Losing Weight With Age: Reasons We Lose Weight as We Get Older


Losing weight with age is a natural part of life. But not all of the reasons are genetic, and some can be prevented with healthy habits. 

Many people lose muscle mass as they get older.  This can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. 

As we age, the body’s ability to produce muscle slows down, which means less is produced naturally. Some of this loss may be attributed to decreased activity levels and hormone changes in aging bodies. For example, testosterone production decreases with age in men resulting in a decrease in lean mass or muscle. 

In addition, many people who age have a hard time maintaining their body shape and size because of bone density loss as they get older. This can lead to other health issues like osteoporosis if left untreated or undiagnosed for too long. 

Unintentional Weight Loss for Seniors 

When you get older, your lean body mass, such as muscle and bone density, progressively decreases.  The weight you lose is weight loss from fat tissue. This process occurs more rapidly in women than men after midlife because of the changes in hormone levels that occur during menopause and older age. 

If weight loss occurs suddenly, it can be a sign of disease. However, if weight loss is gradual – over months or years – then aging may be the cause.  Some of the reasons for unintentional weight loss in seniors are: 

  • Decreased appetite due to diseases, dental problems or aging. 
  • Lack of exercise which leads to muscle wasting and dehydration – causing a drop in energy levels leading people not to eat as much because they have no energy. 
  • Medication – many medications such as antidepressants can cause weight loss as a side effect. 

The best thing to do if you are concerned about your weight is talk with your doctor and get them to run some tests on you, such as fasting blood sugar level estradiol (estrogen) for women or testosterone levels in men. The reason why estrogen and testosterone levels are so important is because they control how our bodies process food and the storage of fat. If you have a hormone imbalance, it can be corrected with medication which will help your weight loss efforts as well as other health issues associated with aging such as lack of energy, poor sleep quality or low libido.. 

Managing Unintentional Weight Loss For Seniors 

The first step to managing unintentional weight loss for seniors is visiting a doctor. The doctor can help determine if there are any underlying conditions that might be causing the weight loss and discuss treatment options which may include lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity, engaging in social activities or learning new hobbies. 

We all know weight gain can be difficult, but weight gain becomes more difficult as we get older. It is not just about eating more and exercising more often – it’s also about the hormones that control our weight. As we age, our levels of certain hormones change. These changes cause us to lose weight for different reasons than when we were younger.  One reason being because as adults, estrogen levels are naturally lower in women and testosterone levels are naturally lower in men which causes a decrease in muscle mass. 

Body Shape As We Get Older 

As the years go by our body shape changes for various reasons including aging. We all know that our metabolism slows down as we get older, but did you also know muscle mass decreases? You may have heard about the body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories your body needs in a day to maintain itself. As we age and lose muscle mass due to lack of use or decreased testosterone levels, our BMR decreases, which makes losing weight harder. Our body shape changes because we are carrying around less muscle mass and more fat mass for the same amount of calories that used to maintain our muscle mass. 

Muscle Shape As We Get Older 

As you get older your metabolism slows down, but so does your muscles’ ability to use that energy. Because muscle mass decreases and fat accumulates, you lose the curves that defined your body as a younger adult: hips become rounder and arms may flatten. This is especially true for women because their estrogen levels decrease with age which causes them to gain weight in their midsection; men tend to put on more weight around the waist than women. 

Is Losing Weight With Age Genetic? 

It is still unknown whether losing weight with age or obesity is something that runs in the family’s genes or not, but there are some studies which show a commonality among families who have had more difficulty maintaining their healthy body weights as they get older even when eating and exercising habits seem to be similar. 

Can weight loss be prevented? 

Unfortunately there is not much that can be done about age-related weight gain because it’s due to the natural aging process and hormones which are out of our control. However, you can reduce your risk by staying active, eating healthy foods in moderation and taking care of your overall health with regular doctor check-ups. 

What to Eat to Gain Weight after 50 

It can be difficult for people over 50 to put on weight. There are many reasons why you might want to gain weight, including poor health or a loss of appetite after surgery, but the process is not easy. However, if you have tried everything and still cannot seem to pack on pounds even when your diet is nutritious it may help to focus on foods that are high in calories and easy to eat. This may help you add another 25 pounds over the course of a year if combined with regular exercise. 

Oils, Cheese and Nuts 

Nuts such as peanuts or almonds contain healthy fats which can boost your weight gain efforts by adding 200-300 extra calories per day when eaten in moderation. Cheese is also packed with calories, so eating a few portions per day can add an extra 200-400 to your daily intake. If you love cheese, spread it on toast or crackers in the morning and try adding fruit such as grapes for dessert later in the evening; this will help balance out your food choices without sacrificing flavor! 

Oils such as olive oil or coconut oil are not only healthy but also pack a lot of calories. You can add these to your food, use them in salad dressings and sauces for cooking vegetables if you want to eat more without gaining weight from fat around the waistline. 


Drinking milk will give you an extra 250-350 calories per day because it contains casein protein, calcium and vitamin D. If you do not like milk, adding a scoop of whey protein powder to your morning smoothie can give you the same benefits without making it taste milky. 

Protein Powder 

Adding a daily serving of protein powder in addition to other sources such as lean meats or fish will add an extra 100-200 calories per day. This can be especially helpful if you are trying to gain weight after surgery or illness; the extra calories will help your recovery and give you enough energy for exercise which may stimulate muscle development as well! 

Remember, gaining weight is more than just eating high calorie foods- it also means building lean muscle mass through regular exercise (almost like lifting weights) and resistance training. If you are not exercising regularly, it will be difficult to gain weight even if your diet is high in calories because muscle weighs more than fat! 

So what should I eat? 

To gain weight, pick a few of these ideas from each category (oils/cheese/nuts/milk), include a serving of protein powder each day and exercise regularly for an hour at least three times per week. If you have trouble gaining weight in spite of these healthy habits, consult your doctor: there may be an underlying health problem which is preventing you from putting on pounds. 

Losing Weight With Age Conclusion 

The reasons for weight loss as we age are not something that is entirely clear. We know there are genetic factors involved, but it’s also possible to make lifestyle changes and keep body shape and muscle tone at a healthy level. Remember that the best way to fight against aging effects like this is with prevention. Make sure you’re eating well, staying active, keeping your stress levels low, and getting enough sleep every night so you can enjoy an active retirement!


We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.