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7 Reasons It Can Be Harder to Lose Weight as You Age (And Their Solutions)

By December 27, 2020 April 1st, 2021 No Comments

01. We lose muscle as we age.

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Meaning, it takes more calories to maintain muscle than it does fat, therefore, the more muscle we have, the more calories we burn and vice versa. Solution: Add some weight training or resistance training a few times a week or more and consume more protein as you age. These two things together will help one maintain their lean mass.

02. We are less active and more sedentary as we age.

As kids we are usually much more active running around with our friends, playing, etc.. As adults and we age more we tend to be less active and some jobs we have we also sit all day for some. Solution: Count steps, take walks/hikes. Join challenges and runs. Don’t sit in front of the tv for hours a day. Play with your kids. If you have a sedentary job, get up every hour or two for a small walk or some movement. The more movement, the more calories burned.


“Finding some time for yourself is not being selfish. You time is very important for your physical and mental health.”

– Nick Andrus, Fitness Coach


03. We tend to deal with more stress and sometimes get less sleep as we age.

As we take on more responsibilities, we tend to have more stress. Work, kids, finances, material things, etc. Many adults also sleep less due to this. Solution: Stop compensating with alcohol and caffeine and address the issues. Too many take pills to sleep and caffeine to wake, which ends up being an unsolved cycle. Adopt good sleep habits and a good sleep routine. I’m also an advocate of outdoor leisure walks and exercise to reduce stress.

04. Hormone levels change with age.

Solution: Monitor your levels as you age to make sure they are within normal limits. Eating mostly whole foods, sleep, and exercise can keep your hormones optimized.

05. Our priorities change as we age.

We take on many more responsibilities such as having a career, kids and a family which leaves less time for you. Solution: Realize the better and healthier you are, the better parent and spouse you can be, therefore finding some time for yourself is not being selfish. You time is very important for your physical and mental health.

06. Many take more medications as they age and some medications can inhibit or slow weight loss.

Solution: Minimize the medications you need to take and know the side effects to help mitigate them if possible.

07. Our hunger levels can go up as we age.

Less sleep can raise hunger and cravings and we tend to eat emotionally more as we age to deal with stress and the like. Solution: Minimize processed food. Consume lean protein and low calorie high, nutrient dense, high volume foods such as fruits and vegetables. Basically, choose the majority of your diet from whole foods.

In the end, you lose weight the same way as you age. Aside from any medical issues it’s being in a calorie deficit over time.


“Consume lean protein and low calorie high, nutrient dense, high volume foods such as fruits and vegetables. Basically, choose the majority of your diet from whole foods.”

– Nick Andrus, Fitness Coach


References:
  1. Volpi E, Nazemi R, Fujita S. Muscle tissue changes with aging. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004;7(4):405-410. doi:10.1097/01.mco.0000134362.76653.b2
  2. Siparsky PN, Kirkendall DT, Garrett WE Jr. Muscle changes in aging: understanding sarcopenia. Sports Health. 2014;6(1):36-40. doi:10.1177/1941738113502296
  3. Penn State University, “Middle age may be much more stressful now than in the 1990s”
  4. FDA, “As You Age: You and Your Medicines”
  5. HCP Live, “How Many Pills Do Your Elderly Patients Take Each Day?”

Nick Andrus has been a professional fitness coach for 6 years. He holds two back-to-back CIF championships, going 50-0 for two seasons, and two 1st Place wins in physique competitions. He lives in Pasadena, CA, where he’s currently training for an IronMan World Championship.

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