Why We Gain Weight As We Age

Weight gain is inevitable, especially as we get older. It’s not uncommon or unhealthy for us to gain some weight. In fact, as you develop and grow, your body needs that extra weight to be healthy. However, too much weight gain can be harmful to your body, especially as we get older.

According to a study that was published in 2013 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, we tend to gain weight at the rate of about one to two pounds per year. This may not sound like a large number, but that weight can add up, and if you’re not especially health conscious, you may be gaining way more than just one or two pounds.

Many times, people equate weight gain with the slowing of their metabolism. Yes, your metabolism does slow down a bit. However, the reality at which your metabolism slows is fairly minute. The main reason that people start to gain weight as the enter into their adult years is because we tend to be less physically active and consume more calories than we should be.

This may sound like daunting news, however it is an easy fix! In this blog post, we will be discussing how you can prevent age related weight gain. Keep reading to learn more!

How Can I Prevent It?

Stay Physically Active

Just as mentioned above, the main reason for age related weight gain is the fact that we become more sedentary. Think about it, when we get older we tend to sit more. Office jobs, phone calls, the exhaustion from a day’s work, it leads us to be way less active than we were. Incorporating exercise into your daily life can make a world of a difference. Adding exercise doesn’t have to mean that you suddenly have to become a bodybuilder and aggressively go hit the bench press. It can be simple things like walking the dog for 20 minutes or simply playing with your kids outside. Just get moving. Take the stairs instead of taking the elevator. The possibilities are endless.

The National Institute of Aging recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week. That's only around 20 minutes per day or 50 minutes three days out of the week. That's nothing! Think about how much time you spend scrolling on your phone or watching TV, instead of doing that, get moving for a while.

Exercise is a wonderful way to improve your physical and mental health, and it doesn’t have to be boring. There are so many different types of exercise classes and forms that you can indulge in. Pro tip, many gyms and exercise classes offer you free passes and classes so that you can see what's right for you. So, there’s no excuse to not get yourself in there.

Eating A Balanced Diet

In addition to decreasing our levels of physical activity, we also tend to neglect our health by consuming foods and drinks that aren’t really the best for us. We also tend to eat mindlessly. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to need to go cold turkey and just consume grilled chicken, broccoli, and brown rice every night. Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. It also doesn’t have to adhere to all of the crazy diets that are out. Diets like Keto, Paleo, Whole30, and Carb Free are all great options, but they aren’t as sustainable as just eating healthy. They may work for some, but you don’t have to be following one of these diets to be considered healthy.

Instead of focusing on starches and sugars that don’t curb your hunger for longer than a couple of hours, reach for foods that are high in protein and fiber. Protein and fiber help fill us up and keep us feeling full for longer. You may start to find yourself feeling more energized and able to focus better too.

Another tip is to be more mindful when you’re eating. Yes, you should be mindful of what you’re eating too, but being present during your meals can decrease your ability to over eat. If you’re someone who tends to eat while scrolling on your phone or watching your favorite Netflix show, put all that down. We’re all guilty of eating when we’re bored, and when we do this we often reach for snacks that aren’t as healthy or nutritious. While a handful of goldfish won’t hurt now and then, if you’re doing that everyday, it can easily add up to 500 calories to your diet.

Enjoy and actually savor the food you’re eating. The focus you’re putting onto your food, chewing it, and enjoying it blocks out other distractions. You’ll be able to listen to your body and know when its full or if it truly needs more food.

Getting A Full Amount Of Sleep Per Night

Sleep is so incredibly vital to a person's health and well-being, and all too often it’s the thing we always push on the back burner. When you’re sleeping, that is your body's time to recover from the day’s work. While getting a full night’s sleep won’t magically boost your metabolic rate into the sky, not getting enough sleep will increase the likelihood of you gaining unwanted body fat.

We understand that you’re not going to be getting the full recommended eight hours of sleep every night, but you should be aiming for that as often as you can. If you’re not sleeping enough, you may notice alterations in your hunger and satiety hormones. Your body will also tend to crave unhealthy foods, such as foods that are high in sodium and sugar. This is due to your cortisol levels rising. Yes, one late night pizza won’t hurt you but if you’re doing this frequently, you are going to see weight gain.

Sleep also affects your ability to work the next day. Obviously when you’re tired all you want to do is go back to bed. That lack of motivation to move can also translate into other activities. You’re then far less likely to hit the gym and you become less active over time.

The takeaway of all this is that as we age, you gain weight, and it’s not due to the slowing of the metabolism. It’s because of the fact that we end up moving less and eating more. So, instead of getting down on yourself and just accepting weight gain as a part of getting older, get yourself moving and eating better. You’d be surprised at how much that can actually make a difference.

At Fit In New England, we want to help you embark on a healthier lifestyle. No matter if your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or even prep for a show, we want to help you. Our gym in Medford is committed to providing each and every person who walks through our doors with personal training and small group fitness classes that are designed for them. All of our fitness coaches have immense amounts of training and knowledge and help create plans that are designed and catered to you. We even offer special first time offers. Connect with us today. We look forward to helping you live your best life.