Continuing This Journey

KMayf1
KMayf1 Posts: 6 Member
So here I am back to tracking and trying to stick with it this time......now that I am *older* it seems like the weight doesn't fall off as easy.....looking to lose 25 pounds before the end of June......looking to add a few more friends is willing to support and cheer me on as I do the same in return!
Together I think we can do this!

Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,902 Member
    It's probably not age per se. Our metabolism is pretty consistent from our 20s into our 60s, and it declines pretty slowly after that. You don't mention your age, but your avatar photo looks way younger than 60.

    Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8370708/

    As we age, we do lose muscle mass if we don't do anything to challenge our strength and reminder our bodies that we want to keep or even increase those muscles.

    Even more impact from that can happen if someone has yo-yo-ed in weight multiple times. Typically, they've lost fat and a little muscle mass during each weight loss episode, then regained mostly fat during the regain phase. This is super common among women in my demographic, in my social circle. (I'm old, 68.) Over time, repeating that process results in a higher body fat percent (BF%) at any given weight.

    That higher BF% has two impacts: It's true that a pound of muscle at rest burns a tiny number of calories more per day than a pound of fat (researchers estimate the difference is maybe 2-8 calories per pound per day). That's a factor, but not a big one.

    Probably of larger practical importance is that as our body composition shifts away from muscle toward fat, movement becomes harder and less fun, so we do less of it. Over time, that reduced movement accelerates the muscle loss. It can be a negative spiral.

    I'm not talking mostly about intentional exercise here. Incidental daily life movement can burn literally hundreds of calories extra per day (even fidgeting burns low hundreds). That lowered typical daily movement is high impact on calorie needs. (I'm just talking normal life stuff like job, home chores and projects, non-exercise hobbies.)

    The good news is that both of those things, muscle loss and reduced daily life activity, are reversible. Muscle gain isn't quick, so it takes patient persistence, but it can happen for anyone at any age who does the right things: Exercise that steadily and progressively challenges current strength, and decent overall nutrition (especially but not exclusively ample protein). Weight lifting is the most efficient route to that.

    Lifting during weight loss is unlikely to add much if any muscle mass, but it can help a person keep what they already have. (Overweight people tend to have more muscle mass than always-slim ones of similar activity level, just from moving the extra weight through the world.) Once the person reaches goal weight (so maintenance calorie intake), the results should speed up a bit. (Still will take patience, because it'll still be gradual.)

    In addition to that, we can work on increasing our daily life (non-exercise) activity. Some ways of doing that literally take no extra time out of our day. Various MFP-ers share their ideas for non-exercise activity in this thread:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10610953/neat-improvement-strategies-to-improve-weight-loss/p1

    I don't have a cite handy, but there's some reasonable research suggesting that people with a history of obesity on average tend to be more placid in daily life activity level than people who are less inclined to weight gain. They - the once-obese people - tend to take that habit of movement placidity into their lower-weight time periods, and it can be a contributing factor in regain.

    All of that said, 25 pounds in 5 months is possibly realistic, though if that's all you have to lose in total, it could be a little aggressive, particularly as you get lighter. I think I lost the first 25 pounds that fast . . . but the final 25 were a lot slower, and intentionally so. (I'm in year 7+ of maintaining a healthy weight now, after around 30 years of overweight/obesity before that.)

    You can lose a good bit by June, I'm sure, if you have a good plan and stick with it. Wishing you success!