What’s going on here? How can doubling down on your workout efforts yield such underwhelming results? The unfortunate reality is that our bodies undergo significant changes as we age, and these changes affect nearly every process in the body, including digestion and metabolism.
The Real Reasons Why Weight Loss Gets More Difficult After 40
With each passing year, we all know that it gets more difficult to lose weight. You might hit the gym twice as hard as you did in your 20s, just to achieve half the results. Dieting, supplements, and exercise don’t appear to have the impact they used to. But this is just the way it is – getting older means your metabolism slows down.By the time we’ve reached our 40s, most men’s bodies don’t respond to exercise and diet modifications like they used to.
Here’s the thing: it’s not just your metabolism that’s putting a damper on your fitness. So what can you do? Just keep doing the same thing over and over again at the gym, expecting different results? That would be pure insanity. But doing nothing at all means you’ll be less healthy, and basically sitting around as your waistline expands.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the real reasons why shedding those extra pounds becomes more of a challenge after your 40th birthday, and what you can do about it.
Your metabolism really does slow down as you get older. Once you hit the big four-oh, your resting metabolic rate declines by between two and five percent, every ten years.
Your resting or basal metabolic rate is basically how many calories your body burns to maintain normal operations while at rest. The body uses these calories to fuel digestion, respiration, circulation, and to maintain a normal temperature.
Let’s say your basal or resting metabolic rate was 1100 calories when you were 30. By 40, it may have dropped to 1045. By age 50, it could be as low as 1,000 calories.
These unburned calories get stored as fat, of course, and it doesn’t take much for this stored energy to add up to a steadily growing waistline. For example, if your BMR burns 150 fewer calories than it used to per day, you’ll gain about 15 pounds in a year if you maintain the exact same lifestyle as you did before your metabolism began to lose momentum.
The good news is that it’s not that difficult for most men to cut a few calories per day from their diets. Simple lifestyle changes such as avoiding fried foods and sodas (even diet), seeking out high-protein, low-calorie meals, and going out for an after-dinner walk can be enough to compensate for the metabolic slowdown typically associated with aging.
As a health-conscious man, you’re well aware of the importance of testosterone. It’s one of the main things that make you – well – that make you manly. And testosterone, in truth, does play several crucial roles in your overall health. It boosts energy levels and mood, helps you build muscle mass, raises your libido, and keeps your metabolism humming along. That shortlist probably covers just about everything you love about being a man.
But testosterone levels naturally decline as men age. With less of this crucial hormone in our bodies, it becomes increasingly difficult to put on muscle mass during workouts, which is one of the most effective ways to boost basal metabolic rates.
These days, testosterone replacement therapy is becoming a much more common course of action for aging men who find themselves lacking in vigor, sex drive, or energy level. Men who are interested in testosterone replacement therapy should discuss it with their physicians, as those who find they actually are suffering from low testosterone often see excellent results.
But what if you’re not interested in taking supplements to boost your testosterone levels? Are there ways to boost your body’s natural testosterone production?
In short: yes. Experts say you can give your body’s natural testosterone production a lift by making sure you get plenty of sleep, cutting heavily processed foods from your diet, and finding ways to eliminate excess stress. Some experts suggest that lifting heavy weights is an additional way to boost testosterone. This could mean adopting a different kind of lifestyle or simply including a moment of peaceful meditation or an hour of yoga in your already busy day.
When you’re stressed out, your body uses hormones it might otherwise turn into testosterone to make the stress hormone cortisol instead. This is a double whammy. In addition to sapping some of the raw materials that might otherwise be used to produce testosterone, cortisol itself causes the body to retain weight around the abdomen.
You might tell your friends you’re still working out as hard as you did when you were a senior in high school, but are you really? As we get older, we often tend to slack on our fitness regimens. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. We skip a workout session here and there, or we don’t push ourselves as hard as we once did.
Some of this is just maturity taking hold, and it’s not all bad. Loading up the squat bar with way more weight than you have any business squatting is an amateur move, and you’re right to be careful with your back and knees. So while heavy weight lifting can be good, you just have to make sure you do it within reason and in an intelligent way. Consider using a machine when you do squats, instead of doing them freestanding. And whenever you put in a heavy lifting day at the gym (it may be best to limit yourself to no more than 3 of these sessions a week), be sure to get plenty of rest time and high-quality sleep between workouts.
Further, skipping workout day in favor of binge-watching your favorite series is a guaranteed way to pack on the pounds, especially if it becomes a real habit.
During your early years, your pituitary gland produced growth hormones at a more rapid rate. Production peaks during the teen years, and gradually declines after age 25. While the human growth hormone is responsible for physical growth, it also plays a crucial role in other biological processes.
HGH helps the body repair damaged tissues, maintain healthy brain function, and regulate energy levels. It’s also known to boost metabolism, and a recent study showed that HGH supplementation helped test subjects gain an average of 4.6 lbs. of lean muscle, making this something to consider for all men around age 40 and above.
So is it a smart idea to get into HGH supplementation? On one hand, results have been promising, but taking HGH supplements has also been tied to some pretty serious potential side effects. If you’re considering HGH as a possible addition to your supplement regimen, do it the smart way: do your research, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons, and either way – make a decision and follow it through. Chances are strong that you won’t be sorry.