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Middle Age Weight Gain
As you grow older, you may develop some aches and pains and discover that it’s not as easy to do the things you could do when you were younger. But there’s something else that often happens as you hit middle age.
You start to gain weight. There can be many different reasons that this happens. Unfortunately many professionals and well-meaning friends will give cookie cutter advice on how to lose weight that’s supposed to be perfect for both genders and all ages.
The reality is, middle age weight gain can often be more stubborn to lose than when you’re young and your metabolism is off the charts. If you’ve hit a plateau and can’t seem to lose anymore, you need to pinpoint the reason and approach it methodically.
Top 3 Reasons for Middle Age Spread
It’s not just your energy level that starts to slow down once middle age hits. Your body undergoes physical changes as well. These internal changes can contribute to and often cause that middle age spread.
One of these reasons is because of what happens to your metabolism as you age. As you grow older, if you keep eating the way you did when you were young, the minute your metabolism slows down, those pounds are going to accumulate.
Even more so if you eat a lot of junk food. Your metabolism works to burn calories. That’s its function. The better your metabolism is, the less you’re going to gain from the calories you eat.
The opposite is true when it comes to aging. Your metabolism is no longer at its best. The older you are, the more you’ll gain because your metabolism can no longer function the same way that it once did.
Another reason middle age spread happens has to do with the way that your muscle mass decreases. This means you also lose more mobility with the muscle loss as well as strength.
Studies have shown that muscle mass decrease starts to occur slowly in your thirties, but happens quicker once middle age hits. The reason that this muscle loss speeds up is because as you age, muscle growth is more difficult, due to the body’s lessening growth function.
Besides issues with the metabolism and muscle mass decreasing, something else happens in the body to cause middle age spread that has to do with hormonal changes. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re going to go through these hormone issues as part of the aging cycle.
Even before you hit middle age, it’s a fact that the less testosterone you have, the more likely it is that you’re at higher risk of gaining weight. Men with lowered testosterone levels have more body fat and it tends to accumulate around the abdomen, creating a beer belly effect.
With women, as they age, their bodies stop producing as much estrogen. This hormone is one that works to keep blood glucose levels normal, and it helps to keep weight off. Having less of it means you have a greater chance of not only developing weight problems, but of getting diabetes as well due to the struggle of having higher glucose.
Poor Lifestyle Aging Habits That Are Making You Fat
There are many things that you can’t help when you get older. You can’t turn back time and suddenly become 21 again. You can’t stop the aging process, because there’s no fountain of youth.
However, that doesn’t mean that you’re not making mistakes that are aging you much faster than you should be. Some of the habits that you have may be making you fat, which in turn does age you faster.
As people get older, they often develop the mindset that they’re hitting middle age, so it doesn’t matter if they engage in a bad habit. It matters because your body pays the price for these unhealthy habits.
One habit that people embrace as they age is they become more sedentary. There are several reasons for this. Fatigue can become more common as you grow older due to declining hormonal changes.
If you’re not someone who exercises regularly, you’ll feel this fatigue at an even greater measure. When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is something that drains more energy, so you sit down rather than be active.
As they age, people may become sedentary because they may have painful muscles or joints. It’s more painful to move about, so they sit or cut back a lot on their former level of activity.
Sometimes people sit more as they age because their hobbies change. Rather than do things that require more physical effort, they switch to hobbies that they can do sitting down.
Another poor lifestyle habit that can make you gain weight is not changing the way that you eat. When you’re younger, calories don’t hang around on the body as long because you’re more active.
You’re burning off these calories, which in turn keeps the weight gain at bay. But as you age, you don’t make the change of lowering the number of calories that you consume. Because you don’t change your diet, you gain weight.
When you’re not as active as you used to be, something has to change in order to prevent this middle age spread from happening. Most people become set in the idea of this being the way they like to eat and they’re reluctant to change.
This resistance to change can lead to the weight gain and cause health issues like heart problems and diabetes. A poor lifestyle habit that a lot of middle-aged people develop that always leads to weight gain is poor sleep habits.
Some of the sleep changes are natural. For example, as you get older, you don’t have as much melatonin as you once did – so that can contribute to the sleep difficulties. However, most sleep issues are caused by habits like eating too close to bedtime.
Choosing to watch something stimulating on television or taking care of a task that requires a lot of thinking, such as dealing with a heavy issue or paying bills can keep you up.
Worrying about health conditions or the future is something that a lot of people tend to do as they age. Not knowing how to deal with age stressors or worrying about things during bedtime is a bad habit that can not only rob you of sleep, but also rob you of good health and make you pack on the pounds.