You’re not alone…
What can be even more upsetting is the accompanying muscle loss. Most of us have experienced our weight gradually increasing during most of our adult life, it can really pile on between 50 and 59 years of age. Along with an increase in weight, mostly from fat, there also seems to be a decrease in fat-free mass, mainly composed of muscle tissue. Research has been seen to show that lean mass, and the muscle that comes with it, can decrease by up to 40 percent from age 20 to 70. The loss of muscle may contribute to the greater increase in belly fat accumulation (clinically known as visceral fat).
Top 3 reasons for Weight Gain.
Poor diet is seen to be the No. 1 reason for weight gain over all ages. Not only are we eating too many calories, but we are also eating the wrong kinds of calories. It has been suggested that adults are only meeting dietary guidelines on average only 7 out of 365 days, just 2 percent of the time.
As we get age, the consumption of protein tends to decline. Protein is the most important nutrient for fueling fat loss and creating muscle growth. We know that as we age adults need to increase the amounts of proteins, especially when attempting to lose weight.
Decreased energy expenditure:
Body fat mass is almost always dependent on what you eat and how much of that energy your body uses. As we age, we can have a sharp decrease in how much energy is used by the body, (how often we move, exercise etc.) this is an important contributor to age-related weight gain.
Older adults typically tend to perform less physical activity.
Reasons behind ageing adults getting less physical activity range from lack of time to an inability to exercise due to ailments or immobility. Unfortunately, not getting enough physical activity not only contributes to belly fat, but it also can lead to reduced strength, increased frailty and susceptibility to injury, and a lower quality of life.
Hormone changes are something to be aware of when trying to tackle age-related weight gain. Ageing is associated with a decrease in growth hormone, which directly affects the muscle-making process. Another factor can be a resistance to the hormone that regulates appetite, leptin, which can hide feelings of fullness and lead to overeating.
There are some things you can do to avoid age-related weight gain and muscle loss:
- Eat a balanced diet with high amounts of quality protein. There are many studies that show diets higher in protein fuel weight loss while maintaining muscle mass. You have 40% more chance of retaining your lean mass (muscle) while still loosing weight.
- Engage in exercise and resistance training. The key to healthy weight management as we age is to combine a healthy diet with at least 4 days of organised exercise.
- Supplement the body with proper nutrients including protein, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3s. One of the greatest causes for concern for adults when engaging in weight loss is the effect on bone mineral density. By supplementing the diet with adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium, bone mineral loss can be minimized. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids may help preserve muscle mass. B Vitamins – These vitamins are essential for a fully functioning metabolism. The main function of the B vitamins is to help your body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and to use the stored energy in food.
Fight back against the belly bloat as you age by sticking to a balanced diet, eating adequate amounts of high-quality protein, engaging in daily physical activity, and supplementing the body with the nutrients it needs.