It seems with age, that most people expect a certain amount of weight gain. There are tons of clichés about fitting into your high school jeans, and whether man or woman – not having the body that you had when you graduated high school. You grow up. Life caved in. You got married, had children, got a stressful job – quit going to they gym and forgot to take the time to take care of yourself. And along the way, you have gained a few pounds – or a lot. Par for the course, right? As you age, you gain weight!
According to the Mayo Clinic, and a ton of other reliable sources – gaining a lot of weight as you age isn’t necessarily an automatic, given reason to pack on extra weight. According to a study of 100,000 men and women with healthy lifestyles, that spanned 20 years – the average person could expect to gain 2 pounds for every 4 years of life. This means that in 20 years, if you remained healthy and active, you should only weigh about 10 pounds more than you did when you were at your healthiest weight.
Certain life changes such as becoming pregnant and having a baby – health problems and even menopause, were seen as temporary reasons for gaining weight. The study however concluded that while physiological changes DO OCCUR, that put the metabolism off kilter, keeping an eye on your weight is the key to staying fit and trim. Perhaps this is one reason that keeping your jeans from your senior year in high school in the closet may be a good idea – to help you remain aware of your weight gain and keep things under control. After all, if you take one day a year to try and squeeze back into those jeans – you should be prompted with motivation to make some lifestyle changes of your own that will positively influence your weight.
Additionally, the study found that lifestyle factors along with the choice of foods were the number one factors that made people gain weight, as they get older. Younger folks tend to be more active – and tend to not just eat less, but healthier foods. While your metabolism is at its best during your youth and young adult years – the effects of a slowing metabolism can be offset by eating better and remaining active.
One of the reasons that people gain weight is because they become complacent. As stated above, life sort of caves in and takes over and your attention and focus is lent to other things. Then suddenly you are portly. Or fat. Your once size 34 waist is now barely squeezing into a size 38. You have had a baby and suddenly it’s relatively okay to weigh 30 pounds more than you did just a few short years ago. And as you sort of accept the weight gain as normal, or routine giving in to the old adages that weight gain is normal with age – you continue to gain. Then one day, your weight is a problem.
It is estimated by the Mayo Clinic that in adults over the age of 40 – 85% of the most common medical problems experienced such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer – could be eliminated or controlled with better attention to diet, exercise, and overall health. That is worth repeating. 85% of the most common middle-aged illnesses could be prevented by keeping an eye on your weight as you age. And for many of these illnesses, losing weight and becoming involved in a healthy lifestyle that includes eating natural foods can be a better cure than the pills that doctors provide.
The natural tendency for life to take its toll on our weight is one that we as a society indulge in. And perhaps rely on. It is easy to be okay with bigger jeans and expanding waistlines when you automatically think that it is a natural part of aging. Considering that the Mayo Clinic says 2 pounds per every 4 years is acceptable – it only stands to reason that more weight gain than that is due to laziness.
Losing weight is difficult. However, the benefits that come with losing weight and paying attention to your body, exercising and eating right are immense. Not only will you have more energy and look better, but also you could possible dodge the medical bullets of a malady of health problems that plague adults today. In addition to that, a study out of the Mayo Clinic proved that people who pay attention to their weight, who exercise and who are careful about what they eat and how much lead happier more successful lives. There really is a connection between our body and our minds that is linked to our weight as we age.
Right now, go into your closet and pull out those jeans from high school. Or the ones you could fit into before you had children. Can you squeeze them on? Can you even get one leg into the pants? Have you bought into the theory that getting older equates to weight gain and that you are just a product of your age? Or have you neglected to take care of yourself and your weight because you have become so consumed with ‘life?’ Are you using your age as an excuse to have gained weight? Then ask yourself how you feel about your body and lifestyle? Chances are that you will remember feeling the best about yourself during a time in your life when you were proactive and taking care of yourself. A healthy body – even with a little more weight on it, is a happier one. So, what are you waiting for?