Midlife Weight Gain
Midlife Weight Gain Is Part of Life
Think you're alone? You're not. Midlife weight gain - at an average of 10 to 15 pounds - is a natural part of life... but that doesn't mean you have to accept it! Understanding why your body weight increases in direct relation to your age can be the ultimate weapon in helping you fight it.
First of all, let's talk metabolism... it's just not going to be what it used to be! Studies show that your metabolism slows by approximately 10 percent per decade after your teens. What does this mean? You can't eat like you did in your 20s and 30s. Trips to a burger joint for lunch, vending machine snacks and late-night ice-cream treats will burn off a lot slower than they did in your youth.
The second factor that tips the scales is a decrease in physical activity. Although decreased physical activity is common for midlifers, extra steps should be taken to ensure you get enough exercise.
It all boils down to a simple equation:
decrease in physical activity = loss of muscle tone = burning less calories = weight gain
Finally, menopausal symptoms can play a role in gaining weight - if you let them. While these symptoms are not directly responsible (loss of estrogen is unrelated to weight gain), menopause can influence behavioral changes that lead to extra pounds. For example, if you get depressed or stressed, do you reach for comfort foods such as chocolate? What if you have a sleepless night due to hot flashes... will you still find the energy to exercise the next day?
The bottom line is this: You do not have to resign yourself to midlife weight gain. Arrange your diet to include only healthy foods, create a workout program with plenty of cardiovascular exercise, and, above all, keep a positive attitude. You'll be rewarded by looking and feeling great... maybe even better than you did 20 years ago!