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Why is Losing Weight Harder As You Age?

It’s tough getting older. Your body isn’t as flexible as it used to be. You have aches and pains in more and more places. You can’t do all of the things you used to be able to do when you were young (like eat anything on the menu). And, it is a lot harder to lose weight.

Why does the fickle finger of fate do this to us? At the time when older Americans need to lose weight the most, age makes it all the more difficult to shed the pounds. Knowing why this is and what you can do about it are key to reaching your weight loss goals, no matter how old you are!

Top 3 Factors That Make It Harder for Older Adults to Lose Weight

Loss of Muscle Mass – As we age, our bodies naturally start losing muscle mass. This process typically starts after the age of 30. The problem with losing muscle mass is that muscle is the body’s number one calorie burner. The more muscle you lose, the lower your metabolism will drop. This makes it harder to lose weight because your body starts storing any extra calories you take in as fat instead of burning them off.

Stress – Stress increases with age because the older we get, the more responsibilities we have. From paying the bills to handling health issues to dealing with family dilemmas, stress can be a part of everyday life. The problem is, stress causes the body to create more Cortisol, a hormone that’s been linked to weight gain, especially in the belly area. To make matters worse, Cortisol has also been linked to food urges among those who use food as a means of coping with stress.

Caloric Needs – Because the body loses muscle mass as it ages, fewer calories are needed in order to maintain your current weight. As a result, if you continue to eat the same diet without adding in any exercise, you will gain weight as you age. You will either have to reduce your caloric intake or start an exercise regimen (or both) if you want to have a chance of losing weight.

How to Improve  Wilmington NC Weight Loss Results for Older Adults

Work on Building Lean Muscle Mass – Since muscle mass loss is happening naturally, you have to be proactive in building lean muscle mass as you age. One of the best ways to help this occur is to include more protein-rich foods into your diet, such as lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, and seeds. But, eating the proteins with a balanced diet consisting of high fiber and healthy fats is the key as eating too much protein can make it harder for your organs to metabolize it.

Reduce Your Stress – Reducing stress is probably the hardest part of the equation for most people but you have to find a way to do it if you want to live a healthier life. Exercising is a great way to relieve stress. You can also try meditating, acupuncture, or even counseling.

Eat Fewer Calories – Cutting calories doesn’t always mean eating less food. The key to success here is choosing lower calorie foods. By choosing foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, you’ll be able to eat more while still taking in fewer calories. Drinking plenty of water will also help you feel full throughout the day and help flush out excess fat cells.

Need Help Losing Weight? Call Southeastern’s Wilmington NC Weight Loss Clinic

If you have tried everything to lose weight but you just can’t get rid of those troublesome pounds, Southeastern Healthcare can help. Call us at 910-202-4341. We are here for you. Our Wilmington NC weight loss clinic can guide you through your journey and help you reach your desired weight. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.