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AGE and weight gain
Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:29 am
Hello - I am 50 and have been lucky enough not to have had to worry really about my weight. I am sensible with both diet and exercise. However I have noticed over the last few years a pound here or there is creeping slowly on and don't believe that I am doing anything that differently from before. So - is middle age spread true or is it just a convenient excuse?
Re: AGE and weight gain
Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:23 am
Hi JackieS - thanks for the post. It is true that as we get older our energy (calorie) requirements on average decrease. That means if we do the same thing we can put on a bit of weight. For example the Estimated Average Requirement for energy for a woman aged 19 - 34 years is 2175 calories per day; while at age 55 - 64 years it is 2079, and aged 65 - 74 years it is 1912 calories per day.
However the key question to ask yourself is whether the extra pound or two is a problem. If you feel uncomfortable then reduce your food intake a little or increase your activity and you should be able to lose the extra weight. If you are a healthy weight then be happy, but maybe just watch the weight increase going forward.
The other factor to consider is that we do change shape as we get older. I was struck this weekend watching the Queen during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, how she is fantastically fit and healthy for an 86 year old great-grandmother, but is a very different shape to when she was a wasp-waisted young queen 60 years ago. So middle aged spread can happen, but this is not an excuse to be overweight or unhealthy.
Re: AGE and weight gain
Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:56 pm
As Denise has already pointed out, as we get older our calorie requirements drop due to the metabolism slowing down - so if we don't eat a little less we can end up gaining weight. Also, falling oestrogen levels lead to more body fat being stored around the middle - resulting in a change in our shape.
It sounds to me that you're already doing the right things by being sensible about your diet and exercising; however if you notice you're gaining more weight than you'd like, aim at fitting more exercise into your daily life and cutting back a little on the amount of food you eat. Focus on eating wholesome foods like chicken, fish, lean meat, eggs, low fat cheeses and yogurts, whole grain breads, brown rice and pasta, porridge, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables; these foods supply the nutrients you need and help to keep you full for longer, so that you're less likely to crave sugary or fatty foods.
One final thought, judging by your age you could well be going through the menopause. If you're taking, or intend to take HRT, bear in mind this can cause weight gain in some women.
Hope this helps.