Losing weight can be difficult at any age but it becomes ever more challenging as we grow older.
A slowing metabolism is the main culprit to the increasing difficulty. It’s estimated that your metabolism slows down 5% every decade after you turn 40. This can occur because of the loss of muscle (or sarcopenia) which plays a vital part in maintaining your metabolism. In fact, up to 40% of muscle mass is lost between the ages of 40 and 80.
Build to Lose
You can offset sarcopenia by adding weight training into your regular workout routine. While aerobic exercise is important to your heart health, weight training is also important to preserve and build muscle. Don’t feel intimidated by the thought of weight training, it isn’t all heavy weights and grunting, maintaining muscle can be as simple as curling five pound dumbbells a few times a week.
Stressing, Skipping, Sleeping
As you become more established in your career or add more responsibilities to your everyday life you may find yourself feeling stressed, skipping meals, or losing sleep. Though these things may seem like a necessary evil on the road to success, they may also aid in packing on the pounds.
For some, stress can lead to skipping meals and for others it leads to binge eating, neither of which is conducive for weight loss. It’s obvious why binge eating is the opposite of what you need to do when you’re trying to lose weight but starving yourself isn’t productive either. Skipping meals can trick your body into storing unnecessary fat.
Stress can make even the simplest things seem hard but when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle it’s really about the basics. Eat three nutritional meals every day and shoot for eight hours of sleep each night.
It’s not likely that you can totally eliminate stress from your life but there are plenty of healthy ways to decrease stress such as yoga, meditation, going for a walk or finding a hobby. Check out this article for more helpful ways to relieve stress.
You Can’t Outwork a Poor Diet
It’s not what anyone wants to hear but when it comes down to it nutrition is the key to losing weight and living a healthy life.
Focus on eating plenty of protein, vegetables and fruits. Protein is vital to fuel your body (and the muscles you want to build) so space it out throughout your day, aiming for 15-20 grams at every meal.
Even when eating a relatively healthy diet you may be lacking Magnesium. Magnesium plays a key role in bone health, brain function and energy levels, all of which are important for healthy aging. Pay special attention to getting plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet. Such as:
- Seeds, especially pumpkin seeds
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, swiss chard and collard greens
- Beans and legumes
Forget the Number
For years people have put emphasis on the number we see on the scale, but in reality that means very little. If you eat right and keep your body moving it will reward you. Pounds won’t fall off without extra effort but if you’re working to live a healthy lifestyle you won’t only look better, you will feel better too!