at least twice a week. Build your body both in weights and intensity as you progress.
- Make sure that you get adequate protein intake. Enrich your diet with protein rich foods or have protein supplements every now and then.
- Adequate sleep is imperative. Getting enough sleep ensures that your body’s muscles and other components are repaired. This prepares your body for the next day and also helps in boosting your metabolic rate.
- Do cardio exercises. This improves your cardio vascular health. A lot of doctors have recommended cardio as sweating is good for your health as you age. This helps you deal better with problems and also overcome weight gain as you age. Run everyday for 15 minutes to stay healthy at any age.
Weight gain might seem like a big puzzle to solve while aging, but following a healthy diet and effective exercise regime will help you stay fit. Opt for yoga or combine strength training with cardio for optimum results. If you have a favorite sport, you might as well be able to stay active by playing the sports everyday. The solution to weight loss or avoiding weight gain irrespective of your age is simple: Eat the right food and Do the right exercises.
How do you overcome weight gain while aging? Do you have a specific strategy? Feel free to let us know your thoughts on weight gain by commenting below!