Why it’s Harder To Lose* Weight For Elderly People?

Q: I’m 46 years old, weigh 172lbs and I’m 5ft 6 inches. I want to lose* 30 pounds. Though I am following strict diet plan and regular exercise, I am still finding it harder to lose* weight nowadays. I really don’t know why?
Expert Answer

Once you hit 40 years, there are several changes that occurs which affect digestion, metabolism and other body functions. In women this is attributed to hormonal changes during menopause and the rate at which your body cells grow slows down. However, there could be an underlying medical condition that will have to be dealt with first before the actual weight loss* takes any effect. Despite your strict diet and exercise, you must work to ensure that the amounts of calorie you consume daily are all burned out. For example, if you take an extra of 100 calories per day, you can gain up to 10 pounds in a year.

Underlying Medical Conditions


It is surprising that 20% of adults at your age group usually experience thyroid problems with 80% being women. Hypothyroidism is the most common cause and is characterized by an under-active thyroid gland. Thyroid gland produces hormones responsible for regulating metabolism and when it fails, everything else does. Symptoms include feeling cold most times, poor blood circulation in hands and legs, hair loss, tiredness, fatigue and increased weight despite of strict dieting and exercise. Perhaps you should first consult with your endocrinologist for an assessment although there are some controversies pertaining tests of hypothyroidism.

Poor Eating Habits

Your goal at this time should be to keep you full and avoid temptations of reaching out to unhealthy meals. Julie Taw, MD, of Englewood, New Jersey recommends eating more frequently but consuming less in every meal. He adds that the benefit of eating this way is that it keeps your blood sugar steady all the time. Eat five to six healthy and light meals daily at intervals of 3 to 4 hours and avoid skipping breakfast. You should trick your body by making it feel satisfied throughout while ensuring* you are eating less and healthy meals.

Muscle Loss

According to health experts, the more muscle mass you have, the more effectively your metabolism burns calories. However, aging in most cases is associated with muscle wasting. These muscles are eventually replaced with fats. For your workout plan to aid in weight loss*, you have to put more focus in your muscles. This can be achieved through strength training exercises. Use some stretch bands, a bar or hand weights to build on your muscles. Engage in planks, curls, and Pilates so that you can retain a healthy posture. Difficult workouts should be made more enjoyable through incorporation in to hobbies.

Inadequate Sleep

Majority of your age mates usually have sleeping problems caused by physical issues such as stress from work, back pain, night sweats or snoring. According to health experts, a good sleep is an important factor for consistent weight loss*. Recent researches observed that, weight gain from loss of sleep is influenced by two hormones named as leptin and ghrelin. When you are sleep deprived, levels of ghrelin increases* while those of leptin decreases*. The end results are increased appetite and feeling hungrier.

Fuel-Energy Equation

As you stated that you observe strict diet, it is an indication that you have made a resolution to lose* weight. You might doubt if diet and exercise really work. It is important to know that making sudden drastic changes don’t necessarily help in the long run. Instead of focusing much on diet and exercise, put more emphasis on your fuel-energy daily requirements. Consider making gradual adjustments until you achieve a workable less fuel-in and more energy-out equation.

Bottom Line

For you to lose* 30 pounds, you will have to come up with simple and realistic changes in your lifestyle. You can set a goal of 1 to 2 pounds per week for the next fifteen weeks. According to studies, if you make slow and steady approach, chances are that you will achieve your target. You have to focus on either reducing* the number of calories you take or increasing* the calories you burn.

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Contributor : Kathy Mitchell (Consumer Health Digest)

Kathy Mitchell is a journalist and web content specialist covering a range of health topics, from breaking health news and fitness to health issues and regulation of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutrition.

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