I often hear how difficult it is to lose weight after a certain age. While a lot of it has to do with what we eat and our lifestyle choices, there are a few natural processes that make it more difficult to shed that belly fat or the ever-elusive “last 10 pounds” as we age:
- Hormones – changes in hormones affect the way we store and burn fat. Excess weight ends up around our waist/belly, where it once was distributed throughout our entire body.
- Muscle loss – after the age of 30, we naturally lose 3-5% of muscle mass each year.
- Gut health – long term exposure to environmental toxins, use of prescription medication and yo-yo dieting all contribute to changes in our gut microbes, which results in inflammation and weight gain over time.
Maintaining a healthy weight and thriving as we age is possible. In my opinion, the key is to keep your gut healthy. Feed your microbes the fibre they need (which is only found in plants) and you will reduce inflammation, improve your immune system and balance your hormones. This will allow you to shed those unwanted pounds, improve your mood and provide you with excellent overall health.
Don’t forget – muscle burns fat. Resistance training, either with weights or your body weight, is a must for muscle preservation as we age.