Why is weight loss so hard? - Golden Goat

Why is weight loss so hard?

Why it’s so hard to lose weight after 40…

It’s Not Our Fault.

This doesn’t mean it’s a free pass to just let yourself go wild, there is some responsibility for how we treat our body, but the change will happen no matter what, what we do next is key.

Embarking on a weight loss journey or simply maintaining the body we have is never an easy feat, and as we gracefully age, the challenges seem to multiply. 

Those of us who have crossed the threshold of 40 will know that keeping those extra pounds off becomes an intricate dance of patience, self-compassion, and a deeper understanding of our bodies. 

We will explore why losing weight after 40 can be more challenging and how to approach this journey with empathy and resilience.

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The Dreaded Change.

There are so many changes happening to the body once we begin peri-menopause, this can start as early as 35.  

The feeling comes and you just can’t put your finger on it, you feel different all of a sudden, and one of those is you begin to put weight on even though you haven’t changed your diet or exercise levels, and most women won’t realize this and put themselves through vigorous training, crazy fad diets, which makes us feel worse if we knew what the issue was from the beginning it would be so much easier to deal with.

If only we knew it is our hormones that begin to decline that cause this issue.

Understanding the Connection.

As women age, their bodies undergo various hormonal changes that can significantly impact their overall health and well-being. 

One such hormone that plays a crucial role in women’s health is estrogen, commonly known as oestrogen in some regions. 

As women enter their 40s and beyond, a natural decline in estrogen levels occurs, and this hormonal shift is often associated with weight gain. 

In this article, we will explore the connection between the drop in estrogen levels and weight gain issues in women over 40.

The Role of Estrogen/Oestrogen in the Body

Estrogen is a key sex hormone that regulates various physiological processes in a woman’s body. It is primarily produced in the ovaries and plays a pivotal role in menstrual cycles, bone health, and reproductive functions. 

Additionally, estrogen influences metabolism, fat distribution, and appetite control.

Estrogen and Metabolism:

One of the reasons why the decline in estrogen levels can contribute to weight gain is its influence on metabolism.

Estrogen helps to regulate metabolism by promoting the utilization of glucose for energy and enhancing insulin sensitivity. 

As estrogen levels decrease, the body’s ability to efficiently utilize calories diminishes, potentially leading to an accumulation of excess fat.

Fat Distribution and Estrogen:

Estrogen also has an impact on the distribution of body fat, before menopause, women tend to store fat in the hips and thighs, which is often referred to as a gynoid or pear-shaped distribution. 

However, as estrogen levels decline, there is a shift towards an android or apple-shaped fat distribution, where fat is more likely to accumulate around the abdomen. 

This change in fat distribution is associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular issues.

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Appetite and Estrogen:

Estrogen plays a role in appetite regulation by influencing the levels of hunger and satiety hormones. 

When estrogen levels decrease, there may be an imbalance in these hormones, leading to an increased appetite and a decreased feeling of fullness. 

This can result in overeating and, consequently, weight gain.

Insulin Resistance:

The decline in estrogen levels is also linked to insulin resistance, a condition where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin.

Insulin resistance can contribute to weight gain by making it more challenging for the body to regulate blood sugar levels, leading to increased fat storage.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle:

While hormonal changes are a natural part of the aging process, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the impact of declining estrogen levels on weight gain. 

Regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in nutrients, and adequate sleep are essential components of a healthy lifestyle that can support weight management during this life stage.

Get to know your body all over again. 

Understanding the relationship between declining estrogen levels and weight gain in women over 40 is crucial for promoting overall well-being. 

By recognizing the role of estrogen in metabolism, fat distribution, and appetite regulation, women can make informed choices to support their health through lifestyle adjustments and, if needed, consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance. 

Embracing a holistic approach to health and wellness is key to navigating the changes that come with aging and maintaining a positive and fulfilling lifestyle.

Another factor contributing to the increased difficulty of weight loss after 40 is as we age, our bodies tend to lose muscle mass, and since muscles burn more calories than fat, this can result in a decline in the rate at which we burn calories. 

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Lifestyle Challenges.

The responsibilities that come with age, such as career demands, raising a family, and caring for aging parents, often will leave little time for self-care. 

Juggling these responsibilities can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits, because of stress and lack of time, making it more challenging to prioritize physical health. 

Unlike our younger counterparts, finding time for regular exercise and preparing nutritious meals may become a complex puzzle, they have all the time in the world, like we used to.

Psychological and Emotional Factors.

Weight loss is not merely a physical challenge; it’s a mental and emotional one as well. 

As we age, we accumulate experiences, and sometimes, weight gain becomes a shield, a way to cope with life’s complexities. 

Unraveling the emotional ties to food and understanding the deeper reasons behind our relationship with it becomes essential for successful weight loss, letting go of emotional blockages can be so difficult but so rewarding when it comes to our weight.

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Approaching Weight Loss with Empathy.

Mindful Eating

Shift the focus from restrictive diets to mindful eating. This is so important in your journey to healthy eating habits.  

Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and build a positive relationship with food.

Mindful eating has several potential benefits for both physical and mental well-being. 

Here are some of the pros of mindful eating:

Improved Digestion:

Mindful eating encourages you to eat slowly, savoring each bite. This can lead to better digestion as your body has more time to process and assimilate nutrients.

Weight Management:

Being mindful of your eating habits can help you become more attuned to hunger and fullness cues. This awareness may contribute to better weight management by preventing overeating.

Enhanced Enjoyment of Food:

By paying full attention to the sensory aspects of eating, such as taste, texture, and aroma, you can derive greater pleasure from your meals.

Increased Awareness of Hunger and Fullness:

Mindful eating helps you become more in tune with your body’s signals for hunger and fullness, making it easier to recognize when you’re truly hungry or satisfied.

Reduced Emotional Eating:

Mindful eating promotes a non-judgmental awareness of your emotions and their connection to eating habits. This awareness can help break the cycle of emotional eating.

Better Food Choices:

Mindful eating encourages thoughtful food choices by prompting you to consider the nutritional value and impact of different foods on your body.

Mind-Body Connection:

Practicing mindfulness while eating can strengthen the mind-body connection, fostering a deeper understanding of how food affects your overall well-being.

Decreased Stress:

Taking the time to eat mindfully can be a form of relaxation and stress reduction. This can have positive effects on both physical and mental health.

Improved Satisfaction:

By paying attention to your food, you’re more likely to feel satisfied with smaller portions, which can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.

Promotes Gratitude:

Mindful eating encourages gratitude for the food you have and the effort that went into producing it. This gratitude can lead to a more positive relationship with food.

Remember that the benefits of mindful eating may vary from person to person, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. However, incorporating mindfulness into your eating habits can have positive effects on your overall health and well-being.

Regular Exercise:

Incorporate physical activity into your routine, choosing activities that bring you joy. This could be anything from a leisurely walk to dancing, emphasizing the importance of staying active without making it feel like a chore.

Seek Support:

Surround yourself with a supportive community or enlist the help of a health professional. Sharing your journey with others who understand and empathize can make a significant difference.

Set Realistic Goals:

Recognize that weight loss after 40 may take longer, and that’s perfectly okay. Set realistic, achievable goals and celebrate small victories along the way.

To surmise

Losing weight after 40 is undoubtedly a unique journey, laden with its own set of challenges. However, by embracing self-compassion, understanding the shifts in our bodies, and making sustainable lifestyle changes, we can navigate this path with grace and resilience. 

Remember, it’s not just about shedding pounds; it’s about cultivating a holistic approach to health that honors the wisdom and strength that comes with age.

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