It’s not our imagination: as we get older, losing weight costs more effort, especially for women. Several factors influence this change that have as much to do with the aging of the organism as with the changes in lifestyle that are usually accompanied with the birthday.
If you want to know what the main reasons for this fact are, as well as what you can do to fight it, read on.
Why it costs more to lose weight with age
As we say, there are several reasons and these are some of the most important.
Loss of muscle mass
Since muscle mass has a higher metabolism than fat, increasing and preserving it is a good strategy to help us lose weight. However, as we get older it is normal to lose muscle mass little by little and it takes more effort to recover it. This causes the body’s metabolism to slow down and weight loss to cost more.
Added Difficulties for Women
Women who have gone through one or more pregnancies sometimes don’t finish taking off the weight they gained with each one of them, which means that they have been adding kilos that are becoming more and more difficult to eliminate. In addition, the hormonal changes of menopause and pre-menopause can affect the metabolism, slowing it down and causing that losing fat requires more effort.
A lifetime of diets
Every time we make a drastic diet, even if it works for a short period, the chances of regaining weight a posteriori are high. This is called the yo-yo effect. The problem is that with each of these attempts we have been changing the body composition of our body and increasing our percentage of body fat. The more times we have done this in our lives the more percentage of fat we can have accumulated, and that, like the loss of muscle mass, makes it difficult later to lose weight.
Lower calorie consumption
Normally with age we become more sedentary, which reduces our total calorie intake. However, we don’t usually reduce our calorie intake in the same way, so getting the calorie deficit, which is the only way to burn fat, is very difficult.
Stress is one of the main obstacles when it comes to losing weight. Elevated levels of cortisol, one of the hormones associated with stress, continually affect our metabolism by reducing the rate at which it consumes calories, which is an added difficulty when it comes to losing weight.
We sleep less
Like stress, and directly related to it, lack of sleep is another factor that influences weight loss. It is more common for adults over the age of 30 to have sleep problems, as well as to sleep fewer hours than they would need, for the same thing to happen in younger people, usually with less workload and fewer responsibilities.
What can you do to achieve this?
Although losing weight from an age on is more difficult, it is not impossible. To achieve this, you will have to take into account all the factors mentioned above in order to try to compensate them as much as possible and thus mitigate their impact.
To combat loss of muscle mass and sedentary lifestyle, it is important that you never stop being physically active. Maybe you don’t know where to start: here are some tips. Walk, swim, hike in the mountains or sign up for dance classes. Look for an activity that you like, and if that’s the way to go, go in company. Think of spending 3 or 4 hours a week on the move as a way to take care of yourself and stay in shape.
Find a way to relax and rest
From an age we are realizing what works for us to relax and help us rest: a warm shower before bed, a comfortable and quiet room, yoga … Find your technique and put it into practice. Again, spending time relaxing and getting enough sleep is not a whim, it is a necessity and a way to take care of your body.
Improve your eating habits
It is never too late to discard habits in favor of healthier ones. Leave soft drinks and sugary juices, eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables, reduce your consumption of processed products… In the short and medium term this can help you lose weight, but in the long term it will also be beneficial to your health.
Pay attention to what you eat
Between work, family obligations and other responsibilities, one way to save time may be to eat whatever you catch in a hurry, eat on the way, in front of the computer or watching TV when you arrive home exhausted in the afternoon. It’s very likely that this way you won’t pay real attention to what you’re eating, you won’t notice the quantities or the flavors and you’ll end up eating too much. Turning off distractions and devoting our attention to what we are eating can be a simple but important step when it comes to losing weight and changing our relationship with food, something for which it is never too late.