You want to be healthy, not frail! As people age, some seniors become thinner and weaker, while others are running marathons and walking everyday.

Health risks come with being overweight, of course, but they also come with aging. For older adults, what matters most is how active you are in general, and if you can perform everyday activities. It’s less about what you weigh and more about how much of your weight is muscle instead of fat.

You can keep your weight steady as you age

Starting in your 20s, you burn about 150 fewer calories per day. A big reason is that your body starts to shift is if you are running a higher fat to muscle ratio. Muscles burn more calories than fat, so if you let your muscles go, you won’t burn as many calories as you used to.

Aging changes your body, there’s no question

Your metabolism slows down. You have to work harder to hang on to your muscle mass and keep your muscles strong and healthy.

So even if you’re eating exactly the way you did when you were younger, age-related changes stack the deck in favor of gaining weight, no matter what you do. Food still matters, but it’s not shifting the numbers on your scale by itself, it’s what you are eating, how often you are eating, and if you’re exercising regularly. (See our latest blog on, One-Hour Exercise: Quick, Easy, and Staves Depression)

Other Causes of Weight Gain


Menopause is when women stops having menstrual periods and happens around age 51, but it varies with every woman individually. Around the same age, many people — women and men — find that they’re gaining weight. The biggest reasons for the extra pounds are a slower metabolism and less muscle mass, not menopause. Exercise still helps!

Average Caloric Intake (Daily) 

1,800 for women and 2,000 to 2,200 for men

At any age, the number of calories you should get each day depends on how active you are.

Moderate: walking 1.5 to 3 miles a day at 3 or 4 miles per hour.
Very Active: walking more than 3 miles a day at that pace