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Why we put on weight with age

Dr Hanikeri offers a range of surgical procedures for the breasts, body and face.

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It is important to prepare for plastic surgery by leading a healthy lifestyle. This means no smoking, limited alcohol intake, regular exercise and a healthy diet. Being in better shape pre-surgery will help to ensure a speedier recovery post-surgery.

However, many of our patients have noted that it is a lot harder to lose weight and maintain fitness as you get older. There is a legitimate reason for putting on weight with age but don’t worry, there is a solution.

Why we put on weight with age

New research undertaken by the Karolinska Institute has found that lipid turnover decreases during ageing. Ok, but what is lipid turnover we hear you ask?

Lipid turnover is the breakdown and storage of fat for energy within our cells. A reduction in this breakdown means a reduction in your ability to lose weight. It also means it’s easier to gain weight even though you may be eating and exercising as you have always done.

What is the solution to our age reducing our ability to lose weight?

The findings of the research concluded that those who didn’t counteract their decrease in lipid turnover by consuming fewer calories, gained weight by 20 per cent on average.

The answer to maintaining your weight as you age? A change in your diet. Easier said than done if you were planning to retire sailing off into the sunset with a cheeseboard and glass of wine in hand!

Our advice is to avoid any FAD diets and if you are really struggling seek the advice of a professional nutritionist. Incorporate more healthy food groups into your diet such as leafy greens, lean meats and healthy fats. Also reduce your portion size.

Other tips to help avoid weight gain

  • Keep a food diary for a week – You may not realise that you are overeating
  • Work out your Basal Metabolic Rate (Daily calorie need)

According to Livestrong, the equation for women is:
(Height in centimetres x 6.25) + (Weight in kilograms x 9.99) – (Age x 4.92) – 161.

For example, if your height is 178 cm, your weight is 78.6 kg and your age is 33, you would use: (178 x 6.25) + (78.6 x 9.99) – (33 x 4.92) – 161 = 1,574 calories per day. Once you have worked out your BMR, you can determine your approximate daily calorie need by taking the following steps;

  • If you are sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.1
  • If you are lightly active, taking part in light exercise one to three times per week: BMR x 1.275
  • If you are moderately active (moderate exercise three to five times per week) BMR x 1.35
  • If you are very active (hard exercise six times a week): BMR x 1.525