Suffering from middle age spread? Are finding that the things that you used to do to lose weight just don’t work anymore? Aging and weight loss are tied together in a hormonal and environmental symphony which strikes some unharmonious cords as a person ages. Aging and weight loss are like a see saw, as your age goes up, weight loss is slowed down.
- Aging is accompanied by loss of muscle mass. Muscle burns calories and the less muscle you have the less calories you burn and the more fat you store.
- Cortisol the stress hormone rises. This hormone breaks down muscle and bone and stores fat. It also raises blood sugar which raises insulin. Insulin also stores fat and thwarts any weight loss.
- DHEA and testosterone go down as you are aging and weight loss slows down. DHEA and testosterone build muscle mass and keep bones strong.
- Digestion and the enzymes needed to properly digest food diminish as you are aging and weight loss becomes difficult because undigested food can cause sensitivities and inflammation. Inflammation makes it hard to lose weight and also makes you gain weight.
Armed with information and understanding you can readily fight the battle of the bulge by counteraction the processes that affect aging and weight loss.
- Build muscle with weight training. Start low and go slow. To build muscle, weight should be 80-90% of your One Rep Max. Your one rep max is the amount of weight you can lift for 1 repetition. As you are building muscle mass you are anti aging and weigh loss will be faster and easier.
- Cortisol can be controlled with diet, deep belly breathing and reframing how you react to stressors. Avoid sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and processed foods which are aging and weight loss will accelerate. Practice deep belly breathing, relaxation and/or meditation techniques to calm your nervous system. Model someone who doesn’t get rattled and change the way you respond to situations. Try adaptogenic herbs such as ashwaganda and rhodeola and add phosphatidyl serine as well as nutrient dense, low glycemic fruits and vegetables. These stress guard your mind and body, are anti aging and weight loss will be easier.
- Have your hormones measured. Replenishing testosterone and DHEA in both men and women slows aging and weight loss can accelerate. While DHEA is over the counter, it can convert to testosterone and cause side effects if too high or too low. Any hormone that is too high or too low can cause side effects and affect other hormones. Therefore, consult with a physician who understands hormone replacement therapy and the effects of lifestyle on hormones.
- Eating organic and cutting down on inflammatory foods such as sugar, grains, saturated fats, trans fats and hydrogenated oils will reduce inflammation. Choose anti inflammatory fats such as olives, avocado, fish, nuts, seeds and any of their oils. The dirty dozen are foods that are heavily laden with pesticides so these are important to eat organic. The clean fifteen have less pesticides. The list changes yearly and you can find the latest on the Environmental Working Group website.
Winning the battle of the bulge can be easier than you think. Weight loss doesn’t have to be a struggle if you adapt some simple lifestyle changes.
Lorraine Maita, MD is an award winning physician, speaker and author of “Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier” and can make you slim, sharp, sexy and supercharged. She is an expert in anti aging medicine, bioidentical hormone replacement, and weight loss, medical nutrition, supplements and executive health. Dr. Maita has a private practice in Functional, Integrative, Personalized and Anti Aging Medicine in Short Hills, NJ howtoliveyounger.com and educates virtually at www.vibranceforlife.com. Live and look younger and healthier by scheduling a consultation today.