It’s a common misconception that gaining weight with age is inevitable. The reality is that even though it’s common in our society to see people increase in size as they age, weight gain can not only be prevented but also avoided with the passing years. To better understand this position, let’s take a look at why people gain weight with age and how it can be avoided.
Why do people gain weight with age?
Metabolic decline: Between the ages of 25 and 30, the average person’s metabolism declines by between 5-10 percent every 10 years as a result of muscle loss, lower activity levels and other contributing factors such as hormonal shifts. What this means is that the body requires fewer calories throughout the day than before. If calories stay the same or increase without activity levels increasing, weight gain is inevitable.
Muscle loss: Muscle loss is a part of the natural aging process and begins to take place for most people when they enter their 30s and 40s. Because muscle keeps the metabolism revving, loss of muscle means an increase in fat and a decrease in metabolism, which is a direct contributor to weight gain.
Less activity: After high school and college, where many people participate in an organized sport, activity becomes less frequent. Enter the world of desk jobs and corporate travel, which enables a more sedentary lifestyle, and caloric output is diminished. If incoming calories increase or even stay the same but activity decreases, weight gain will take place.
More calories: An obvious contributor to weight gain with age is an increase in calories. It’s very easy to allow portions to become larger over time or not pay as much attention to incoming calories by way of snacking or indulging. Social obligations may also increase, putting an emphasis on more eating and drinking.
How can weight gain be avoided with age?
Get moving: An easy fix to avoid weight gain with age is to move more. Exercise plays a vital role with aging and is crucial to controlling weight and remaining healthy. Always keep in mind that a decline in physical activity without a decline in consumed calories will correlate to weight gain.
Lift weights: Incorporating weight training into a consistent exercise routine is another way to keep off the pounds. Resistance training helps to build muscle, which in turn increases the metabolism and burns more fat. It can also offset some muscle loss as you age. Lifting weights also helps with bone density and bone health, which is important to maintain with age.
Calorie balance: Maintaining a balance with calories is another way to ward off the weight gain. As mentioned above, in periods of less activity, fewer calories must be consumed to stay at the same weight. In periods of increased activity, calories can stay the same or very slightly increase, depending on the goal.
Jason DeHenzel has trained some of New York’s most prestigious clients, including high-profile lawyers, advertising executives, movie producers and musicians. Sophie DeHenzel is a Pn1-certified nutritionist and former downhill ski racer. The pair founded DeHenzel Training Systems to develop customized fitness plans for clients of different abilities, experience and commitment. Find out more at dtsnova.com.