Weight creep, where the numbers on the scale gradually increase, tends to happen with age. Each new decade brings body changes, most notably, a decrease in calorie-burning muscle mass and an increase in body fat.
A study out of the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital followed male and female subjects over 20 years, evaluating weight changes every 4-year period. Every 4 years the participants gained an average of 3.35 pounds for a total weight gain of 16.8 pounds.
For peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women (surgically, naturally or via medication), the decrease in estrogen changes the metabolism of fatty tissue and promotes fat gain (especially in the belly and hips) with weight redistribution and body shape changes, even if the number on the scale doesn’t move too much.
Research connects weight creep to small, almost imperceptible lifestyle habits around food, activity and sleep. Most adults become much less active as they get older but continue to eat as much as they did in their 20s. The combination of aging, less exercise, and a healthy appetite are the main reasons so many of us eventually experience “weight creep.”
Further, if you’re of a “certain age” and experienced weight creep BEFORE midlife, contending with the extra pounds during the menopause transition years can feel even more discouraging.
But, here’s the good news – you can do something about this!
1. Start with your mind, then focus on your body.
All the best weight loss research has found that behavioral weight loss techniques are the place to start, and the key to success.
What belief is preventing you from taking care of yourself?
Research shows that learning and using behavioral techniques to understand how becoming aware of your thought patterns about yourself and weight loss and making intentional changes is the most powerful way to achieve lasting results.
2. Add Muscle to Stop Gaining Weight
One of the best ways to stop gaining weight is to rev up your metabolism by increasing muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically active and very efficient at burning calories. Strength training, a few times a week, will both retain and build muscle.
Changing your fitness routine every six to eight weeks to keep your body from getting too accustomed to your workout also helps.
But whatever you do has to be challenging, or it won’t make a significant difference.
3. Reverse Weight Creep Weight by Eliminating Bad Habits
Some of the common mistakes people make that lead to weight gain include:
- Not making time for physical activity
- Mindless eating in front of the TV after dinner.
- Eating too many simple carbs (like sugar and bread)
To learn more, sign up for The Pillars of Midlife Health where I’ll teach you the simplest, most effective, medically proven, ways to lose weight and keep it off at midlife and beyond. You’ll learn the state of the art techniques and tools used by medical experts in weight management to create a personalized protocol optimizing your diet to meet your health and weight loss goals.