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Weight management after 35: What to know

Only if we could remain young, wild and free for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, that is not possible as ageing always catches up with us – whether in the form of wrinkles, grey hair, hair loss or increased weight. 

Even if you lead an active lifestyle or are on your toes all day long, you may still struggle to maintain weight. This is due to a mix of variables such as a slowed metabolism and lifestyle changes.

In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why our bodies don’t respond the same way to weight loss efforts after the age of 35 and offer practical advice for staying healthy.

The factors behind weight gain after 35

Slower metabolism:

Research shows that after the age of 35, your body metabolism naturally slows down – meaning you don’t require as much energy to fuel yourself. This means that your body burns fewer calories while at rest, making it easier to gain weight if your calorie intake remains constant.

Hormonal changes:

Several hormone-related variations can cause weight gain variations in women. In women, estrogen – the hormone that controls a woman’s monthly cycle – begins to drop around menopause. These hormonal changes might lead to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. For men, the changes in levels of testosterone can lead to unwanted changes such as weight gain.

Muscle loss:

Bone loss begins in your 30s and by the time you’re 35, there is a reduction in muscle tone, which can have a negative effect on your strength and balance. Muscle burns more calories than fat, thus losing muscle mass might lower your metabolism even further.

Changes in lifestyle:

After the age of 35, multiple lifestyle changes are independently associated with long-term weight gain. Career and family duties generally take precedence, leaving less time for regular exercise and good meal preparation. Weight gain can also be influenced by sedentary work and increasing stress levels. Most of us exercise less frequently or with less intensity as we age,making weight gain natural. 

Dietary habits:

Researchers tracked that as people become older, they tend to adhere to unhealthy dietary patterns — nighttime snacking, emotional eating, junk-food binges — which can lead to weight increase. Common factors include emotional eating, eating out more frequently, and consuming more processed foods. 

Weight management tips after 35

Although there are no immediate solutions to melt away excess body fat, it is certainly achievable with the right approach.

Prioritise strength training:

Incorporate strength training into your exercise program to counteract muscle loss and enhance your metabolism. Aim for at least two days per week of resistance exercise, focusing on all major muscle groups.

Exercise your heart on a regular basis:

In order to maintain muscle mass and improve cardiovascular health, incorporate any kind of workout or movement that suits your style and sparks joy. Each week, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activities such as walking, running, swimming, or cycling.

Maintain a balanced diet:

Choose a nutrient-rich, balanced diet high in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Add fibre-rich foods (like veggies, fruits, beans, and nuts) and nutritious fats (like eggs, yoghurt, and avocado). Make nutritious choices, and avoid or minimise the consumption of highly processed meals, sugary beverages, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Indulge in moderation:

Studies have repeatedly shown that restricting what you eat and limiting calorie intake can have a detrimental impact on both your physical and mental health. Instead of dieting and disordered eating, pay attention to portion amounts and try not to overeat.

Stay hydrated:

Decades of scientific research show that keeping your body hydrated with fluids is key for boosting your metabolism and maintaining a moderate weight. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.

Manage stress:

Stress can definitely take a toll on your mental health, and also negatively impact your body, resulting in emotional eating and weight gain. You can prevent stress-related weight gain by adopting techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

Get enough sleep:

Adequate sleep is essential for optimal health — and successful weight loss. Research suggests that sleep deprivation can affect hormones that regulate hunger, leading to weight gain. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Keep track of your calories:

If there’s one piece of advice that nearly all healthcare professionals agree on when it comes to promoting healthy weight loss, it is keeping a meal diary or using a calorie-tracking app. This can assist you in making healthier dietary choices and efficiently managing your weight.

Set realistic goals:

Don’t expect to maintain the same weight as you did in your 20s. Focus on achieving a healthy weight for your age and body type. Setting realistic goals can help you stay motivated and make steady progress.

Seek professional help:

If you have underlying health concerns or unique nutritional needs, speak with a healthcare practitioner or registered dietitian for tailored guidance on weight management.

Closing thoughts

Weight control after the age of 35 is a unique problem, but it is fully attainable with the appropriate strategy. There’s no magic fix to weight loss, but you can maintain a healthy weight and live a more full and active life by recognising the factors that contribute to weight increase, implementing good lifestyle adjustments, and taking a holistic approach to your health. These changes can work wonders in improving long-term success on your weight loss journey, no matter what your age.

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