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Can you be the same weight at 50 as you were at 20?


same weight at 50 as at 20 imageArticle by Anne Elliott

68% of all adults in Britain are overweight or obese. That’s nearly ¾ of the population, and it’s growing. The reasons and the cures for the problem are as numerous as there are researchers and commentators. The weight loss industry is worth billions and with so many people having a financial stake in the waistline issue, finding a way through the mountains of wordage and offers of cures becomes increasingly harder.

Let me put before you a few straightforward facts that might aid your search for the answer:

•If your waist is bigger than 32”/80cm (men 40”/120cm) you are at greater risk of cardio vascular disease, diabetes and stroke (World Health Organisation).

Fat cells grow in 2 ways: size and number. The periods that fat cells grow in number are in: the third trimester of pregnancy, the first year of life and during adolescence. The latter is why there is such a panic about children being sedentary because this is building a generation of large adults.

 You can be the same weight at 50 as you were at 20

By young adulthood, the number of fat cells you have stays the same into later adulthood but what then happens is they grow or shrink depending on whether you are eating more or less calories than you are using. So if there are for example 100,000 fat cells when you are 20 there are still 100,000 when you are 50. The weight and waist gain is quite frankly down to eating too much or not moving enough to use up the calorie input and the fat cells expand. Therefore, if you eat less and move more you should be able to reverse the situation and be the same weight you were at 20!


Now before you are all up in arms with ‘what about….’ I know its not quite that simple and that things like life have taken their toll and some medications get in the way of weight loss and that as we age our metabolic rate slows down etc and new research indicates that in the morbidly obese fat cells might split and create new cells. We are also inundated with news about this diet or that food having a specific effect and although they might be correct in a smaller scale, overall the principle still stands. Most diets (except ketogenic diets) whatever they profess actually work because their underlying principle is based on calorie deficit.


Finally, before you think I’m being silly, I became my own guinea pig. I was spending much more time writing and sitting down and had put on weight. Since June, I reduced my calorie intake by reducing amounts and cutting out starches whilst making an effort to do 30 minutes exercise a day. Very straight forward, very simple. I have lost 2 ½ stone and am now the same weight I was when I was 20. Why not give it a try? What have you got to lose?


ANNE ELLIOTT is 52. She has a Personal Training Practice that specialises in working with middle-aged clients and their associated health problems. She lectures in Sports Science at Middlesex University, is an ABAE boxing referee, is registered with REPS at Level 4 and is undertaking a Doctorate in exercise in middle age. Anne appears regularly in the media talking about her specialisation - exercise in middle age.

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  1. facebook_WarrenChandler

    October 14, 2012

    I’m the same weight at 41 as I was at 21. The stress diet worked wonders! (Just testing a Facebook login via my iPad).

  2. Hazel Ponsford

    October 15, 2012

    I’m the same weight at 52 as I was when I first got married at 19.

  3. Cat Cole

    October 23, 2012

    I’m certainly not the weight that I was when I was twenty, but I’ve been a lot heavier than I am now. After menopause, the weight just piled on. I gave up carbs and sugar two years ago and lost 15 pounds. But, after awhile, I slid back into the old ways and put back on 7 pounds. So this spring, I went back to the no carbs and sugar routine and not only lost those 7 pounds, but lost an additional 5. I hit my 65th Birthday feeling fantastic.
    I have always been a fitness fanatic, but recently I’ve concentrated on strength training with heavier weights. I know that muscle burns more calories than fat and takes up less space. So, even though my weight is higher, I look slimmer. I can also get through my day a lot easier…squatting down to get things off low shelves, stepping up on high curbs, carrying groceries from the car and having better balance so that I don’t fall.
    My husband is a personal trainer specializing in strength training for seniors. This is an additional incentive for me to keep my body looking as good as it can be, but I highly recommend strength training for everyone.
    You can check out his website for lots of great fitness and nutritional information at http://www.superseniorfitness.com.

  4. lesley at Zlimm123

    October 24, 2012

    very interesting. At Zimm123 we teach 20 habits that lead to sustained weight loss. But as you show, it can sometimes only take changes to 2 or 3 of those habits to make the difference.

  5. Jen Tiller

    November 30, 2012

    Good news Anne! I’ve gained weight in the last year due to injury, and was concerned it was also hormonal (at 51, and recently menopausal) it’s great to know it can come off once I get moving again!

  6. Angela

    January 19, 2013

    Science has found a way to reduce fat cells in our bodies, I lost 4 inches off my waistline and lost approx 10 lbs. I don’t know how many stones that is, but it was enough for me. I’m back to my high school weight and size, I feel fabulous. No meds, no aches or pains; fat freezing worked for me. Check out http://www.asraistouch.com . An easy fat freezing procedure you can do at home for less than $100.

  7. Anne jackson

    February 11, 2013

    Yes! I did exactly that! I think this idea of 2000 calories per day is rubbish. Post menopausal me only needs 1200. Clearly they need to be well laced with vit a d minerals. I am also curious on the part that oestrogen must play as it was astonishingly easy to achieve and none of my attempts in fertile years got any where!

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