Why does weight loss seem to be harder as you age?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Sheela Krishnaswamy

The reason why weight loss becomes difficult as a person ages varies from one person to another. A crucial factor is reduced metabolism with growing age. The main reason for this is the change in hormones.

Another factor to be considered is muscle loss. The amount of lean muscle we have naturally begins to decline 3 to 8 percent per decade after the age of 30, a process called sarcopenia. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so having less muscle means it’s harder to use the calories you’re eating.

Also, both men and women undergo changes in hormone levels as part of aging which helps explain why, according to CDC data, middle age is prime time for putting on pounds. Women, during menopause (between 45-55 years of age) tend to have decreased levels of estrogen which also leads to weight gain.

Certain lifestyle factors also come into play as usually the amount of physical activity reduces with age. Older men and women often tend to limit their physical activity due to weak bones or other health conditions. One also loses muscle mass if you’re less active due to age-related health conditions, such as arthritis, or if you’ve been sidelined with an injury or surgery for several days.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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