With age comes many different physiological changes, and you may have heard that one of them is a slower metabolism.
However, that may not be the case. Robert Kushner, MD, an obesity medicine physician and author of the book “Six Factors to Fit: Weight-loss that Works for YOU” talks about this in a recent blog post. He points to a study on Science which suggests that as adults age, they have a surprisingly stable metabolism until around age 60.
“We do know that as people advance through the middle age years, it’s not uncommon for them to adopt more sedentary lifestyle behaviors while also taking in more calories – creating the perfect storm for weight gain,” says Dr. Kushner. “And if you’re someone who is also predisposed to obesity, biological factors also kick in and worsen the problem.”
Tips for Managing Weight Gain as You Age
If you are struggling with weight gain as you get older, your metabolism might not play as big a role as you may think. Then again, everyone is different, and you should speak with a healthcare provider if you want to look into this further.
We’ve summarized Dr. Kushner’s three tips below for managing weight gain through adulthood. Click here for his full blog post.
Look at Your Complete Weight Journey
Reflecting on your weight at different points in time can help you better understand any patterns. You might find connections between your weight and factors such as getting married, having kids, a new job, going on a new medication or going through something stressful.
Be Mindful of Your Calorie Intake
You don’t have to track calories if you don’t want to but being mindful of your intake can give you insight into your weight patterns. You can do this simply through portion control, or you can try tracking your general calorie intake with the help of digital tools or food journaling.
Talk about Weight with Your Healthcare Providers
Weight does not have to be a taboo topic. It’s important to find health experts who have your overall health in mind, with weight being addressed as needed and with the patient’s consent.
There are diverse health experts out there who can be an asset on your weight management journey, including:
- Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs)
- Exercise physiologists and personal fitness trainers
- Health psychologists who can help you manage stress, anxiety and negative behaviors that may be impacting your weight
- Obesity medicine physicians
- Primary care providers (PCPs)
At the very least, your primary care providers may be able to refer you to a specialist or equip you with resources if they are not able to provide you with more specific guidance for weight management.
The common theme among each of these factors is mindfulness. And as Dr. Kushner stresses, your goal should always be to focus on your overall health, not just a number on the scale.