Why Is It So Hard To Lose Weight After 50

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 Of all the factors that make it more difficult to lose weight past the age of 50, decreased metabolism is one with which most women are familiar. That is because the secret to losing weight past 50 is building up more muscle to boost metabolism (you are already getting around 20% less of it now compared to 20). As we lose muscle as we age, it becomes more important to make weight to offset this loss of muscle. 

Why Is It So Hard To Lose Weight After 50

Losing muscle also reduces how quickly your body uses calories, which may make maintaining a healthy weight harder. Loss comes along with a rise in fat mass, which explains why you may not actually gain any weight. You lose muscle mass by 3 to 5% per decade, on average, after the age of 35, and that may affect how well you burn fat. 

As we get older, declining levels of testosterone (in men as well as women) and the human growth hormone mean we naturally lose muscle (and thus strength), our metabolism slows, and bone density decreases. The decline starts at about 50 years old, and it may cause a slower metabolism, potentially leading to weight gain. Failing to notice losses and adjust calorie intake, as well as maintaining lean mass, can cause weight gain. 

Starting in our late twenties, our metabolism drops by 1-2% a decade, meaning that we need to eat less in order to maintain the same weight. Every decade past 30, women lose up to 5 percent of lean body mass, and their resting metabolic rate (or the ability to burn calories while doing nothing) drops 1-2 percent, but this is without mitigating the lifestyle changes that you can, and will, affect. If we do not adapt our diet and exercise habits to account for decreases, the pounds creep on for years. 

Ageing expert Florence Comite, M.D., says that hormonal changes do not necessarily cause weight gain, but can alter how your body handles the weight. Hormonal issues occur with women too as they get older, and that is often the reason losing belly fat after hitting your big 5-0 can be such a nightmare. Over the course of 50, women are concerned a great deal about losing estrogen, but making sure that you have plenty of testosterone is crucial for building lean muscle and losing fat. 

That is because progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones all decrease in our age, potentially setting your body up for storing fat rather than losing it, says Jennifer Burns, a naturopathic doctor in Phoenix. One of the effects of getting older can be slower metabolism, which may also contribute to weight gain and weight loss difficulties. Both men and women experience changes in hormonal levels as part of getting older, which helps to explain why, according to data from the CDC, middle age is the best time for pounds to accumulate. 

Plus, weight training may help you lose weight by decreasing body fat and increasing metabolism, which may boost the number of calories you burn over the course of the day (4, 5). Adding strength-building exercises to your routine is important to help you decrease age-related muscle loss and maintain a healthy weight. 

As you lose muscle, your body continues to burn less calories, meaning that you tend to store any additional calories in the body as fat, leading to fat accumulation and an increase in jeans sizes every few years (or months). Even though your weight stays the same, you may feel and look fatter if you lose muscle and gain fat. One big issue is that humans tend to lose muscle as we get older, by 1% per year - that is 10% over only a decade. We begin losing muscle mass in our 30s, but the biggest changes happen only after 50, when we begin losing muscle at the rate of 1-2 percent each year. 

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