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Yes, Weight Loss Gets Harder as You Age: Here’s Why

by | Oct 3, 2019 | Weight Loss | 0 comments

Do you feel as though weight loss gets harder as you get older?  You may not be imagining things.  You’re not just trying to find an excuse to explain why it doesn’t feel as easy to drop a pound than it used to be.

Research Says Weight Loss Gets Harder Over Time

New research from Sweden’s Karolinska Instituet has shown that weight loss gets harder with age.  Over the years, lipid turnover in the body’s fat tissues decreases.  This makes it easier for someone to gain weight and tougher to drop it.  This is the case even if you don’t eat any more or exercise any less than you may have a few years earlier.  The paper describing this research was published in the Nature Medicine journal.

What Did the Study Show?

The study examined the fat cells in 54 men and women over an average span of 13 years.  Throughout that time span, all the subjects showed reduced lipid turnover in their fat tissue, regardless of whether or not they lost or gained weight during the length of time of the study.  The lipid turnover is the rate at which the fat within the fat cells is removed and stored.

Among the participants who did not compensate for that decrease by consuming fewer calories, there was an average weight increase of 20 percent.  Through this, the researchers were able to state that weight loss gets harder for people with age.  The researchers were from Sweden’s Uppsala University, as well as the University of Lyon in France.

Further Examination

The researchers in this study also looked into the lipid turnover among 41 female bariatric surgery patients.  They examined the impact of the lipid turnover rate on the ability to stave off weight gain four to seven years following the procedure. 

The outcome of the study showed that the people who had a low lipid turnover rate ahead of the surgery were able to boost that rate and keep up their weight loss.  The researchers concluded that those individuals had more opportunity to boost their lipid turnover than those whose levels were already high before undergoing the surgery.

These results were the first time that a study revealed that processes in the regulation changes of fat tissue in body weight throughout aging occur in a way that is exclusive unto themselves.  Other factors aren’t necessarily playing a role. Therefore, weight loss gets harder over time because of the way the body functions over time.

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