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Why do we gain weight after 40 years and what to do about it


Source: Easy Useful

Stepping over the fourth dozen, most people are faced with the problem of excess weight. And in our society, it has long been considered as the norm. But is fullness inevitable in adulthood, or are we able to resist such age-related changes? To answer this question, we consider the main causes of weight gain after 40 years, and also give recommendations on the return of harmony in each of these cases.


Metabolic slowdown

The number of calories that we can consume without the risk of gaining extra pounds is called the basic metabolism, writes Easy Useful. This is the amount of energy that we spend on the internal physiological processes of the body. Unfortunately, with age, the size of the calorie, which can be consumed without harm to the figure, is rapidly decreasing. On average, this happens at 7-10% per year. But we can both speed up the process and slow it down considerably.

First of all, the rate of metabolic processes will depend on our lifestyle. In 20 for years, we can consume sweets for weight practically with impunity, but if this habit persists for decades, due to a decrease in metabolism, we inevitably gain weight. Conversely, a healthy lifestyle can reduce the slowdown of metabolic processes to a minimum.

We can increase the basic metabolism in several ways.

  1. Fractional power, implying the division of the usual ration into 5-6 servings at intervals of 2-3 hours. This will eliminate the sharp jumps in blood sugar levels and cause the body to constantly spend energy on the digestion of food.
  2. Physical activity, opposing one of the main causes of slower metabolism - a decrease in muscle mass. The most effective here will be strength training and interval cardio.
  3. Consumption of sufficient water. Water renews the cells of the body and stimulates all the processes occurring in it, including metabolism. The individual fluid volume may vary depending on lifestyle and climate, but should not be less than 30 ml per 1 kg of body weight.

As for the popular wonder products, such as ginger or green coffee, then the properties attributed to them to accelerate the metabolism do not correspond to reality. The maximum that can be expected from their use is a short-term increase in body temperature.

Medical reasons for weight gain

Completeness after 40 years is not always the result of an unhealthy diet and lack of mobility. Sometimes the reason lies in the health problems that most people in adulthood face. To cause a sharp increase in body weight is primarily capable of illness against the background of hormonal disorders.

Insulin resistance

The hormone insulin is synthesized by the pancreas and performs one of the most important functions — lowering blood sugar levels after a meal. But it happens that the body's cells lose insulin sensitivity, and, despite its increased production, the glucose level remains high. In addition to the negative effects of hyperglycemia, this is also fraught with the fact that insulin, which is constantly present in the blood, completely blocks fat burning. If you can not lose weight using standard methods such as split meals, calorie deficit and increased physical activity, then there is a chance that you are faced with a similar pathology.

Insulin resistance is a symptom of diabetes type 2, but can also be observed in the absence of this diagnosis.

Pathology develops in the following cases:

  • over the age of 40 years - as a result of age-related hormonal disorders;
  • with a genetic predisposition, if anyone in the family has diabetes;
  • in women experiencing gestational diabetes (during pregnancy);
  • abusing high-sugar foods;
  • in the presence of bad habits (smoking, alcohol).

Insulin resistance is detected using the HOMA-IR assay, which involves measuring fasting glucose and insulin levels in the blood. The resulting values ​​are multiplied and then divided by 22,5. Insulin resistance is diagnosed at a HOMA-IR index value over 2,77.

You can increase insulin sensitivity in three ways:

  1. Nutrition correction. Instead of a fractional power supply, we make 3 full meals. It is necessary to refuse completely simple carbohydrates, we minimize complex. At each meal it is necessary to eat healthy fats (mostly vegetable) and fiber (vegetables, greens), as they suppress insulin production.
  2. Training The sensitivity of cells to insulin increases heavy anaerobic exercise - strength training with weights, sprint. Light cardio and aerobics do not give a similar effect.
  3. Drug therapy. Drugs must be taken exclusively on prescription.

The best effect is the simultaneous combination of all three methods.


Hypothyroidism is called thyroid hormone deficiency. The disease can be almost asymptomatic from a younger age, but is usually diagnosed after 40 years, when its maximum development occurs. Insufficient functioning of the thyroid gland leads to a slowing down of the metabolism, and, as a consequence, a set of excess weight. In addition, patients with hypothyroidism are prone to edema, especially in the facial area, which creates an appearance of even greater fullness. Related signs include:

  • shortness of breath;
  • persistent chills;
  • drowsiness and slow speech;
  • yellowish skin color;
  • violation of the menstrual cycle in women.

In the presence of such symptoms, weight loss should begin with a visit to the endocrinologist and testing for thyroid hormones.


Hypercortisolism develops with violations in the work of the adrenal cortex and is characterized by elevated levels of the hormone cortisol. The high content of this hormone in the blood prevents fat burning and at the same time contributes to the destruction of muscle tissue, which negatively affects the metabolic rate.

Most often, such a syndrome develops in diseases such as corticosteromas, adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing's disease. In each case, the distinctive feature will be the uneven distribution of excess weight. Adipose tissue is deposited on the abdomen, chest, back, face, and the legs on the contrary become even thinner. The problem is diagnosed at the reception at the endocrinologist.

It should also be borne in mind that the second name of cortisol is a stress hormone. That is, its increased production can be observed even in the presence of a large number of stressful situations in life. Therefore, those who want to lose weight will be useful to introduce the practice of meditation into their lives and try to think in a positive way.

Natural age hormonal adjustment

In addition to hormonal disorders associated with diseases, an age-related hormonal alteration inevitably occurs after 40 years. In women, this period is called menopause, which according to the WHO begins at the age from 48 to 51. At this time, the ovaries cease to produce a sufficient amount of the female sex hormones estrogen, which leads to the following negative consequences for the figure:

  • metabolism slows down;
  • in a number of cases, insulin resistance develops;
  • psycho-emotional state becomes unstable, which often leads to overeating.

Men also have a climacteric period, but a bit later - from 50 to 60 years. Reducing the production of the male hormone testosterone leads to the development of obesity on the female type, when fat is deposited in the abdomen, chest, thighs.

Doctors, as a rule, in both cases prescribe hormone replacement therapy. However, the use of artificial hormones even more inhibits the production of their own, and also has many side effects. It is considered safer to take natural herbal preparations. So, women of mature age will benefit from supplements based on plants containing phytoestrogens (hop cones, pine forest, linden flowers, etc.). Men should also pay attention to the so-called testosterone boosters, which are made on the basis of herbs Tribulus, Fenugreek, Forskolin, etc.

And of course, we all can delay the age-related changes through a healthy balanced diet, regular physical exertion and the rejection of bad habits. Such a lifestyle will allow you to feel young at any age and at the same time remain slim, regardless of the restructuring taking place in the body.

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