24 Feb Why it’s Easier to Gain Weight as you Age
Can’t enjoy those donuts and bags of potato chips like you did in your younger days (or at least not without the consequence of weight gain)? Well, unfortunately, it’s just another part of getting older. Here’s why…
Stress: As you get older, stress levels tend to increase with the pressures of every day adult life – raising a family, juggling a career, the list goes on. When your body is under stress, it releases cortisol, a hormone that speeds up your reaction time and keeps you safe. When you have too much cortisol, it is not processed and ends up being stored as fat in your body. Oh great, one more thing to stress over.
Lack of Sleep: Sleep deprived? It’s no wonder…see “Stress” above! While sleep won’t help you lose weight, not getting enough of it can result in weight gain. Several studies on the link between sleep deprivation and weight gain have showed that not getting adequate sleep makes your brain crave fattening, high-calorie foods.
Slower Metabolism: According to Dr. Oz, your metabolism slows down 5 percent every decade after you turn 40! Blame it on shifts in hormones. For men, testosterone and DHEA levels decline, and in women, insulin-regulating hormones become less effective. Metabolism helps convert food into energy and when this slows down, you don’t burn calories like you used to. Experts suggest trimming an extra 100 calories per day to counter your slower metabolism. Think it doesn’t sound like a lot? Think again because it can quickly add up. At 100 extra calories per day, 365 days per year, that’s up to 10 pounds of weight you could’ve gained!
You are Hungrier: Blame those darn hormones again. As estrogen and testosterone levels fall, changes occur in blood sugar and your thyroid, which increase your appetite. When combined with a natural loss of muscle mass (see below), you’ve got a recipe for weight gain. What to do? Swap out junk food with foods that are higher in fiber such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans. Fiber not only keeps you regular, it helps you feel fuller, quicker, and for longer periods of time.
Loss of Muscle Mass: Did you know that muscle burns about three times more calories than fat? Thanks to the hormone shifts, muscle mass significantly decreases as you age. This is why it is so important to include strength training into your exercise regimen. Each pound of muscle you gain will increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day. Bonus – strength training will also protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
As you can see your hormones play a huge role in aging as well as weight loss. We like to describe hormones as sort of like stoplights. When your hormones are balanced the light will be green, indicating that you are getting the most of our your nutrition and exercise routine. In turn, when the light is red it makes it easy to gain weight and difficult to lose it. Bioidentical hormones (BHRT) can restore hormone imbalance at a cellular level. When your hormones are balanced, and in the green light state, the effort put into losing weight becomes easier. For example, when males age or become less active there is gradual decline in testosterone. Testosterone is an essential hormone for males, it boosts metabolism and helps to lower fat levels. Thus when testosterone is balanced in a man’s body he is able to maintain his ideal weight easier. For women when estrogen and progesterone are not properly balanced due to age or other hormonal factors, you can be predisposed weight gain. Research has shown that the average person will add 1-2 pounds around his or her mid-section each year between the ages of thirty-five and fifty-five. Hormones are the chemical messengers that tell the body to make changes affecting weight gain/loss. Thus getting your hormone levels balanced with the help of bioidentical hormones is essential if you are trying to lose weight.
Are you having a hard time losing weight on your own? Do you think that BHRT treatments might be right for you? Our medical weight loss centers in Tampa, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, and St. Petersburg are standing by to help you start your weight loss journey. Please give us a call for more information on our medical weight loss programs and BHRT treatments.