New Study: Why It’s Harder to Lose Weight as We Get Older

New Study: Why It’s Harder to Lose Weight as We Get Older
Photo by Gesina Kunkel on Unsplash

One the most common struggles as we age is how we can keep the extra weight off. It is important to understand why it’s easier to gain weight than lose it as we get older. New research from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have uncovered why many individuals struggle to keep their weight in check as they get older.

The Study

Scientists studied fat cells in 54 men and women over an average of 13 years. Throughout the study period, all subjects showed decreases in lipid turnover in their fat tissue.

Lipids – fatty acids like carbs, proteins, vitamins, hormones and minerals – impact our weight in a variety of ways. But it all depends on the rate at which they’re stored or removed from our bodies – the slower the turnover rate, the longer these lipids remain in our bodies and convert to fat cells. According to the study, those who did not compensate their lipid turnover rate by eating less calories gained weight by an average of 20%.

Lead researcher Peter Arner, professor at the Department of Medicine in Huddinge at Karolinska Institutet and one of the main study authors explains, “The results indicate for the first time that processes in our fat tissue regulate changes in body weight during ageing in a way that is independent of other factors. This could open up new ways to treat obesity.”

Researchers also examined 41 women who had bariatric surgery to understand how their lipid turnover rate would help them maintain their weight loss post-surgery for up to 4 and 7 years. The researchers found that only two of these women, who had a higher than average lipid turnover rate pre-surgery, saw an increase in their turnover rate after surgery and were able to maintain their weight loss. Ultimately, the researchers felt that those individuals may have had more room to increase their turnover weight post-surgery due to their higher-than-average level prior.

Successful Weight Management

Technology has led to a sedentary lifestyle; instead of physical activity, a large majority of Americans spend their time in front of a screen, lending to an unhealthy epidemic – obesity. In order to lose weight, individuals must create an energy imbalance; eating less and exercising more.


According to the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation, the calories that are needed to maintain weight is equal to the amount of energy expended per day, multiplied by an activity factor. Simply put, entering your consumption into a calorie calculator may give you an idea of how many calories to consume daily in order to lose or gain weight. Cutting your calorie intake drastically will not be a quick fix! To lose weight, it is best to cut calorie intake gradually and consistently and be sure to keep up activity levels. Record your food intake from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed. This helps assess the calorie count and nutritional value of what you are eating.

Interested in Intermittent Fasting? Here’s everything you need to know before you get started. >>


Physical activity is a must for weight loss and management. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity daily (150 min/week) is recommended to reduce chronic disease risk and 60 minutes of moderate daily activity (300 min/week) is recommended to prevent weight gain in adulthood.


According to Jun Wang, MS, Director of Nutrition for InVite® Health, there are some supplements that may be beneficial for weight management. Here are Jun’s suggestions –

  1. “White kidney beans supply a carbohydrate blocker that inhibits the enzyme amylase from breaking starches down into sugar; absorbing less sugar from foods such as bread, potato, pasta or rice helps reduce your intake of calories.”
  2. “Probiotics are live bacteria that support the activity of the body’s healthy bacterial population. They help burn calories by releasing the appetite-reducing hormone GLP-18,9 . They decrease body fat by increasing levels of the protein ANGPTL4. Probiotics can also reduce inflammation and may improve gut health.”
  3. “CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid) made from safflower oil helps reduce body fat by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase which normally would transfer fats from the bloodstream into fat cells. CLA also promotes carnitine palmitoyltransferase, which helps burn fat, improving energy.”

A dietary lifestyle change and combination of exercise and premium quality supplements can lead you on a journey to your best health and best weight, naturally.


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