Are You Gaining Weight No Matter What You Do? It Could be the Aging Process

Have you ever asked yourself why you are gaining weight even though you are not eating more fatty foods and are exercising the same amount? It could be the normal aging process.

New research in the journal, Nature Medicine, outlines that Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has uncovered that Lipid turnover in the fat tissue decreases during aging and makes it easier to gain weight.

Scientists studied the fat cells in 54 men and women over an average period of 13 years. In that time, all subjects, regardless of whether they gained or lost weight, showed decreases in lipid turnover in the fat tissue, that is the rate at which lipid (or fat) in the fat cells is removed and stored. Those who didn’t compensate for that by eating less calories gained weight by an average of 20 percent, according to the study which was done in collaboration with researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden and University of Lyon in France.

“The results indicate for the first time that processes in our fat tissue regulate changes in body weight during aging in a way that is independent of other factors,” says Peter Arner, professor at the Department of Medicine in Huddinge at Karolinska Institutet and one of the study’s main authors. “This could open up new ways to treat obesity.”

Does this mean that you have to skip the holiday buffets and family dinners I order to watch your waistline? No. Instead of loading your plate with mashed potatoes and gravy and having seconds (or thirds) of turkey and oyster stuffing, try to fill up on nuts and cru de te (minus the ranch dressing).  Making healthier food choices doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor – or dessert. But, it does mean that you need to be mindful of your portions.

Now is probably not the best time to start a diet.  Instead, try to maintain your current weight and make a promise to lose any extra pounds after the holidays by visiting your personal trainer or taking an extra walk around the block during the halftime show of the football game. And, don’t forget that fitness and weight management can be fun!

Happy holiday eating!

To learn how Fitness for Health can help you make time for exercise this season or improve your senior health, please visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.