The relation between being overweight and aging is of great concern for several reasons. First, being overweight decreases life span and, conversely, caloric restriction increases life span. Furthermore, being overweight is a risk factor for age-correlated diseases.
Many people gain weight as they age. Adults who have a normal Body Mass Index often start to gain weight in young adulthood and continue to gain weight until they are ages 60 to 65. In addition, children who are overweight are more likely to have obesity as adults.
Normal age-related changes to the body may be a contributing factor to weight gain, which includes:
Age related Muscle Loss: the amount of lean muscle in the body starts to decline by 3 to 8 percent per decade after age 30, this process called sarcopenia.
Experts have said that lean muscles burn more calories than fat even at rest and unless you are regularly strength training with weights to maintain and build muscles, your body will need fewer calories each day. So a person is likely to gain weight if he or she continues to consume the same number of calories as when they were younger.
Normal Hormonal Changes: Both men and women undergo hormone levels changes, and this explains the middle age weight gain. For women, menopause cause a drop in estrogen and this encourages extra pounds to settle around the stomach. Men on the other hand experience a drop in testosterone as they age. testosterone is responsible for regulating fat distribution and muscle strength and mass, that means lower testosterone can make the body less effective at burning calories.
Metabolism is slower: the decrease in muscle mass is likely to slow down metabolism. Having more fat and less muscle reduce calorie burning. Many people also become less active with age for different reasons, which further slows the number of calories they burn.
Other factors that may be causing weight gain as one age also include, busier work schedules and the need to hit set work goals and targets, resulting in working longer hours, sitting for longer hours and having less time for exercise and sleep.
People who do not get enough sleep may eat more calories and snack more.
Experts recommend that adults ages 18 to 64 get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day, and adults ages 65 and older get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day.
These are just few of some of the factors that predispose to weight gain and difficulty in losing it as we advance in age. So, here are some quick tips to avoid this:
- Go to the gym, start an exercise routine to tone up your muscle.
- Reduce the calorie intake.
- Do not sit for more than 2 hours in a spot, move body, take a walk.
- And finally, get that much needed good night rest. Sleep is important for your brain and body to refresh for a new day