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Why We Gain Weight as We Age (And 5 Ways to Prevent It)

 

by Caitlin Hendee,

Nov 6, 2017

 

Remember your 20s, when you could eat eggs and bacon for breakfast, chow down on a burger and french fries for lunch, a steak and baked potato for dinner — and your waistline never showed much difference?

Ah yes, those were the good old days. Unfortunately for many of us, that ship has sailed.

The older we get, the easier (and more likely) we are to pack on those extra pounds, even when we eat healthy and try to exercise.

It’s an inevitable part of aging — the question is: Why?

Although there are many factors at play (slowing metabolisms, hormones, more sedentary lifestyles, etc.), perhaps the biggest culprit is a loss of muscle mass.

It’s a condition called sarcopenia, and it happens to all of us slowly right around age 30, getting more prevalent after we hit age 40.

Unless we do something to prevent it, it only gets worse from there, with the lost muscle mass quickly being replaced with fat (hence the weight gain), and leaving us with a decreased ability to burn calories over time, since muscle burns more than fat.

Is there any way to combat it? Yes, several! We rounded up 5 ways to prevent weight gain as we age, things we can do to slow the process, keep our muscle mass high and keep our fat measurements low.

1) Eat a clean diet packed with lean protein and plenty of fruits and veggies.

 

Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget just how critical a healthy diet becomes, especially as we age. Diet-to-Go’s Balance Menu makes eating a nutritional, healthy diet easy by delivering meals right to your door.

 

2) Weight Lift 2-3 times per week.

 

Keep those muscles strong by doing 20- to 30-minute weight lifting sessions a few times a week. Work with a trainer or follow along with some of the best weight-lifting channels on YouTube. You can also create a regimen of your own for at-home or the gym.

 

3) Get a good night’s rest.

Experts recommend that the average adult get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. A good night’s sleep is tied with having fewer cravings during the day and a better ability to manage stress.

 

4) Don’t skip meals.

 

Skipping meals may seem harmless enough, but it can wreak havoc on a healthy diet. When we skip a meal, we’re more likely to snack and over-compensate later, which can lead to lesser-quality calories.

 

5) Stay on top of your vitamins.

 

Like anything good in life, the key is to find balance, and ensuring that you’re getting the proper amounts of vitamins is a part of that equation. Most vitamins come in the form of food (like Vitamin C in an orange, for example), but sometimes we’ll need to supplement them with pills. Talk to your doctor at your next visit (which you should be doing annually!) for updated blood work and recommendations.
 

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Author: Caitlin Hendee

Diet-to-Go Community Manager

Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.

 

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