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Understanding weight gain after 40: Tips for losing excess pounds

Understanding weight gain after 40: Tips for losing excess pounds Illustrative photo (Photo: freepik.com)
Author: Daria Shekina

Many people start gaining extra weight as they age. Most believe that the problem lies solely in hormonal changes in the body and there's nothing to be done about the excess weight. But that's not true...

RBC-Ukraine writes about why people gain weight with age and how to lose it after 40, according to dietitian Halyna Senyk on Instagram.

Weight gain after 40: Myths and reality

"After turning 38, many women face a real problem. And it's particularly disheartening for those who 'used to eat whatever they wanted and never had weight issues and now...' And when every passing year after 38 brings additional kilograms and centimeters around the waist, we start to panic. Most often, we think it's due to hormones and rush to get checked. And then there's the urge to hit the gym. Sound familiar?" explains the dietitian.

Senyk adds that the real reason for excess weight at this age is only 5-10% hormonal, while the rest depends on eating habits, physical activity, and sleep.

"There's a concept called postprandial blood sugar level and how quickly it returns to normal. After 38, this process slows down in women, which can affect weight," explains the doctor.

The level of estrogen - hormones vital for reproductive health - drops after 45, which is a kind of protection. The body activates compensatory mechanisms in the form of belly fat because other estrogens can be produced there.

Why extra weight appears with age

Senyk notes that people over 40 develop the following habits:

  • They move less because it's more convenient to drive than walk.
  • They go to the park with friends/children less frequently.
  • They increasingly choose to stay home or go to cafes.

"Many people have a habit of skipping breakfast or lunch, saving themselves with snacks. Of course, there's also the desire to indulge in something sweet, and in the evening, there's a desire to overeat because of hunger after work. When it's cold or sad, our hand immediately reaches for something tasty, or fatty. And there you have it, an imperceptible but reliable path to extra kilograms," says the dietitian.

She emphasizes that it's not about age but about lifestyle and mindset. The energy intake and expenditure equation hasn't been canceled. It's just that over time, we give out less energy than we receive. Senyk adds that losing weight is achievable even after 60.

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