Many people under thirty fear gaining weight in their middle ages, and many people over thirty wish they hadn’t gained weight already. So is the entire middle-aged population just eating badly and not exercising?
No, not quite.
Although decreased activity does contribute to most people’s middle age weight gain, it is likely that they would still gain some weight even if they kept up their workout habits of younger years. There are a number of factors that contribute to this.
When you are just twenty years old, your metabolism begins its steady decline. For every decade after this, your resting metabolic rate will decrease by three per cent. As a result, your body will be able to live off of less food for a longer period of time.
Most people don’t realize this, and keep eating the same amount as they always have. In turn, the body has extra food to store into fat. This isn’t helped by the fact that as our age increases, our fat production does also. This is due to changes in various hormones in the body. Unfortunately, this also means that it takes more food to satisfy your appetite. So it’s really kind of a lose-lose situation.
Even more problems begin to occur after the age of forty five. Around this age, brain weight begins to decrease. Also, most of the organs shrink, as well as the muscles. You will also find yourself losing inches, unfortunately vertically rather than horizontally.
Overall, you will shrink. While this might sound like exactly what you’ve been trying to do, it’s not. It simply means that your body will need to use less food, and will store the rest as fat, thus contributing further to the problem you already had.
Although these changes are inevitable, the effects are not, even though they are very likely. To ward off weight gain as you age, the only thing you can do is exercise more and eat less. This way, you won’t be consuming the excess food that your body no longer needs. This takes thought and changes in your normal eating habits.
Exercise is also important to increase because with all that excess fat building up, you will need to burn some of it off. This will help to balance out your changing hormones and metabolism. Both of these things can help you maintain weight, but it is still not guaranteed, as weight gain is a very natural process with age. Keeping it at a minimum is what is important.
Sleeping well, eating well, and exercising regularly will help ensure that you age gracefully.