Weight Loss – Why is it so much harder when you’re older?

Weight loss and how to achieve and then maintain it seems to be a focus for many people throughout their life.

We all age. It is a fact of life, yet another “fact of life” seems to be weight gain and weight gain retention. As we age, our metabolism slows down. A lot of people see this as weight loss becoming a struggle, even as they maintain healthy diets and exercise.

So, how does metabolism play such a big role in maintaining a healthy weight?

In our 20s, weight loss can be incredibly easy because your metabolism is still very active. You may see weight loss stories of people losing over a hundred pounds, but those successes could partially be attributed to the person’s age. Losing weight after a certain age can be much more challenging.

Some young people can easily drop a few kilograms by eliminating weight gaining foods from their diets such as sugar, soft drinks, takeaway foods. But if this trick doesn’t work for you anymore, or you are a healthy eater, then stop trying the same techniques you used in your 20s. They’re not working. When you enter your late 30s, 40s, and 50s, you will need to try new weight loss routines to help you slim down.

It’s all about nutrition and feeding the machine- your body. As your metabolism changes, your metabolic needs change. Your nutrition has to reflect this to get the desired changes. You can’t get away with what you once could!

Weight Loss Tips:

    Try to limit foods out of a packet. Have a think about it. How much of your food comes from a packet? These foods are often highly processed and contain all sorts of additives. They are also often high in carbohydrates. Which, when we look at the biochemistry of carbohydrates, they are broken down into sugar when we metabolise them and stored as fat. Yes. That is right. Sugar and carbohydrates are stored as fat, and are therefore not conducive to weight loss. So, reduce your refined sugars and processed carbohydrates. Your body will thank you.
    Protein does not always have to come in the form of meat. You can actually limit your meat intake, particularly red meat, to just a couple of times a week while still keeping your protein levels up. Other protein sources include eggs, fish, or lentils. Quinoa, chia seeds, and Greek yoghurt are also good sources of protein. Have you tried chia seeds before? Try this mango chia pudding… oh so yum!
    Vegetables are full of nutrients and vitamins that are low-calorie and filling. You can eat as many vegetables as you want without any of the guilt. Munch away on them all day! You can steam them, fry them, bake them just eat them! And as for fruit, it is so easy to chop up and make a small fruit salad or to have a piece of fruit on the go.
    These foods include whole foods that have a lot of nutritional value, not processed, fried or fatty foods. Most of us could eat a burger every night of the week in our 20s without becoming overweight, but the truth is when you get older you can no longer afford to eat like a 4-year-old. Snacking on sweets and processed foods reduces weight loss and will harm your body, and when you only have one body you better take care of it. Learn to cook healing whole foods in a way that you enjoy, whether it be roasting vegetables with olive oil and spices or blending your favorite fruits into a smoothie. When you learn to prepare healthy foods in a way you enjoy, you will be more likely to go for a nutritious meal over a fast fat-laden one.
    Do you think the nightly walk with your dog is going to be enough exercise? You are likely not getting enough if your exercise regime only includes a daily stroll around the neighbourhood. Yes, a 30-minute brisk walk daily can extend your life, but it is still important that you add some type of strength training and/or higher intensity cardio to your exercise routine.
    You know how important sleep is for your health, and new studies are backing up your intuition with science. It is true that they used sleep deprivation as a form of torture, so why do it to yourself? In addition to getting enough sleep, it needs to be quality sleep. Allow yourself to rest and rejuvenate overnight! This, paired with finding ways to lower your stress, can be super beneficial.
    High stress is good for nothing. Chronic stress is good for nothing. Weight gain is common with stress. So, reduce the stress. Stress in your body causes cortisol to be released. Cortisol tells the body to conserve energy – for a stressful situation. It’s a survival mechanism. So we retain fat, awaiting that stressful situation. Cortisol also causes you to crave sweets, fatty foods – aka “I am going to put on weight” foods. So, make a move and drop the stress.


Weight loss is not about trying the most recent crash diet or fad diet. The key to losing weight is a lifestyle change, whether it be a change in your diet, your fitness level or your work and life balance. Sometimes, it is hard to find that balance and what your body needs. Our Naturopaths are great at this. After a full history and a good chat, we can gain some great insight into you, your body, and some achievable changes to reach your goals. Sound like a plan?


If you have any questions that you would like to ask our Naturopaths, drop us a line. We’re more than happy to chat.

Disclaimer: This blog post is an educational tool only.  It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Phone: (03) 9773 8085

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