MIAMI (CBS4) – Losing weight has become the holy grail in America. From exercising to eating right, many find that the weight just won’t budge. It turns out you might need a doctor instead of more crunches.
That’s because as you age your hormones change, including men; and your hormones could be working against you trying to knock off that extra weight.
Patti Cortez, 45, of Davie is able to enjoy exercising and sees the results of her hard work now; but that wasn’t always the case.
“I just realized I started gaining weight like 20 pounds and this happened over a few months from January to February to March,” Cortez explained. “I couldn’t get out of bed, excessively tired, just really barely getting through life.”
Her trainer Heather Frey, owner of smashfit.com, noticed she was struggling.
“And that’s exactly when I said, ‘Okay it’s time to find a doctor and let’s get you tested,’” said Frey.
“When they checked that they found out I was already post-menopausal,” Cortez revealed. She also learned she had a thyroid problem.
According to family practitioner Dr. Anele Manfredini with Holy Cross Hospital, hormones change as we age.
“Usually by age of 40, you start feeling differently in your body,” she explained.
Less thyroid hormone may be produced. Women have decreased levels of estrogen. Men have decreased levels of testosterone. And metabolism declines. All physiological changes that encourage weight gain.
“Low estrogen also makes you gain weight definitely the whole hormonal imbalance makes you gain weight,” added Manfredini.
The doctor suggested if you have unexplained weight gain, trouble sleeping or you’re depressed get tested for diabetes and have your hormones and thyroid checked.
“Before I would walk and I would have to rest for 3 hours,” Cortez admitted.
Now, medication has helped Cortez finally get her hormones balanced, but she still had to lose the 50 pounds she gained.
Frey said if you find yourself in the same situation there are simple exercises you can do at home to get yourself back on track. Do 2 or 3 sets of leg lunges for your lower body. Bicycles and crunches help strengthen your core. And purchase a resistance band to help build the upper body.
Manfredini said we all should be getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week and most importantly as we age we need to eat less. That means smaller meals throughout the day.