Many people don’t change their eating habits for years but still get fat.
Everybody knows a person who says he ate the same as or more than he eats today but he still got fat.
These people are not liars. Habits are hard to change once they are established, so it’s highly probable that they eat the same way they did 10 years ago but got fat anyway.
Small Things Add up in Time
To understand how this happens let’s run the numbers.
Assume that a person eats a measly 100 calories more than he burns in a typical day.
Those extra 100 calories are going to be stored as fat. Now, eating 100 calories is not a big deal. For example, a medium-sized banana takes 10 seconds to eat but it contains 105 calories.
If you eat 100 excess calories every day you will eat 365*100 = 36500 excess calories in a year.
One pound of fat contains 3500 calories.
Fat gain in one year by eating a daily 100 calories surplus is 36500/3500 = 10,4 pounds.
So, a person who eats daily 100 more calories than he consumes, will gain 10,4 pounds of fat in a year.
If he doesn’t interfere and nip the problem in the bud, he will gain 104 pounds of fat in 10 years.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
100 calories a day surplus is just an example. Imagine the same person ate a tiny 50 calories more than he burned. He would still gain 52 pounds of fat in 10 years.
Many people don’t get fat because they are gluttons. They get fat because they keep their eating habits which worked for them when they were younger. It’s a sad case because these people would never get fat if they had made small adjustments to their habits as they age.
Part of the reason it’s easier to gain weight as you age is muscle loss which is also known as sarcopenia. When you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down. This metabolic slowdown causes you to burn fewer calories than you did when you were younger. So, it’s possible to get fat even when you eat exactly the same as you did 10 years ago.
Having to eat less as you age sucks. Human beings don’t only eat for survival. We eat for pleasure too. Where’s the fun of eating when you have to penny-pinch every food you eat?
If you got fat without eating too much, your solution is to lose the fat by dieting and do strength training to replace the muscle mass you lost due to aging. You don’t need complicated and grueling strength training routines. Simple bodyweight exercises which you can do at home will do the trick.
If you didn’t get fat yet but you are getting fatter every year, I recommend you to count your calories for a while and see what’s causing the weight gain. Starting strength training before you get fat is an excellent idea because that will prevent you to solve future problems before they occur.