Easy Ways to Combat Weight Gain as You Age
As we grow older, we may realize it is harder than ever to keep a trim waistline. Most of us chalk it up to just another part of growing older. However, there is legitimate reasoning behind this weight gain. Below, we will discuss four of the main reasons for weight gain after the age of 40, and what you can do to prevent it.
You are losing muscle mass
You may have heard that muscle weighs more than fat not only is this true, muscle also burns more calories than fat with the body is at rest. This is a result of a drop in testosterone levels, along with underuse. As we age we are definitely ones were causing existing muscles to atrophy. This slows down the metabolism significantly, meaning the body does not burn as many calories as it should.
To correct this, start a strength training routine. For each pound of muscle you gain, you will increase your metabolism, burning more calories throughout the day. This helps the body burn stored fat, making it easier to lose those unwanted pounds.
Your hunger has increased
After the age of 40, estrogen levels begin to fall, causing significant changes in the thyroid and blood sugar, which increases appetite. Combine this with the natural loss of muscle mass and you have the perfect combination to stimulate weight gain.
Although there is little that you can do to change your natural hormone levels, you can combat the effects by paying careful attention to your diet. Remove all processed foods and instead incorporate high-fiber foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans into your daily diet to promote fullness and stifle overeating.
Your metabolism is slower
Researchers have determined that the metabolism slows by roughly 5% every decade after the age of 40. This causes a significant reduction in the amount calories the body burns. Experts state that reducing your daily caloric intake by only 100 calories a day is enough to counteract this effect. Only 100 calories per day may not seem like a lot, but over the course of a year, this can prevent a 10-pound weight gain.
This can easily be done by making small changes in your diet. Avoiding sandwich toppings such as mayonnaise and cheese, switching to fat-free milk in your coffee and choosing vinaigrette over creamy salad dressings is enough to prevent weight gain.
You are not getting enough quality sleep
Today’s lifestyles are more hectic than ever and can really take a toll on your sleeping habits. When most individuals run low on energy, they grab a sugary treat or large cup of coffee. These stimulants will give you a quick burst of energy that will cause fatigue later on in the day. This fatigue combined with an overall lack of energy only creates a vicious cycle of feeling run down, and then consuming sugar or caffeine.
Although researchers have stated that sleep alone is not enough to keep the numbers on the scale low, they do know that lack of sleep is a surefire way to gain weight. Several studies have shown strong links between sleep deprivation and weight gain, proving that eight quality hours of sleep per night is pertinent for a trim waistline.
Instead of reaching for caffeine or sugary snacks to get you through the afternoon, try a piece of fresh fruit and drinking several glasses of water. The natural sugars in the fruit should be enough to give you that extra boost of energy you need, while the water keeps you well hydrated.
Losing weight as you grow older can be difficult. However, following the above tips can help you keep your weight in check.
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