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Gaining weight happens for a number of reasons. Overeat and skip out on exercise a few too many times and you’ll be sure to find yourself with a little extra padding around your mid-section. But what if you’ve been eating well and exercising regularly and are still seeing that number go up on the scale? What’s to blame then? It could be your age.
Five years later and ten pounds heavier. Sound familiar?
“Weight creep” is a common occurrence in adults. With each passing year, life gets busier and priorities shift. There is less time to devote to preparing nutritious meals and less energy to spend on exercise. With more calories going in and fewer calories being burned, the stored energy eventually presents itself as a higher number on the scale and tighter fitting clothes.
But poor diet and exercise habits might not be the only thing to blame for the increase in your weight. Aging itself could also be at fault.
Age-Related Weight Gain
For most people, weight gain (or fat gain) is not intentional. But with excess weight comes health problems – maybe not right away, though most certainly down the road. Therefore, staying in shape is an important part of healthy aging. The problem is that even with a good diet and regular activity, many of us still experience “weight creep”. The question is why?
Evidence suggests that this age-related weight gain is linked to changes in your metabolic rate. Specifically, metabolism has been shown to SLOW with age.
This brings us to the final step to successful weight loss…
Step 3. Speed Up Your Metabolism
Metabolism & Weight Loss
Your metabolic rate (often referred to as metabolism) is the number of calories your body uses in a day to keep you functioning normally. The calories you get from your food supply the energy your body needs to do things like eat, breath, think, and move.
As you age, your metabolic rate slows down. This means your body uses less energy over an entire day and thus, needs fewer calories to meet its energy demands. Unfortunately, the slowing of your metabolism often goes unnoticed. Your eating habits stay the same and you likely don’t change your exercise regimen. Because your body now needs less energy to support itself, it starts storing the extra energy coming in from your food as fat.
The problem with excess fat? It can lead to changes in hormones that encourage abnormal metabolism and the accumulation of body fat. Two affected hormones include leptin and growth hormone.
- The hormone leptin is secreted when you eat and tells you brain you are full. This, in turn, acts to reduce your urge to eat. Leptin is produced by fat and thus, levels are often higher in overweight individuals. Your body becomes immune to leptin’s effects when levels remain high for an extended period of time.
- Over time, you become less sensitive to its appetite-reducing effects and therefore, don’t get that feeling of fullness after a meal. If you never feel full, you end up eating more than your body needs and eventually start to gain weight from the extra calories.
- Growth hormone is a regulator of your metabolism. When levels are increased it stimulates lipolysis, the breakdown of fat to be used as energy. Overweight individuals appear to have lower growth hormone levels which translates to less fat being broken down and thus, more fat being stored.
What Disrupts Metabolism?
There are likely a number of things responsible for the slowing of your metabolism as you age. However, there are two things in particular that seem to be highly connected to age-related changes in metabolism.
- A loss of muscle, which requires large amounts of energy to support its everyday functions.
- Lower physical activity levels.
So to maintain a healthy metabolism, you must find ways to hold on to those precious muscles and keep yourself active despite a hectic schedule and a limited energy supply.
How to Speed Up Your Metabolism
Listed below are some things you can do to rev up your metabolic rate so as to avoid future weight gain and set yourself up for better success when trying to lose weight.
Weight training is not only helpful for building muscle but also for preserving muscle during weight loss. This has to do with the “use it or lose it” idea. Use your muscles for more than just your everyday movements and your body will keep it around. Place enough stress on the muscles and your body will start building more muscle so that it can better handle the stress the next time around. If you wondered what allows you to lift heavier weights over time, there you have it.
Protein is important for a number of reasons which include:
- The amino acids that make up protein provide a stimulus that leads to muscle-building.
- Protein is a building block of muscle tissue.
- Protein takes more energy to break down than carbs and fats.
Exercising at higher intensities can stimulate what is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) – also known as the “afterburn”. Simply put, a hard workout can leave you burning more calories than you normally would at rest long after you’ve finished your workout. This is because energy is needed to help the body recover from its hard efforts.
There is still some debate about the significance of the “afterburn” effect in terms of the amount of extra calories burned. Nonetheless, even if the number is small, the more calories burned the better when it comes to weight loss.
Avoid Fad Diets, Especially Low-Calorie Diets
To keep your weight the same, you must be in what’s called ‘energy balance’ which just means that calories in match calories out. Weight gain happens when you are taking in more calories than your body is using. Weight loss happens when you are eating fewer calories than your body needs.
But eating too few calories can disrupt your metabolism. When your body senses that it is not getting enough energy to support its needs, it slows the rate at which energy is used. In other words, it slows your metabolism down which is not a good thing if you are trying to lose weight.
LifeVantage Can Help!
The PhysIQ™ System is a unique combination of products that, when used together, help to rebalance your body’s internal weight management system. One product included in the System is PhysIQ Fat Burn – a supplement that can maximize your weight loss efforts by helping to stimulate the breakdown of fat.
Check out the article Not Losing Weight: These 3 Reasons are To Blame to learn more about PhysIQ Fat Burn.
Losing weight is not easy. It requires self-discipline, motivation, and a whole lot of patience. Additionally, to have the greatest success both in losing and managing your weight, you must identify any factors that might get in the way of your hard efforts.
The blog article series “3 Steps to Weight Loss” gives you what you need to know about common weight loss offenders and what you can do to ensure they don’t prevent you from reaching your goal weight.
If you haven’t already, check out the other articles in this series by clicking on the links below.