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John A. Mays, MSEd
Causes Of Weight Gain
Fitness Together

Causes Of Weight Gain

As we get older, we might notice that maintaining our usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, many men and women gain weight around the midlife transition.

Middle age adult weight gain isn't inevitable. You can reverse the normal genetic course by paying attention to healthy-eating habits and leading an active lifestyle.

What causes middle age
weight gain?

We all begin this earthly life as a baby. As we age, our bodies will change in many ways. At each stage of development, there are factors that contribute to positive and negative perceptions of the bodily changes.

In middle aged adults, the hormonal changes of menopause might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than around your hips and thighs. Hormonal changes alone don't necessarily trigger menopause weight gain. The weight gain is usually related to aging, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors. But we all notice some active adults who do not experience this phenomenon.

For example, muscle mass typically diminishes with age, while fat storage and inactivity increases. Loss of muscle mass decreases the rate at which your body uses calories (metabolism), which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. If you continue to eat as you always have and don't increase your physical activity, you're likely to gain weight.

To offset the normal muscle loss associated with aging, we can begin a structured weight bearing exercise program. This allows us to protect and build muscle while others are aging and losing muscle at this stage of life. As little as one to two days a week is all that's needed to protect your muscle mass from the damaging effects of the aging process.

Genetic factors also might play a role in menopause weight gain. If your parents or other close relatives carry extra weight around the abdomen, you're likely to do the same if you don't have active exercise habits.

We all change dramatically from birth to old age. When we look at the big picture, we can proactively work to positively affect how our bodies mature. We can plan for upcoming factors such as the stress of children leaving or returning home, divorce, the death of a spouse, or other life changes that might change your diet, stress levels, or exercise habits and contribute to menopause weight gain.

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