Why is it that, as we get older, many of us put on weight when our food and exercise levels are the same as they have been for 10 years? There are numerous reasons why people put on weight as they age including reduced stomach acid strength.  Stomach acid affects how well your food is broken down in your stomach and how well nutrients can be absorbed.  After age 40 our stomach acid strength tends to decrease which can lead to a poor nutrient status.  This in turn can impact appetite hormones, cravings,  blood sugar balance, fat storage and ironically the strength of our stomach acid.  This vicious cycle can account for whymenopausal women tend to put on weight as their hormone production shifts.  Estrogens can be produced by fat stores themselves, if they aren’t able to be produced elsewhere. So the body ensures itself enough of these hormones by storing fat.  Balancing digestive hormones, stress hormones and reproductive hormones are key during this change.

Stress hormones contribute to weight gain and whether you are 45 or 65, life can throw some stressful curveballs your way. Even positive events (such as happily retiring) can cause significant stress due to changes and new routines even if though are all good.  Learning how to balance stress hormones and mitigate the impact when stressful situations arise can help not only your mood, but your waistline as well. 

Don’t just think about food and exercise when consideringyour waist, think hormones, stress level and simple solutions to nutritional deficits.