Tips for Maintaining a Normal Weight as Time Goes By


The key to remaining healthy throughout the course of your life is to maintain your ideal weight throughout your life.  This is often easier than done, as life’s pressures and stress can cause us to eat unhealthy foods to deal with stress or cause us to cut back on exercise when we don’t have enough time in the day to handle all of the activities we must complete.  Additionally, as we age, our metabolisms slow down, making it harder to maintain our ideal weight without reducing our food intake and/or increasing our level of exercise.  This makes it even harder to maintain our ideal weight.

Your metabolism slows down because the amount of lean muscle you have decreases, leading to less calorie burning. Combine this with the fact that most people tend to have greater amounts of fat accumulate on their bodies as they age, and you are able to burn fewer calories as you age.  This is why it is important to reduce your food intake and increase the amount of your exercise routines as you age in order to make sure you can maintain your ideal weight.1

Build More Muscle as You Age To Continue Burning Calories

One of the best ways to maintain strength and to maintain your ability to burn calories as you age is to build more muscle.  You can achieve this by doing strength training exercises, such as weightlifting.  A pound of muscle is able to burn calories nine times quicker as compared to a pound of body fat.

It’s important to keep in mind that one pound of body fat is equal to 3,500 calories. Therefore, you need to keep in mind the amount of calories you take in and how many you expend in vigorous, physical activity to determine whether you will gain or lose weight.  The basic formula of gaining or losing weight does not change as you age – the more calories you take in, the more you will have to expend in order to maintain your ideal weight.

Therefore, by having more muscle mass as you age, you’ll be able to consume more calories and/or exercise less.  This can be beneficial in the fact that you won’t have to give up as many of your favorite foods or eat fewer meals and you won’t have to exercise as constantly to maintain your ideal weight, which can be helpful if you are dealing with more aches and pains as you age.

Aerobic Exercise Can Boost Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is the key to converting calories into energy for your body.  Therefore, to utilize the energy from calories, start moving around.  It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous, like running a marathon.  Even cleaning your house would qualify as physical activity.  Of course, running, hiking, jogging, walking, bike riding, and any type of sport would qualify as well and burn those calories faster.

You want to aim for at least 150 minutes per weekat a minimum. You can break this up however you want, even if you have to do multiple 10-minute sessions throughout the day.  By doing this, you will keep your metabolism active, which will help you to lose any excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.

Lifestyle Changes Can Provide the Exercise You Need

When you think of exercise, you may think, “Oh, I have to do tons of push-ups and sit-ups to compensate for my slowing metabolism.”

Not necessarily.  Sometimes, you can just make some lifestyle changes in order to add the extra physical activity you need to maintain your ideal weight.

For instance, if you’ve always been a person who has taken the elevator inside of a building, such as your workplace, try taking the stairs whenever possible.  This will add extra physical activity to your day.

Likewise, if you are always looking for that close parking space in the parking lot of the store where you are shopping, opt instead for a parking space that is farther away.  This will add some distance to your walk both heading into the store and back to your car, giving you a double-boost to your metabolism to burn those calories.

As you age, it’s important to maintain endurance, strength, balance and the ability to stretch. Doing a variety of exercises can help you achieve this goal.2

Watching What You Eat As You Get Older

As part of the aging process, your metabolism will begin to slow down.  Having more muscle mass will help to keep your metabolism strong, but even still, you should try to cut back on the amounts of rich, unhealthy foods you eat, as this will tend to add extra pounds to your body.  And, as has already been mentioned, it’s harder to get rid of it once it’s on your body, so you’re better off trying to avoid eating rich, unhealthy foods as much as you can.

This doesn’t mean that you can never have rich, unhealthy foods; it just means that you should not make a steady diet of eating them.  It is important that you have smaller amounts of foods that have higher levels of sodium, sugar, and fat in them and have greater amounts of foods that are nutrient-rich.3

Be Aware and Smart About Your Diet and Exercise As You Age

As your metabolism slows down with age, you must adapt your eating and exercise habits to reflect this change and maintain your ideal weight, as you cannot burn calories as efficiently as you could when you were younger.  By cutting back on the rich, unhealthy foods and maintaining and even increasing your vigorous, physical activity, you’ll be able to maintain your ideal weight throughout your life and enjoy greater health.


1 Research Overview by the National Institute on Aging (2011 July 11) Retrieved from National Institutes of Health at www.grc.nia.nih.gov/branches/leg/amnu.htm.

2 Exercise and Physical Activity: Getting Fit for Life (2011 August 23) Retrieved from National Institute on Aging at www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/exercise.htm.

3 Nutrition and Aging. (2011, August 29). From Colorado State University Extension: www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09322.html


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