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Age and Weight Gain

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Age does affect weight and weight gain. Weight loss research shows that American women gain an average of 16 pounds of body weight from age 25 to age 54. Only at about age 55 does their weight decline. Men gain an average of 10 pounds of body weight from age 25 to age 45. They too begin to lose weight at about age 55.


Ageing and Weight Loss

For most women, increases and shifts in weight begin during perimenopause — the years leading up to menopause. But these shifting levels of estrogen aren't the sole source of your weight gain. Ageing also plays a part in your changing body composition.


Other possible causes of weight gain during middle age include:

  • Reduced physical activity. Menopausal women tend to exercise less than other women, which can lead to weight gain.
  • Increased food intake. Eating more means you'll take in more calories, which are converted to fat if you don't burn them for energy.
  • Slowing metabolism. The number of calories you need for energy decreases as your metabolism slows and the amount of muscle you have decreases. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, the less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn.
  • Genetics. Genetic factors may play a role in your weight gain. You might be predisposed to gain weight around your stomach as you age. That means you may have to work harder to maintain your figure.


On average, women gain about a pound a year during the years leading up to menopause.


Weight gain can have serious implications for your health. Excess weight can increase your risk of:


These factors can put you at risk of heart disease.


If you've already noticed the extra pounds, take steps to eat a varied diet and increase your daily exercise. If you've yet to reach the weight-gain stage of middle age, you can prepare by taking the same steps to ensure that you won't gain weight in the future.


Aerobic exercise boosts your metabolism and helps you burn fat. By incorporating strength training exercises, you'll increase your muscle mass, increase metabolism and strengthen your bones.