Does Age Affect Our Ability To Lose Weight? - Oasis Weight Loss Center

Originally published: 09-16-14

Does Age Affect Our Ability To Lose Weight?

For many of us, yes.  Many young adults can skip a few snacks or a meal or two and immediately drop five pounds.  Once we are past 40 or 50 years of age, this kind of quick weight loss is rare, due to a slowing of our metabolism that appears to be part of the aging process.

Muscle Loss

As we age beyond 30 or so, we gradually lose muscle mass every year for the rest of our lives.  This is accelerated by our tendency to become less physically active with age.  Muscles that are not properly used atrophy, or shrink and weaken, over time.  It is believed that this muscle loss causes a weakening of our metabolism, resulting in a slowing of our ability to burn our body fat and the foods we eat.

Serial Dieting

If you’ve been overweight for any length of time, you’ve probably tried a diet or two, or perhaps many.  Weight loss diets are everywhere.  There are countless books, plans, websites, products and businesses out there begging for your attention (and money), and they all sound great.  The problem is that most of them require you to cut your intake of the very nutrients that support muscle mass or require you to eat so few calories that your body must break down muscle for energy.  Thus, your weight loss is due in part to muscle loss.  When you go off these diets and regain your weight, you do so in the form of body fat, not muscle.  So, after years of dieting, your weight is the same as it was before your first diet, but your fat percentage is higher, your muscle percentage is lower, and your metabolism is weaker.

The ‘Retired’ Lifestyle

Most folks over 65 are retired.  You are done “running around” with your kids and busting your “you-know-whats” earning a living.  Now, you get to relax, play and generally enjoy life.  The problem with this lifestyle is that it typically involves more eating than does the lifestyle of younger folks, and most of this eating is done in restaurants and social halls, where fattening foods abound.  We all enjoy the taste of at least some fattening foods, but when we retire and these foods are constantly “in our face,” they are more likely to end up in our faces and then, of course,  in our fat cells.  The older we get, living the retired lifestyle, the easier it is to gain weight and the more challenging it is to lose. 

There is hope… plenty!

The aging process does not have to involve weight gain, and weight loss is very achievable in our senior years.  If you want to prevent or treat weight gain at any age, you need three things:  a strong desire for your results, a practical plan to produce those results, and a support system to help you overcome your challenges.  At the Oasis Weight Loss Center, we will provide you with all the tools you need to succeed, such as a food and exercise plan that will address all of your issues, including those that are age-related.  Remember, with age comes wisdom… not necessarily weight gain!

Dean Sloan, MD

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