There are two factors that can affect how easily you lose weight, from my personal experience – first how old you are, and second how many times you have tried to lose weight before.
First of all, when you reach 40 years old, something mysterious happens to your body that can make it more difficult to lose weight than when you were ten or twenty years younger. While this article is not going to focus on all of the scientific reasons why that is, it is a reality than the majority of people face.
One of the things that I have found is that when you are over 40, dieting is more important to weight loss than is exercise. Exercise becomes a means of staying fit rather than losing weight. This has been stated by several dieticians in that exercise alone will not help you lose the weight.
For example, I have been doing Weight Watchers for about six months. I have lost about forty pounds by following their system. At the same time, I have been exercising and running approximately 15-20 miles per week. If I increase the amount of food I eat, even with burning as many calories a week as I am, I gain weight. However, if I stop exercising and follow their point system, I lose weight.
There is purpose in exercise. I am in the best shape I have been in for a long time. My vital statistics, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., are all in excellent ranges. But, if I want to lose weight, I need to focus on my diet. It took me about two months to figure this out, but I am committed to sharing in my Weight Watchers success story what I am learning for others.
Second of all, I believe that the number of diets one has tried before affects your ability to lose weight. Many adults have tried several different kinds of diets, and in some cases a couple dozen times. One of the things that happens is your body builds up a resistance to losing weight – almost a survival mechanism.
A person who is trying to lose weight for the first time will generally have more success than someone who is trying for the tenth time. By the time a person reaches the age of 40, they may have tried to lose weight at least 12-15 times. A resistance is built up that can be hard to break through.
For example, a person who weighs 250 pounds may have tried to lose weight ten different times. He may have lost 20-30 pounds, only to gain it back again, plus a little extra. He may experience a resistance at about 230 pounds that is hard for him to get past. Because of the resistance, he will either give up and quit, or he will stick with it and push to break through. Most people quit.
A few potential solutions would be to try a 3-day fast, a colon cleanse, or intense exercise for a few weeks. Many times these can break the resistance and allow your body to keep moving forward in weight loss. I believe your body is trying to survive, and dieting is working against what your body naturally wants to do. Therefore it slows down metabolism and other functions of the body so that it can conserve energy. The more you diet, the more your body slows down these functions. By fasting, doing a cleanse, or exercising intensely, you are training your body to allow this breakthrough.
Losing weight at any age is never easy, no matter what the infomercials and books tell you. The older you get the more challenges you will face. However, if you are more interested in “living” as you grow older, rather than just “existing,” the price you pay is worth the prize you receive.