Have you noticed that your pair of skinny jeans fit more tightly on the legs and around the waist as the year goes by? What about your favorite party dress? Does it feel tighter on your body each passing year? I know this is something you might be worried about, but please don’t call your therapist just yet! This is just a case that lifestyle and biology have something to do with.
According to several research outcomes, a lot of individuals experience incremental weight gain as they age, particularly when they go into their middle age. From ages 29 to 30, people gain approximately 7 pounds. This is specific to women, while for men, they usually put an extra 15 pounds. Additionally, weight loss becomes more challenging for those who are above 40 years old. For varying reasons, it’s quite difficult for men and women to lose the pounds as they switch from adulthood to middle age.
Generally, all individuals, both male, and female encounter certain biological challenges to weight loss during their middle-age years. The altering hormones and estrogen loss are two common reasons for women to gain nearly 15 pounds when they are in their menopausal stage. They also tend to gain a few inches of tummy fat. Men, on the other hand, lose testosterone and undergo a reduction of muscle mass.
It is a sad truth that weight loss is slower and weight gain is usual as we age. Nevertheless, there are some strategies we can follow to reverse this cycle somehow and still lose weight even as we reach our middle-age years.
Walking with a friend or walking in nature or walking while you listen to music or a podcast on a topic you are fascinated by is a great way to get exercise and also make connections and be outside and learn new things. — Gregg Henriques Ph.D.
The 30s Through 50s
- Do more weight-bearing exercises. An example is weightlifting. This helps maintain your body’s muscle mass and becomes increasingly vital as you propel towards middle age. It aids in burning calories, as having less muscle mass means you burn lesser calories. Weight lifting also helps in lowering the risk of sustaining injuries. Free weights and resistance training are great exercises to do.
- Make exercise a family thing. If you don’t want to your husband and your kids to be a distraction to your weight loss plan, then let them join in! You can invite them for an afternoon bike around the park or long walks to the beach. Or perhaps if you’re up for a challenge, play basketball with your boys. You can do anything with them, really, so that you lose that weight in a fun and healthy way.
- Regularly check your caloric consumption. When you were in your 20s, you didn’t need to worry about knowing how many calories your lunch was. But as you move into your 40s, it is wise to monitor your caloric intake. Dieticians suggest reading food labels and menus in restaurants that you visit. When you go grocery shopping, count the calories of your chosen items. MyFitnessPal is a useful app that you can download in your smartphone to help you keep track of the calories you consume daily.
In fact, one study concluded that by remaining physically active, the average 65-year-old can expect to gain an additional 12.7 years of healthy life–-meaning he or she will live disability-free until age 77.7. — Matt James Ph.D.
The 60s And Above
- Minimize dining out. This must especially be strictly followed if you are in a ‘very hungry’ mode. Hunger can destroy all your goals and intentions, so if you plan to eat out, perhaps you can munch on some nuts or a slice of apple to keep you from binge eating when you get to the restaurant. Another technique would be to order something healthy as soon as you arrive, like a fruit platter or salad.
- Stay active. Middle age through old age presents with several health concerns like hypertension, depression, and diabetes. During these years, it is crucial to continue moving, although not with the same frequency and intensity as before. Walking remains a mainstay for all ages but is especially recommended for this stage to replace jogging. Skiing is also a great activity that people in their 70s can still do. Finally, weight lifting using mild weights is also suggested by most health experts.
- Practice proper eating habits. Cooking your meals is probably one of the best ways to keep track of your weight and caloric intake. Still, whether or not you cook at home, you should learn to practice a healthy eating plan. This can start with consuming more fruits and vegetables and less meat. Whole-grain foods are also preferred, as with sufficient amounts of protein. This is the secret of many 90-year-olds who are still active and happy despite their old age.
If you find many parts of your lifestyle are leaving you in poor mental and emotional health, talking to a counselor may help you identify ways to create a lifestyle that better supports psychological wellness. — Deanna Richards, LMHC
Though increasing age is inevitable, it is true when they say that ‘age is but a number.’ As you add years to life, it only fits that you strive to add life to your years to be able to experience a healthy, happy, and graceful aging.