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It used to be you had no problem dropping the pounds. However, that was many years ago. Now when you try to lose weight, more effort is involved and the amount of weight lost is significantly less.

Why is it harder to lose weight now that you’re older?

There are a few reasons why it’s harder to lose weight. First, however, it is important to understand age and metabolism.

Metabolism and Age

Age is certainly not on our side. Each year as you get older, the body slowly wears down. The use and abuse done to the body over the years along with hormonal changes can lead to the breakdown of cells, nerves, organs, bones and muscles of the body.

It can be easy to blame age for your struggle in losing weight. Age, however, isn’t the main culprit; it’s the damage done to your metabolic system.

The body’s metabolic system is what takes ingested food and turns the fat and calories of that food into energy for the body. The metabolic system slows down over time due to years of wear and tear. Now that you’re older, your body can’t consume and burn off the calories as quickly and as effectively as it once did.

While you can’t stop the digression of your body’s metabolic system, there are some things you may be doing right now that is causing additional damage and speeding up the decline of your metabolism.

Here are the top 4 metabolic killers:

  1. Years of eating processed carbohydrates.

If you’ve been eating lots of processed carbohydrates for years then you have likely increased your insulin resistance. When you eat carbohydrates or carbs, your pancreas releases insulin. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but, when you “go to the well too often” the body starts to rebel. When you eat lots of processed carbs such as bread, cake, cookies, pretzels, chips, and candy, your body starts to become “resistant” to the insulin your body is releasing because these foods cause your blood sugar to significantly spike. This resistance causes increases in blood sugar which increases fat storage and can ultimately lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

  1. Drinking too much alcohol.

Alcohol is fine in moderation but if you are trying to lose weight you should know that drinking literally slows down fat metabolism. It’s less about the calories and more about the fact that your body cannot metabolize fat while it is trying to rid your body of the “toxin” – and make no mistake about it, any type of alcohol is a toxin to the body.

  1. Eating too little. 

You can look at calories as energy or fuel for the body. Every system in your body needs fuel to run. Your respiratory, endocrine, and immune systems all need calories to function. Your metabolic system also needs fuel. When you eat too little your body will use the limited calories towards all the priorities. The body looks at things like breathing and fighting illnesses as the top priority. Burning fat is NOT its top priority because the body knows it won’t die today if it doesn’t burn any. So if your diet consists of under 1000 calories per day there’s only enough fuel to feed the priorities and the metabolic system takes a back seat. Thus, the metabolism slows down! Sounds counter-intuitive but it’s one of the things that you are doing that’s sabotaging your metabolism.

  1. Yo-yo dieting.

You starve yourself, then go back to eating what you want. Then you repeat this cycle for years. That will get your metabolism completely confused and eventually slow down because it doesn’t know up from down.

The good news is that, regardless of age, the bad habit of yo-yo dieting can be reversed through a clean, calculated nutrition plan that focuses on eating the right, nutritious foods in the right quantities. This includes eating enough protein, healthy fats, and moderate amounts of carbohydrates.

In addition to eating healthy and having proper eating habits, strength training is also needed to fix your metabolism. Strength training doesn’t bulk one up, but rather builds lean muscle. It is lean muscle that helps increase your metabolism.

One’s metabolism slows down as one gets older, making it harder to lose weight. Having a proper diet consisting of healthy, nutritious foods and doing regular strength training to build up lean muscle.

Our trainers and nutritionists at Anatomy 201 can help you not only lose weight but help you get into your optimal shape so you can feel better and happier. Contact us today to learn more about our boutique fitness studio in New Jersey.

Let’s make it a great week!

Your coach,

Marc Ronches, C.S.C.S.