We understand your frustration! UK online pharmacy has curated this blog to explicitly give you the reasons for weight gain as you age and how you can deal with it.
1. Reduced Muscle Mass
The amount of lean muscle we have on our bodies naturally begins to decline after the age of 30 due to a process known as age-related sarcopenia. If age-related conditions such as arthritis or injury make you physically inactive, you are bound to experience between 3% to 8% muscle loss per decade. Muscle burns 2-3 times more calories than fat cells when at rest. In the absence of muscle mass, the rate of burning calories is lowered, which means your body will need fewer calories per day. Since most people continue to consume the same amount of calories as when they were younger, fat build-up is due to calorie surplus.
2. Normal Hormonal Imbalances
Both men and women experience changes in hormone levels at various stages of their lives, especially during middle age, which becomes the prime reason for putting on pounds.
The onset of menopause in women, which mostly occurs between the age of 45 and 55, typically marks a significant drop in estrogen levels, encouraging excess fat to settle around the belly. This shift in weight distribution may increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, cancers, high cholesterol(LDL - the bad one), and type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, in the years leading up to menopause ( called perimenopause), a shift in the estrogen levels causes mood swings that make it arduous to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan.
Like women, men experience a decline of approximately 1% to 2% each year in their testosterone levels around the age of 40. Testosterone plays a crucial role in regulating muscle mass, muscle strength, and fat distribution. Due to decreased production, the body becomes less effective at burning calories. Also, during the same period, the pituitary gland’s growth hormone (GH) production declines, making it harder to build and maintain muscle mass. In other words, the body becomes less effective in burning calories.
3. Reduced Metabolic Rate
Metabolism is the process by which our body converts calories into energy. As aging tends to decrease muscle mass, it does affect your metabolism to some extent. This, in turn, means that your calorie intake must decline proportionately to avoid storing the excess calorie as body fat. For those who remain active through middle age and ensure that they work hard to retain muscle mass, a decrease in metabolism will be minimal and won't be the main reason for gaining weight.
Besides age, several other factors dictate your metabolism, such as sex, genes, body size, ailments like hyper hypothyroidism, etc. Whatever the reason is, a slower metabolism means that you have to keep a watchful eye on what you eat.
4. Major Lifestyle Changes
Once you step into adulthood, you are bound to experience a hurricane of changes both in your personal and professional life. The reason for weight gain in middle age often has nothing to do with intrinsic changes but is because of lifestyle modifications.
Most people like starting a family at this time, adding more responsibilities that consume more time. The one hour you previously had to hit the gym is now conveniently devoted to your family; playdates, homework, outings, etc. You suddenly realize that you have no time for yourself! Exercising regimen and healthy food habits tend to take a backseat, while other priorities definitely can cause a few pounds to creep on. Without a regular workout and an eagle's eye on your diet, the body’s existing metabolic rate experiences a drop, causing more fat cells to accumulate.
With most people’s careers in full swing on the professional front, lifestyle tends to become more sedentary. Most people spend long hours at their work desk or commuting, while those long walks or jogs seem to have gone for a toss. Moreover, successful careers often make people so busy that they tend to skip their lunch, scarf down beverages from the vending machine, or binge on calorie-intensive food to satiate the hunger pangs. All this, in the end, amounts to weight gain.
As you enter your 40s and 50s, it is common to experience increased stress levels. The rise in stress levels can be attributed to more family responsibilities or excessive work pressure. Often people have so much on their plate that they get bogged down with stress.
Stress does not only have psychological impacts, but it affects your physical well-being as well. It is observed that the cortisol levels in the body increase when you are under pressure or feeling anxious. For many, this increases hunger pangs, causing overeating. Due to uncontrollable hunger, people often eat whatever they can lay their hands on, leading to unhealthy snacking. Additionally, no attention is paid to the signal your body is trying to give you, resulting in weight gain due to overeating.
How to Prevent Gaining Weight in Midlife and Beyond
Tips to lose weight or battle the bulge:
1. Consume Healthy Foods
The most realistic approach toward weight loss is adopting a minerals-based healthy diet devoid of sugars, fatty fast foods, and other processed foods. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is one of the best ways to lose weight. Besides this, whole foods like grains, beans, nuts, legumes, and seeds that are full of fiber must make a place in your diet plan. These high-volume foods occupy space in the stomach while controlling your daily calorie intake. Don’t just plan a drastic diet routine that you will never end up following. Instead, keep your schedule in mind and plan something manageable to avoid bouncing back to your old unhealthy eating habits.
2. Control your Portion
Without monitoring your daily calorie intake, it is impossible to lose weight. In fact, you need to operate in a calorie deficient environment to prevent pounds from creeping on. However, an expert pharmacist with the reputed online chemist in the UK recommends that the change in portion must be gradual; try trimming 100 to 200 calories daily from your diet and then move further. You would be astonished to see the difference this small change alone can make.
3. Stay well Hydrated
Many would mistake the sensation of thirst for hunger, thus adding on more weight. However, consuming a sufficient quantity of water increases your metabolic rate, aiding fat breakdown. When we say quench your thirst rather than eat, it does not mean that you can sip on high-calorie beverages such as sodas and fruit juices. Nothing else, but just plain water!
4. Manage your Stress
As mentioned earlier, stress aggravates hunger leading to stress eating. Stressful situations or lifestyles may not be in your control, but there are umpteen ways you can feel at ease and relax amidst your busy schedule. Do things that give you pleasure; dive deep into a novel or go for a long stroll in the nearby park. Yoga and meditation have profound benefits on effectively managing stress; go for a yoga class twice a week or indulge in a quick meditation session daily. If you can manage to keep stress at bay, your weight gain will be in control.
5. Go for a Workout
As you age, add some strength training to your exercising regimen to preserve your natural muscle mass. Resistance exercise will not only help you get back your flat belly, but it does have significant health benefits. It is easier to burn more calories with more muscle mass, making you feel more active and maintain mobility. The added stamina supports your immune system and makes you feel good from within.
6. Sleep Well
You would be surprised to see this one here! But sleep is a pivotal pillar for good health and is essential for weight loss. A disciplined quality sleeping routine of 7 to 9 hours, with consistent sleep/ wake times, is essential to keep you going throughout your hectic day. If you do not have a good night's sleep, there is a strong tendency to be less active during the day and, as a result, burn fewer calories.
7. Clinical Approach
If you have tried hard to follow the tips recommended by us but have not achieved the desired results, weight loss meds from our pharmacy could aid in speeding up the process. You could try Alli, containing the active ingredient Orlistat that can assist in passing on the fat consumed in your diet before your body absorbs it. You can consume this tablet three times a day, with your meal, only if your BMI is above 28 and you are above 18 years of age.
It is quintessential to consume Vitamins A, D, E, and K with this medication. You can choose your daily dose of A to Z multivitamins and minerals from our store for overall health benefits as you age. However, you need to remember that these must be consumed at the right time to maximize absorption.
Read more: Overall benefits of consuming Vitamin C.
You may cringe to achieve the same physique you had when you were younger, but remember that aging comes with a few natural changes. If you take proper care of yourself and follow the guidelines given by the UK online pharmacy, you will be near what you desire. Life Pharmacy is at your service 24/7 for all your medical needs.