As people age, they have a tendency to struggle with fat loss. Today we are going to dive into some of the reasons why this is. And we will also look at some things you can do to overcome these obstacles that often occur as you get older.
Muscle mass naturally will decrease with age if we aren’t consistently training for strength. If we are doing more cardio than weight training or not doing training at, all we’ll start to see a decrease in total muscle mass.
This is negative for a couple of reasons:
- Each pound of muscle burns an extra 35 calories. So if we decrease 4 lbs of muscle, we burn 140 calories less each day. This adds up if we don’t decrease the calories we are eating by 140 each day. If you did eat that extra 140 calories per day, that is the equivalent of 14 lbs of extra body fat gained each year.
- Another reason is that a decrease in muscle mass as you get older can lead to moving less or moving with less intensity. This will decrease the number of calories you burn through general movement as well.
Add those two equations together and it makes fat loss hard as we age. Also with a slowing metabolism, you will likely be burning less glycogen. Because of this, it becomes more beneficial to eat fewer carbs as you age to make up for the fact that you aren’t burning through the storage units as fast.
How to fix:
- Make sure you are strength training at least 3 days per week for the rest of your life, as this will keep muscle mass at its highest possible level as you age.
- Reduce your carb intake as your activity levels decrease to make sure you aren’t storing excess body fat.
HIGHER STRESS LEVELS
As most people age over time, their life gets busier and busier. It starts with the career, then add kids to the plate, get a higher paying job which requires more hours and more stress from responsibilities, kids activities start happening, and so on. As you get older and these stresses pile up, our cortisol levels start to be chronically high. High cortisol levels lead to higher appetite and more storage of calories into fat. You also might have a tendency to cope with food more than you did at a younger age. As all the stresses have added up you started to use food as a coping mechanism.
How to fix:
- Put some stress-reducing activities into your life
- Strength training, walking, massages, a hobby that’s not TV, a group of friends that you can just relax with
- Look at reducing your workload, ask for help from a teammate or your boss
- Stop drinking caffeine and alcohol, both are cortisol raisers and lead to more physical stress on the body
MORE COMFORTABLE & LESS ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
Let’s be honest, you have a way more comfortable lifestyle than you did in your 20s. You have more money to buy things at your convenience. You order food, you go out to eat more often, you always have snacks in the house, and you pay people to do house chores or have your kids do them. Your hobbies are no longer playing sports with friends, going on hikes, and being active. It’s amazing how the conveniences of life have actually negatively impacted our health in certain ways. When you get together with friends, it’s now for drinks and food, instead of doing something active. We just have to realize that it’s not really that much harder to lose weight as we age. Really, it is that we have to be willing to go back to a little harder lifestyle. You just have different priorities and that’s ok. You probably need fewer carbs and calories in your diet because you aren’t as active as you were 5 or 10 years ago.
How to fix:
- Find some more active hobbies like pickleball, going for walks, bike riding, etc.
- Start to reduce your overall calorie intake and eat fewer carbs. You just don’t use all the glycogen stores, so you don’t need them.
Most medications we begin to use as we get older produce side effects, and a lot of them affect hunger, disrupt hormones, and can cause weight gain. These are usually a symptom of eating a processed standard American diet. Many of these things can be fixed by eating a clean whole food diet.
How to fix:
- Talk to your doctor about the medication’s side effects and see if they are worth it
- Eat a whole food, clean diet, and see if that clears a lot of symptoms.
- Go on an elimination diet and see if you have food sensitives that might be causing some negative symptoms. This could help you eliminate certain meds.
- Exercise consistently
HOW TO REVERSE AGING
Follow our 8 keystone habits of fat loss, keep your carbs below 20%, and never stop doing those things!
Click right here to access our keystone habits guide.
- Realize that yes, there are some factors that are out of your control as you age, but not as much as you think. Mainly the reason it is harder to lose weight as you age is that life has gotten very comfortable and very sedentary for you as you’ve gotten older. If you want those same results, you need to get more movement throughout the day instead of just a one-hour workout.
- You also need to change the eating habits you once had. You don’t utilize carbs like you did 5, 10, or 20 years ago, so you need to get rid of a lot of carbs and eat quality protein and fats, and you’ll see the body fat start to melt away.