Losing weight after 40 isn't like losing weight in our 20's, right? After all, it gets harder and harder to drop excess pounds the older we get. In fact, we can eat virtually the same things that we ate 10 years ago and still gain weight. What gives? Why is it so hard to keep a good weight as we age? Are we destined to be old and fat? In this article, I am going to briefly go over what happens to our bodies as we age and show why losing weight after 40 is so difficult.
When we are young, there are a number of factors that make it easier to lose weight. This includes an abundance of testosterone and a higher metabolism. In other words, eating a whole pizza in a late night sitting with your fraternity brothers won't result in weight gain. Try it when you get older though and watch as the weight increases just by looking at it.
So, we can blame weight gain on a slow metabolism, inactive thyroid or a decrease in hormonal function and this would be true. But there are other hidden factors that influence weight gain. Here they are:
- Insulin Resistance- As we age, we start to increasingly become resistant to insulin. This is not a good thing. In scientific terms, if you become resistant to insulin, your body's ability to take up glucose efficiently diminishes and as a result, you won't use the glucose for energy. To restore insulin levels back to the days of your youth, all your simply need to do is eat less.
- Your Resting Energy Expenditure Rate decreases- We are constanly burning calories, even when we are sleeping and eating. As we age, this number decreases. This is the primary reason why we can eat virtually the same thing and still get fatter as we age. Of course, this can be fixed by eating and drinking things that will help to increase our REER. Things such as Green Tea have been verified as a way to increase our caloric expenditure. So has peppers.
- Serotonin- As we age, our serotonin levels decrease. With that, so does our satiety levels (which explains all the cranky old folks). The good news is that we produce serotonin naturally. The bad news is that in order to produce serotonin, we need a substance called tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes us sleepy). There is a way to stop this slippery slope of aging and diet though.....pharmaceutical grade tryptophan is now available to the US population.
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