By Abby Jennings/TLS Team
Aging comes with a lot of ups and downs – but it’s how you cope with these even more so than your slowing metabolism that has a huge impact on your weight. For example, if you say “why bother”, this is a coping mechanism (just not a very effective one), and leaves you feeling powerless. Instead, empower yourself by trying these four coping mechanisms – you’ll be surprised by the results!
1. Familiarize yourself with the your new biological changes – and make the adjustment to avoid weight gain: Decreasing energy levels and a steady loss of muscle mass make it difficult to burn weight as easily as you did before. This is why coming up with a plan of action is important to maintain your weight. You have two options – reduce the amount of calories you consume a day to compensate for the decrease in calories burned or step up your game by burning off those calories. Remember, whatever is not burned off will be stored as fat.
2. Give yourself a headstart – eat breakfast: Your metabolism is at its peak and burns off the most calories during the morning. Why not take advantage of this and enjoy a healthy breakfast – it will give you the energy you need and keep you fuller longer.
3. Make strength-exercises your go-to for weight loss: Gradual muscle loss is common as you get older. This makes weight management a little more difficult since muscle burns more calories than fat. But with a little willpower – you can overcome these weight management hurdles by making strength training a part of your daily routine. But strength training doesn’t have to be all work and no play – do these exercises while watching your favorite show/movie or listening to your favorite song.
4. Get some more R&R: Being more intentional in catching more Z’s will help you fight of those late night cravings (typically for sweet and salty junk food). And yet another reason to get more sleep – recent research has shown that our bodies are the most metabolically active when we sleep. But don’t use this as a license to eat a snack right before bedtime – unfortunately our bodies don’t process foods consumed later in the evening as efficiently as they do calories consumed throughout the day. Any small change to your sleeping habits can have a big impact on weight management!
A slowing metabolism isn’t an excuse for not being proactive about your health and weight as you age! You get the final say of whether or not normal biological changes during the aging process will result in weight gain. It’s our attitude that makes all the difference in motivating us to take action – which is key to weight management success!