The relationship between age and weight has been studied closely and the conclusions are that as you age, your tendency to weigh more is greater due to a sedentary lifestyle, less muscle mass and the development of possible health conditions. To counteract the effects of this natural tendency, greater attention to diet and exercise will help you to avoid weight issues as you age.
Studies on Age and Weight
Studies show that as you age, your body’s composition and fat storage change. You might experience changes in metabolism and hormonal levels that impact the speed and degree of fat accumulation. Generally, greater body weight is observed in both men and women in the 50 to 59 age group. This increase gradually declines after age 60. The trend toward greater weight increases gradually until the mid-70s after which a small drop is generally observed.
One study looked at a group of over 4,000 runners ages 18 to 50. It found that in the below-30 group, about 20 percent of the runners were moderately overweight. Runners in the 45 to 49 age group were more likely to be overweight; nearly 30 percent were above the recommended weight.
A Comparison Between Men and Women
Differences have also been observed between men and women with regards to age and weight. Men are more likely to be overweight when compared to women. However, obesity is more common in women. Generally, women tend to gain weight in the thighs and hips prior to menopause. This is in contrast to men who tend to gain weight around their middle.
Weight Charts and Age
Weight charts are typically broken down by height and gender. So if you are female and stand 5 feet 6 inches tall, the recommended weight for you is 117 to 143 pounds. If you are male and 5 feet 11 inches tall, the recommendation is 155 to 189 pounds. No mention is generally made about age in weight charts, so you might want to factor age into the equation as you evaluate your current weight and your weight loss goals.
Weight Loss Strategies for Aging
It is generally believed that working out regularly prohibits the weight gain that comes with age. However, studies show that due to the natural loss of muscle that comes with age, you tend to burn off fewer calories as you age. As a result, you will need to increase your activity level. If you are accustomed to exercising for 30 minutes each day, for example, you might increase that to 40 minutes as you get older. As part of your workout, consider incorporating weight training. The more muscle you build, the greater the number of calories you will burn on a regular basis.
Your diet is also an important consideration as you age. Whereas eating junk food and extra calories from fat and sugar were more easily metabolized in your younger years, as you get older, your metabolism does slow down. So take this into consideration and keep your caloric intake moderate while enjoying well-balanced meals containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, yogurt and fish.