Weight gain: it’s a fact of life.
Or is it?
Some folks just seem to stay slim and trim no matter their age.
It’s really not fair.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, weight is a constant fight from the age of 20 upwards – and each year it just gets harder.
It’s hard but it’s not impossible. It just takes some work and identifying what your body needs to stay in shape.
(Hint: everyone’s different.)
Here’s why weight gain occurs, what weight gain and the thyroid have in common, and how weight gain and aging are connected.
Oh yeah: and how to slim down without fad diets or starving.
Why Weight Gain Happens
Some people spend years wondering why weight gain happens while others just go with the flow and accept it.
Although maintaining a healthy weight becomes more difficult as you age, age in itself does not cause weight gain.
Why does weight gain happen?
When you consume too many calories or excess fat, your body stores it for later in your fat cells.
(Hey, it’s just trying to keep you safe.)
However, humans don’t face starvation quite like they used to so this accumulated fat just keeps building up.
It’s not just fat: sugars and salt can cause excess water retention around the midsection, face, and thighs.
Fortunately, that’s the easiest kind of fat to lose (but we’ll get to that later.)
How Weight Gain and Aging Are Connected
The age-old question: how are weight gain and aging connected?
A lot of things happen to the human body as it begins to age, creating a perfect environment for storing fat deposits.
- Slower metabolism yet keeping the same dietary habits
- Muscle mass begins to deteriorate after age 30. (It’s replaced with fat.)
- Reduced ability to absorb nutrients could lead to chronic hunger
- A generally inactive lifestyle
- Other conditions contribute to weight gain, such as diabetes, injuries, heart disease, depression, and thyroid problems.
- Weight gain during pregnancies
What You Need to Know About Weight Gain and the Thyroid
Your thyroid works very hard to keep your entire body balanced and functioning. The hormones it produces are responsible for regulating breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and yep you guessed it: weight.
Here are some thyroid conditions that may contribute to excess weight:
- Hashimoto’s Disease: Damages the thyroid. Reduces metabolism and energy.
- Hypothyroidism: Reduced production of thyroid hormones may cause up to 10 lbs. of water retention.
- Hyperthyroidism: Overproduction of thyroid hormones. This condition usually causes weight loss but can occasionally cause gain as well.
As you can see, weight gain and the thyroid are directly linked. A slight imbalance in thyroid hormones can contribute to either weight gain or loss depending on the circumstances.
Tips for Slimming Down and Toning Up
Don’t believe the haters: you can maintain a healthy weight no matter your age.
You just need to pay special attention to your habits and diet.
Everyone is unique so it’s important to evaluate your personal situation before developing a diet and exercise plan.
In general, here are a few rules to consider.
- Prioritize strength training. You lose muscle mass as you age. This means that strength training is just as much – if not more – important than cardiovascular exercise.
- Increase the intensity of your cardio. Skip the light jog and instead opt for some kickboxing, swimming, or high-intensity cycling.
- Cut out the simple carbs. This is the easiest way to drop weight without having to do much. Cut out white bread, starches, pasta, sugars. Go with whole grains instead.
- Dark berries and leafy greens are important for consuming enough antioxidants. These fight free radicals and help your body work more efficiently which should hopefully reduce hunger.
- Lean proteins. Chicken, lean beef, beans, and fish are essential for feeling full and satisfied. (You’ll never feel the need to binge on junk.)
- Practice yoga for balance and mindfulness.
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