Women, Weight and Aging

Do we HAVE to gain weight as we age? I was out with some friends the other day and they were both lamenting about how it was SO much harder to lose weight after the age of 40. I tried to be super positive and tell them that they just needed to stay active – and it was going to be ok. It’s really all about balance and loving life – move your body, put good things in … blah, blah, blah. They were having none of it.

So – I got to thinking. Is it really harder? Or am I just fooling myself. I certainly have my own struggles with moving my body and putting good things in – and SERIOUSLY – where did this extra 10 pounds come from? But – does it really HAVE to be this way. I am not ready for that – but really – who is? What can a girl do?

Following is what I found when I did a bit of googling:

Hormonal changes may be to blame for weight gain, loss of bone and muscle density, and even digestive issues. Choosing a nutrient-rich diet including healthy fats, lean proteins, dairy, and lots of fruits and vegetables as well as a regular exercise program can help us fight against the changes caused by aging.

But WHY do nutritional needs really change? Research shows that hormonal changes causing weight gain, especially in the midsection, may be to blame. As women age and approach menopause, they produce less estrogen. As they get even older progesterone production slows as well. Once women hit menopause, their body actually metabolizes fat differently, often causing weight gain. Uggggg …..

We can, however, take a proactive approach to aging and help prevent some of the unwanted changes to our bodies. It isn’t necessary easy ladies …. We do have to get up off the couch – but there is hope! J Plus – we all get to do it together – and that is so much fun!

Exercise – Ok – this seems like a no-brainer. We talk about it here all of the time. Move your body and enjoy! Being physically active decreases your chances of developing metabolic diseases such as diabetes. According to a study, women whose activity decreased the most gained the most weight especially in the midsection. The women who maintained their weight exercised for the recommended 60 minutes a day. I know this seems like a LOT – but you can do it! We can do it. Find something you enjoy and move your body.

Nutrition – truth be told – this is the more difficult one for me. I know – put good things in – but sometimes I put too many good things in! I am finding (although this wasn’t exactly what I wanted to find) that tracking does actually work. You don’t need to do it every day for the rest of your life – but if you want to lose some weight you do need to do it right now. Try it for a few weeks. You need to put less in than you did in your 20s. I have found My Fitness Pal an easy app to use. But – the nice thing is that the internet is filled with recipes (and you can find some right on this site! Check out Fit Food Fridays!)

I was already armed with the plan that I AM going to run a marathon in October – and now I am going to track my food for the next few months. Are you with me? And really – this isn’t about being a certain size or a certain weight. This is about living the life that you want – having Life Fitness and enjoying every day!!!

Move your body, put good things in and ENJOY every day!

1 Comment

  1. Ok, you are correct, it is necessary to change up my exercise and eating pattern as I get older. What worked before doesn’t necessarily work now. The one thing that has ALWAYS worked is the tracking of everything I put in or do – both food and exercise. And at this point in my life having a dog that requires me to get up and out has been a true blessing. Pets are not for everyone, but one cannot ‘blow off’ a walk. Pets do not allow that!

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