Aging and Weight Gain

Older Woman Sitting on the Beach

While there are some benefits to getting older, weight gain is not one of them. One of the most frequent complaints that gynecologists hear from women over the age of 40 is that they struggle to maintain a comfortable weight. Certain factors are specific to the female makeup that make weight gain in women over 40 a common occurrence. There are also things that women can do to combat this unfortunate side effect to the aging process.

Hormonal changes affect women throughout their entire lives. In pre-adolescence, girls begin to experience mood changes. As they enter into puberty, girls will experience menstruation that is often accompanied by acne, growing pains, and severe mood swings. Women who are pregnant will experience significant hormonal changes as their bodies work to grow and develop a baby within their wombs. Then, following giving birth, a woman’s body will again experience significant hormonal changes as her body recovers from pregnancy and giving birth. As a woman ages, her body again goes through tremendous changes to prepare for menopause. The female body is truly remarkable, but the changes that it experiences do take their toll.

With age, the basal metabolism decreases, and with it, so does muscle mass. Many females are less physically active as they age, which also contributes to decreasing muscle mass. Combating weight gain that is so often associated with age consists of three things:

  1. Staying active
  2. Consuming fewer calories
  3. Getting adequate sleep

Exercise helps the body burn calories and relieve stress, having a positive aspect on a woman’s entire health. Maintaining a healthy calorie intake will become more important as you age because your body will naturally burn fewer calories. Adequate sleep helps the body recover from each day, helps to fight off illness, and allows the body to have a “re-set” each night.

Unwanted weight gain does not have to plague you as you age.