Aging and Weight Loss: The Trouble with Time


It seems so much easier to keep weight off when you are young. Sure, you may have felt like you had a few extra pounds on you, or that you needed to go on a special diet—especially after those holiday months—but for the most part, the younger you are the easier it feels to get your body to do what you want it to do. There are a million reasons why it feels more difficult to lose weight the older you get. Once you settle down and start a family, begin working 40+ hours every week, and don’t have as much time available to dedicate to your dietary choices and exercise habits, it is no wonder as to why your body isn’t as able to stay in shape. However, these environmental factors may not be telling the whole story when it comes to understanding why age seems to have such a big impact on your waistline. As it turns out, biology plays a role in this too.

Researchers examining the impact that age has on weight loss considered the weight management habits of individuals between the ages of 29 and 39. While this is only a ten-year span of life, it is a span of life that tends to mark some of the biggest lifestyle changes. This decade marks the time when most people are focusing on growing their families and/or their careers, and start to settle into adulthood, and so it is a prime slice of life to examine when considering the impact of age-related life changes on weight maintenance. The researchers found that during this pivotal time of life, the average woman puts on about 7 lbs, and the average man puts on about 15 lbs. This weight change is often gradual, and so not often something that may be noticed in the moment, but over the course of 10 years it could leave you being a full pant size larger than you were at the start—without you even really noticing.

While you may be more likely to gain weight as you age from your 20s to your 40s, the good news is that this gradual increase doesn’t stay consistent over time. Once you reach the age of 40, for example, most women are able to maintain a rather consistent weight level.

Being extra careful about your weight as you make the transition from young-adulthood into middle-age is wise, as this is an especially trying time of life for your waistline. If you do find that you have gained a bit too much weight during this time, working with a medical weight loss center can help you reach your weight loss goal before another year passes by.