Many people, particularly women, are unpleasantly surprised to find that it isn’t so easy to lose weight after 40. Weight fluctuations throughout life are perfectly normal. Even if you make no changes to your routine, you might find that you retain your weight during middle age more than you did in your 20s or 30s. Suddenly, weight loss requires more effort than ever before.
Jessica Simone, APRN, and the team at Harmony Med Spa in Sarasota, Florida, understand the frustration that middle-aged metabolic changes can cause. If you’ve reached a plateau in your weight loss, a medical weight loss program can account for your age and other factors that make it harder to lose pounds and avoid gaining them.
Your body changes with age: It’s a fact of life. But you can adapt to those changes and reach your goals with help from our team. Here’s why losing weight after 40 seems so much harder than before.
A slower metabolism
Metabolism is the process your body uses to convert food into energy, which all of your cells use to function. You rely on that energy to breathe, circulate blood, and digest food – basically every function you need to stay alive.
Your metabolism gets slower by the decade starting at age 20. That’s why you could eat anything you wanted during your teenage years, but are quicker to gain weight in your 20s and 30s. By age 50, your metabolism is about 30% slower than it was at age 20. This makes it harder to lose weight and easier to gain it.
The role of hormones in weight retention
Your hormone levels decline with age despite no differences in your lifestyle. The difference is especially drastic for menopausal women. Once you reach menopause, your body slows production of the hormone estrogen significantly.
Increasing your activity level and balancing your diet can prevent you from gaining weight related to your hormone changes, but you’ll have a harder time losing weight around your hips and abdomen. Certain symptoms of menopause, like fatigue and insomnia, can indirectly contribute to weight challenges too.
A changing lifestyle, declining health
Getting older means having less energy and sometimes more stress too. You might also develop chronic illnesses, like arthritis or fibromyalgia, that prevent you from moving as much during the day which further decreases the number of calories you burn.
Though some factors are more within your control than others, you might struggle to lose weight because of:
- Reduced mobility
- Reduced energy
- Changes in your daily responsibilities
- Sleep pattern changes
When you have less energy, more stress from greater work responsibilities, or more free time in retirement, you might find yourself eating more often than you would before such lifestyle changes. As a result, you gain or retain more weight.
What you can do to stay on track
Getting older doesn’t mean you have to give up on your weight loss goals, you simply have to modify your approach. Here are some simple changes you can make to counteract the body changes that inhibit your weight loss progress:
- Cut down on alcohol
- Increase your physical activity
- Keep a closer eye on your eating tendencies
- Find a healthy outlet for stress, like meditation
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
- Talk to your doctor about thyroid checks
- Reduce carbs in your diet
- Snack on fruits and veggies
At Harmony Med Spa, Jessica can give you a comprehensive evaluation and identify the specific roadblocks between you and your weight loss progress.
Request an appointment online or over the phone to get started with personalized medical weight loss after 40 today.