Healthy Living

Weight loss efforts may be frustrating as you age!

Weight loss efforts may be frustrating as you age!

 

 In fact, as we age we tend to gain weight to the tune of 1 to 2 pounds per year, according to a review published in March 2013 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. That may not seem like much, but over time it can lead to significant weight gain and, in some cases, obesity, a condition marked by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

“Obesity incidence starts increasing in one’s twenties and peaks at 40 to 59, and then decreases slightly after age 60,” says Craig Primack, MD, an obesity medicine physician at the Scottsdale Weight Loss Center in Arizona.

Not everyone will become overweight as they age because body weight is highly influenced by your genetic makeup, your level of physical activity, and your food choices,

Why does that loss of muscle with age causes weight gain? Because lean muscle uses more calories than fat. So unless you’re regularly strength training with weights to maintain and build muscle, your body will need fewer calories each day. That makes weight gain likely if you continue to consume the same number of calories as you did when you were younger.

“Most people will not adjust calories,” explains Marcio Griebeler, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “They keep eating the same amount, but because they have less muscle mass to burn those calories and less activity, they end up gaining weight over time.”

For women, menopause — which occurs most often between ages 45 and 55 — causes a significant drop in estrogen that encourages extra pounds to settle around the belly, explains Dr. Griebeler. This shift in fat storage may make the weight gain more noticeable and increase the risk of high blood pressureheart diseasehigh cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, Griebeler notes, fluctuations in estrogen levels during perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause, may cause fluctuations in mood that make it more difficult to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan. As a result, the average weight gain during the transition to menopause is about five pounds. Men, on the other hand, experience a significant drop in testosterone as they age, which begins to gradually decline around age 40 at a rate of about 1 to 2 percent per year, notes Harvard Health. Testosterone is responsible for, among other things, regulating fat distribution and muscle strength and mass. In other words, declines in it can make the body less effective at burning calories.

The pituitary gland’s production of growth hormone (GH) also declines from middle age onward, according to Harvard Health. One of GH’s many functions is to build and maintain muscle mass. So as GH decreases, it’s harder for your body to make and maintain muscle, which, in turn, also impacts how many calories you burn. decrease in muscle mass is likely to slow your metabolism, a complex process that converts calories into energy. Having more fat and less muscle reduces calorie burning. What’s more, many people become less active with age, which also slows your metabolism. Age isn’t the only thing that determines your metabolic rate, however — your body size and sex play a role, too. So do certain health conditions, such as hypothyroidism. For one, you’re likely moving less. You may commute an hour or so to and from work, sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day, and have so much on your plate that there’s no time to go for a walk or exercise during the workday. As a result of your increased responsibilities you may not exercise, your diet and exercise intentions might slip, causing a few pounds to creep on. Regular exercises, decreased intake of food, adequate sleep and plenty of water intake is essential.

Plant based foods are recommended e g Avocados are low in calories (about 138 for the same serving), making them an ideal snack. One serving also has about 6.4 g of dietary fiber (25.6 percent daily value, or DV), 404 milligrams (mg) of potassium (8.6 percent DV), and only 2.8 g of sugar. Blackberries also provide potassium, with 117 mg (2.5 percent DV) per ½-cup serving. It has 15.1 mg of vitamin C (25.2 percent DV) and 14.3 mg of vitamin K (17.9 percent DV). This fruit is also a great snack for weight loss, containing about 31 cal per ½ cup. Low in fat but also carbs (with just 2.4 g of net carbs per ½ cup), tomatoes are also keto-friendly. The same serving size of tomatoes contains 2.4 g of sugar and 16 calories. Among their health benefits, tomatoes contain lycopene, which research suggests may help prevent heart disease. Rhubarb also has 176 mg of potassium (3.7 percent DV), 62 international units (IU) of vitamin A (1.2 percent DV), 4.9 mg of vitamin C (8.2 percent DV), and 52 mg of calcium (5.2 percent DV). Just remember to remove the leaves before eating.  A ½-cup serving of cubed star fruit contains about 2.6 g of net carbohydrates, plus 1.8 g of fiber and 2.6 g of sugar. It’s also low in calories and has 88 mg of potassium (1.9 percent DV) and 22.7 mg of vitamin C (38 percent DV). A ½-cup serving of raw raspberries offers about 3.3 g of net carbs, 4 g of fiber (16 percent DV), and 2.7 g of sugar. Pop a few in your mouth whenever you’re in the mood for something sweet. Also full of nutrients, the same serving contains 16 mg of vitamin C (26.7 percent DV). ½-cup serving of sliced strawberries contains about 4.7 g of net carbs and 4.1 g of sugar. As there are only 27 calories in the aforementioned serving, you can eat strawberries raw, add a few pieces to your cereal, or blend a handful into a small low-carb smoothie. Strawberries also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, per a study published in February 2010 in the Journal of Medicinal Food. The same ½ cup provides 48.8 mg of vitamin C (81.3 percent DV), 127 mg of potassium (2.7 percent DV), and 20 micrograms of folate (5 percent DV). Each ½ cup of diced watermelon has 5.4 g of net carbs. It’s also an acceptable choice when dieting because of its high water content. The ½ cup serving size of watermelon has about 23 calories and 4.7 g of sugar. This juicy fruit also offers 432 IU of vitamin A, which is 8.6 percent of the D A. typical lemon wedge has about 0.5  g of net carbohydrates and only 0.2 g of sugar. The fruit also offers  3.7 mg of vitamin C, which is 6.2 percent of the DV. Lemon water contains antioxidants that fight free radicals, and it also promotes healthy digestion.

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