Gapin Institute Introduces A Precision Health Optimization & Performance Center in Sarasota

Gapin Institute Introduces A Precision Health Optimization & Performance Center in Sarasota

Gapin Institute for Elite Health & Performance leverages the experience and expertise of Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS to shift the paradigm of health toward precision health optimization. A data-driven, personalized approach has emerged as the future of healthcare and is now available in Florida. The Gapin Institute combines modern medicine with hormone optimization, genetics, epigenetics, health and fitness coaching, nutrition, and sleep science. The cutting-edge center addresses men’s and women’s top health concerns. Society is experiencing a health crisis with plummeting testosterone levels, worsening obesity, cardiovascular disease, and sexual function, and for the first time in many years, a declining lifespan. At Gapin Institute, patients experience personalized healthcare with a unique comprehensive model incorporating all evidence-based and data-driven modalities. Treatment plans are based on personalized health data including genetics, real-time wearable tech data, detailed functional lab testing and next-generation biomarkers. The center utilizes an efficient hybrid model offering both on-site and telehealth visits. of health and fitness coaches, nutrition experts and epigenetic specialists.

Patients can also undergo a comprehensive Executive Health Exam in the world-class center. The full day, immersive experience includes an early-detection physical exam, 5-6 hour complete full body check up complete with extensive screenings, advanced blood work, cardiac imaging and calcium scoring, and genetics analysis. Patients meet with a nutritionist for a nutrigenomic assessment, a fitness trainer for core strength and agility assessment, and a functional medicine-trained health coach for a lifestyle assessment. By: SRQ Magazine.

Pictured: Gapin Institute for Elite Health and Performance Sarasota, FL.

Email: info@gapininstitute.com
Phone: (941) 444-1441
Address: 5911 N Honore Ave., Suite 103, Sarasota, FL 34243

(Behind Whole Foods on University Pkwy)

Is Your Occasional Erectile Dysfunction a Sign of Something More Serious?

Are you a victim of occasional erectile dysfunction…or is something else going on?

Every man experiences erectile dysfunction at some point or another during his lifetime. But if it happens more than once or twice, you may start to worry.

Is this something serious?

Is Occasional Erectile Dysfunction Normal?

A lot of factors—including mood, stress, and fatigue—can affect your ability to achieve and maintain an erection, and sometimes those factors are working against you.

If you’ve been going through a particularly stressful period, for instance, working a lot of hours, or dealing with an illness, you may notice troubles in the bedroom too.

As far as what is “normal,” that can vary from person to person. The Cleveland Clinic states that a failure to get an erection less than 20 percent of the time is “not unusual and typically does not require treatment.”

Also called “situational erectile dysfunction,” occasional ED occurs only intermittently and is dependent on the situation. It’s never comfortable and can rattle your nerves, but often there’s no need to be overly concerned.

What’s the Difference Between Occasional Erectile Dysfunction and ED?

Sometimes, though, ED is a true medical condition that requires your attention because it’s often a sign of other health problems that need to be addressed.

How can you tell whether what you’re experiencing is normal or not?

The Cleveland Clinic defines ED as a failure to achieve an erection more than 50 percent of the time. But it’s not wise to wait until you’re having that much trouble.

I recommend talking to your doctor if you’re noticing trouble more than 20 percent of the time. In most cases, that’s a sign that something else is going on and we need to find out what it is for your health and your future.

“ED is common with age,” they’ll tell you, and it’s true that older men are more likely to be diagnosed. But that doesn’t mean you should just live with it if you’re over a certain age.

Occasional ED Difference

How Prevalent is Erectile Dysfunction?

Studies vary on how common ED is across the population. A 2018 review estimated it affects about one-third of men, with the prevalence increasing with age as well as with the number of risk factors present. These included cardiovascular disease, a sedentary lifestyle, and endothelial damage. (Endothelial cells line blood vessels, and if they become damaged, can lead to blood flow problems.)

Another review found that worldwide, the prevalence of ED ranges between 3 and 76.5 percent. Again, ED was associated with increasing age and with cardiovascular disease.

It’s not just older men who may struggle with ED, however. According to a 2013 study, about one in four (25 percent) of men seeking help for new-onset ED were younger than 40 years.

Indeed, ED can happen to anyone at any time. Yet it’s not something to just brush off as a “normal” part of aging. According to the review above, men with ED have an increased risk of all-cause mortality (death) as well as death from cardiovascular disease. They are also more likely to have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) than men without ED and are 1.68-times more likely to develop dementia.

Fortunately, with a careful medical examination and treatment, you can avoid these undesirable outcomes.

ED Prevalence

What Causes Occasional Erectile Dysfunction?

Occasional or situational erectile dysfunction may be caused by the following factors:

Fatigue

Fatigue can easily decrease your desire or even energy for sex. If you try anyway, you may not be able to achieve an erection.

Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol is a natural depressant and is a common culprit in cases of situational ED. Though you may be fine with a drink or two, if you overindulge, it can depress your sexual response.

Stress

When you’re stressed out, your body releases hormones that can interfere with an erection. Worse, if you experience one failed erection, you may feel stressed about the next one, compounding the problem.

Drugs

Many common medications, including antihistamines, some blood pressure drugs, prescription pain relievers, sleep aids, antidepressants, and others, can cause short-term ED as a side effect. Recreational and illegal drugs can also suppress the nervous system, causing situational ED.

Relationship Problems

Poor communication, unresolved anger, and other issues can interfere with your ability to enjoy a pleasant sexual encounter with your partner.

Depression

If you’re feeling depressed or even just down at the moment, it can affect your nerves and your ability to achieve an erection.

How to Address Occasional Erectile Dysfunction

If you’re experiencing occasional erectile dysfunction, you can usually address it with a few careful lifestyle changes:

  • Make sure you’re eating healthy foods.
  • Reduce your stress.
  • Exercise consistently.
  • Stop smoking, and limit alcohol use.
  • Seek treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. If you’re having relationship issues, consider couples counseling.
  • If you’re taking prescription medications, ask your doctor if any may be contributing to ED.

Potential Causes of ED

What Causes Medically Diagnosed Erectile Dysfunction?

Medically diagnosed ED is often related to a physical health issue. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor about it as soon as you can.

Cardiovascular Disease

A successful erection relies on proper blood flow. If blood flow is slowed or stopped because of narrow or blocked blood vessels, there won’t be enough blood flowing into the penis to maintain an erection.

As we age, it’s more common to suffer from narrowed and stiffened blood vessels. Over the years, a hardened plaque made up of cholesterol and other materials can build up inside them. That can affect not only heart health but sexual health as well.

ED and cardiovascular disease are closely related. In a 2018 study, researchers stated, “Increasing evidence suggests that ED is predominantly a vascular disorder.”  An earlier study also found a confirmed link between ED and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and noted that ED is a sign of increased risk of CVD.

Obesity

Obesity increases the risk of ED. That’s because it can damage the blood vessels, decrease testosterone, and create systemic inflammation in the body. In a 2008 study, researchers found that overweight and obesity could increase the risk of ED by 30-90 percent.

They also found that men with ED tended to be heavier and with a greater waist circumference than those without ED, and were also more likely to have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Diabetes

ED is known to be a potential complication of diabetes—again, because diabetes, when not properly treated, can damage blood vessels. In a 2014 study, scientists noted that diabetes is an “established risk factor for sexual dysfunction in men,” adding that those with diabetes had a three-fold increased risk of ED.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders like sleep apnea, when untreated, can rob men of the critical sleep they need every night, leading to other health problems down the road, including ED.

After examining 150 patients with sleep apnea, scientists reported that over half of them had ED. Fortunately, treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) helped improve erectile function and sexual satisfaction.

Neurological Disorders

Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of neurological diseases can interfere with the nerve impulses sent to the penis. The nerves may become damaged from these diseases to where they no longer function as they should.

In a 2016 study, researchers found that the occurrence of ED was “significantly more prevalent” among men suffering from neurological conditions.

Smoking

Smoking is horrible for your health, including your sexual health. In addition to increasing your risk of coronary artery disease and lung cancer, it can also increase your risk of ED. That’s because it can damage the lining of your blood vessels, affecting the way they function, while also potentially damaging the nerves leading to the penis.

When researchers reviewed data from 860 male patients between the ages of 18 and 44, they found that heavy smoking was a risk factor for ED, particularly for younger men. And when examining data from over 2,100 men, researchers found that compared with former and never smokers, current smokers in their forties had the greatest odds of suffering from ED.

Compared with men who never smoked, those who smoked at some time had a greater likelihood of ED, with those who smoked more having a higher risk.

Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s disease—a condition that causes scar tissue to develop on the penis, creating curved, painful erections—is often associated with ED. In men genetically susceptible to the disease, ED may be an early sign of it.

Hormone Imbalances

Hormonal abnormalities—including low testosterone, thyroid issues and those caused by steroid abuse, can also cause ED.

ED Fast Food

Surprising Causes of More than Occasional Erectile Dysfunction

In addition to the causes listed above, some additional ones may surprise you.

Diet

It may be hard to believe, but your diet could be related to your ED! Indeed, the foods you eat affect your overall health, including your hormone balance, heart and blood vessels, weight, inflammation, and more.

Those most likely to increase the risk of ED include:

  • Packaged, processed foods
  • Fast foods
  • Fried foods
  • Animal meats (particularly animals given antibiotics and hormones)
  • Salty foods
  • Soy
  • Alcohol

Find healthier alternatives to these in our post, “7 Foods Causing Your Erectile Dysfunction.”

Porn

Internet porn use has exploded over the past couple of decades, and it’s not helping men to enjoy healthy sex lives.

According to a recent study out of Italy, more and more young men, in particular, are suffering from ED because of Internet porn. Investigators surveyed 28,000 users and found that many started watching it as early as 14 years of age.

Scientists discovered that the effects were very harmful to young men’s developing sexuality. Over time, they experienced a drop in libido, which eventually morphed into full-fledged ED.

Indeed, porn can dampen sexual desire over time, while also affecting men’s self-esteem and expectations. In a 2016 review, researchers noted that Internet porn can condition sexual arousal that doesn’t readily transition to real-life partners.

Environmental Toxins

We’re exposed to more chemicals today than ever before in history. They’re in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and in our material goods (furniture, clothing, consumer goods), personal care products, and more.

Scientists are still learning about how these chemicals may affect us. They have already discovered, however, that they can increase the risk for ED. When studying nearly 200 men who sought help for ED, scientists found that exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides and solvents was a risk factor for ED.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself About Occasional Erectile Dysfunction

Think about your experience with ED for a moment, and ask yourself if you’re noticing the following more than occasionally:

  • A reduced desire for sex
  • Persistent or regular inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection (20 percent of the time or more)
  • Softer erections
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Loss of sensitivity in the penis
  • Stress related to these factors

If you’re not sure whether what you’re experiencing is normal or not, ask yourself:

  • Has it been going on for longer than three months?
  • Is it painful or difficult to get an erection, to the point that you’re feeling stressed about it?
  • Do you have accompanying symptoms, like those related to heart disease or diabetes?

If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

ED Normal or Serious

Solutions for Medically Diagnosed ED

Studies show that only about a quarter of men suffering from ED get help. I hope if you’re experiencing this, you won’t be one of them. There’s so much we can do now to help you feel better. There’s no reason for you to suffer in silence.

Remember that ED is often a sign of other, underlying health problems. We must find out what’s going on to prevent further complications down the road.

If your doctor does diagnose you with ED, you have many options for how to treat it. Unfortunately, in today’s world, men are often just given a pill and sent on their way. I think this is a huge mistake.

At the Gapin Institute, we recommend a systems-based approach that includes the following approaches.

Lifestyle Changes for ED

It’s always best to start with lifestyle changes, like those listed above for occasional ED. These can not only improve your sexual health but your overall health as well. Even if they don’t completely cure your ED, they can help reduce it or prevent it from getting worse in the future.

Medications for ED

Drugs like Viagra and Cialis have been important breakthroughs for men for one reason: they work. By increasing blood flow to the penis, they improve your ability to achieve and maintain an erection, and they can also improve sensitivity to sexual stimulation. They can help you enjoy sex once again, but they mustn’t be the only part of your approach.

A Full Health Evaluation

At the Gapin Institute, we conduct a full evaluation of your health condition to make sure we don’t have other issues we should be dealing with. Early detection of things like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Peyronie’s disease, and more can mean the difference between a healthy, active future, and a diseased one.

Peptide Therapy for ED

Peptides are amino-acid-based molecules that perform many functions in the body. Some of them are directly connected to sexual function, while others are tied to hormonal function. If you’re not producing as many of these peptides as you need—which is common—a targeted treatment could help you feel like your old self again.

(Read more: 8 Reasons Why People Are Talking About Peptides for Men.)

GAINSWave Treatments

GAINSWave is a clinically proven, non-invasive therapy that improves sexual performance by releasing blood flow. It uses low-intensity sound waves to stimulate the growth of new, healthier blood vessels in the penis. As opposed to medications, it gets to the root cause of the problem and solves it. Plus, there are no harmful side effects.

Injections & Vacuum Therapy for ED

  • The Priapus or P-Shot: This is a single-injection treatment that infuses the patient’s own blood products, including power growth factors and enriched platelets to help stimulate cellular and tissue repair in the penis. Like GAINSWave therapy, it helps to get at the root of the problem.
  • Trimix Injections: These injections must be used every time you want to stimulate an erection. You inject them into the penis just before intercourse to promote increased blood flow.
  • Vacuum Therapy: This is another treatment that must be used every time you need it. You place a cylinder-shaped suction device around the penis to draw blood into it. It’s non-invasive and effective.

If It’s More Than Occasional Erectile Dysfunction, Call Your Doctor Today

If you’re ready to talk to your doctor about ED, I recommend you:

  • prepare a list of questions first
  • make a note of whatever medications you’re taking
  • jot down the symptoms you’re experiencing (and for how long)
  • then take a deep breath and make that appointment!

Your sexual health isn’t just a nice-to-have extra in your life. It’s an important part of your overall health, as well as a barometer indicating how well you’re aging.

We all experience bumps in the road. With the right approach, you can smooth this one out and go on to enjoy many more vigorous, vital years.

The Truth About Genes and Weight Loss in Men

Genes Weight Loss 1

When it comes to genes and weight loss, how much do your genes matter?

It’s a question you may ask, particularly if you’ve been struggling to lose weight.

Could your genes be working against you? And if so, what can you do about it?

What Do Genes Have to Do with Weight Loss in Men?

Just like your genes affect your eye color, hair color, height, and more, they also have a part to play in your weight and body shape.

How much impact genes have on weight depends on the individual. Harvard Health reported in 2019 that for some people, “genes account for just 25 percent of their predisposition to be overweight, while for others the genetic influence is as high as 70 percent to 80 percent.”

How can you tell which side of the spectrum you may be on? Genetic testing may help, which we’ll talk about, but there are certainly some characteristics you can look for.

People likely to be greatly influenced by genes:

  •       Struggle with weight their entire lives, even in childhood.
  •       Have close family members who are overweight or obese.
  •       Have difficulty losing weight even when sticking to a low-calorie diet with exercise for months.

People likely to be less influenced by genes:

  •       Are moderately overweight, but can lose weight when they try (with diet and exercise).
  •       Struggle to avoid eating too much of the foods they enjoy.
  •       Experience ups and downs in weight, particularly around the holiday season or after changing eating patterns.

Regardless of which group you may fall into, your weight is at least somewhat influenced by your genes. But what does that mean, exactly?

Genes Weight Loss 2

What We Know So Far About Genes and Weight Loss

So far, scientists have identified about 400 different genes that seem to be involved in overweight or obesity. These genes interact in complex ways with other genes and with neurotransmitters, hormones, and more to affect the following:

Hunger

How “accurate” is your hunger instinct? Does it signal you when you’re really hungry, or does it spur you to eat for other reasons?

Normally, your hunger response kicks in only when you need to refuel. But if you have certain gene variants, you may be more likely to experience hunger for other reasons, such as when you’re stressed out or bored.

Satiety

Can you sense when you’re full? Certain genes can tell you when you’re full, while others may not signal your brain, potentially making you overeat.

Metabolism

How efficiently does your body burn calories? Your genes can determine that. Some gene variations drive normal metabolism, whereas others may indicate less efficient metabolism.

Sweets and Snacking

How does your brain respond when you eat something sweet? Can you stop eating those brownies after consuming one? Or are you compelled to eat more?

Some genes signal an “average” response to sweet tastes, while others may encourage greater consumption. Your drive to snack, as well, is somewhat affected by your genetics.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin is the hormone that drives glucose from your bloodstream into your cells. If you have insulin resistance, it means your cells don’t respond to insulin very efficiently.

If you have genes that predispose you to insulin resistance, you may be more likely to have higher blood sugar levels, which can ultimately lead to obesity and diabetes.

Carbohydrates

You’ve heard about how some carbohydrates (simple carbs) can lead to weight gain because they break down quickly in the body and spike blood sugar levels. Others are more complex, take longer to break down, and don’t affect weight the same way.

While it’s a good idea for everyone to avoid eating too many simple carbs, your genetics can influence how well you may respond to them.

Some genetic variations, for instance, may help you lose belly fat when you make a point to avoid simple carbs and consume more complex carbs. Others, however, will inspire your body to manage both well, so you won’t notice as much difference.

Fiber

You know that fiber is good for you. It helps keep your digestion going smoothly, and can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

But how much will consuming a high-fiber diet help in your weight loss efforts? Your genes can tell you.

Some are linked with greater improvements than others, meaning that if you have certain genes, you’ll notice better results on a high-fiber diet than others without those genes.

Saturated Fat

Scientists used to believe that the low-fat diet was the best option for most people. Recent research, however, challenged that idea. A 2015 review, for instance, found that reducing saturated fat had no effect on heart attacks, strokes, or all-cause deaths.

Now, scientists are taking a second look at fats. While we know that unsaturated fats (like those in nuts and seeds) are good for you, we’re still not sure about saturated fats (like those in meat and dairy foods).

It turns out that your genetics have a lot to say about it. Depending on which genetic variations you have, you may be more or less affected by the saturated fats you eat. Some genes signal a high tolerance for saturated fats, whereas others markedly increase your risk for early cardiovascular disease or Alzheimers Disease with saturated fat intake.  Knowing where you are on the spectrum can help you determine what sort of diet may help you lose weight.

Protein

We all need protein in our diets, but depending on your genes, you may be able to lose weight more efficiently with a low or high protein intake.

If you’re considering a high-protein diet, for instance, your genetics might help you determine whether it would work for you. Some genes may show, for instance, that a lower intake of protein would be more effective, or that you should make a point to increase your protein intake.

Some Important Details on Genes and Weight Loss

While there are many genes associated with weight loss, a few have been identified as critical in recent years.

Your question might be: Do I have these genes?

FTO

One of them is called the “fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO)” gene. In 2007, researchers reviewed many studies on genes and obesity and identified this as one that could increase your risk of being obese.

Another study that same year found similar results, with the two together showing that those carrying the FTO gene had a 20-30 percent higher risk of being obese than those who did not.

And in a third study, researchers examined obese men and found that the FTO gene was strongly associated with a higher BMI, higher fat body mass index, increased abdominal fatness, increased insulin sensitivity, and decreased HDL “good” cholesterol.

MC4R

Another gene variant identified as increasing the risk of obesity is called the melanocortin-4 receptor gene (MC4R). When scientists examined genetic data from nearly 17,000 people, they found that after FTO, MC4R mutations were the leading cause of severe childhood-onset obesity. It also influenced fat mass, weight, and obesity risk.

Other research shows that MC4R is related to insulin resistance, food intake, and energy balance, and that the gene is significantly associated with higher intakes of total energy and fat.

PLIN-1

Perilipin 1 (PLIN-1) is another gene to be aware of when it comes to weight loss. This is a protein involved in fat storage and the breakdown of fats. It plays a large role in energy and glucose (blood sugar) metabolism, and over the past decade, has been repeatedly associated with body weight and obesity-related complications.

When studying children between the ages of 10 and 18, scientists found that certain PLIN variants (including PLIN-1) were significantly higher in obese participants compared to the control group. They concluded that PLIN may influence the risk of obesity in adolescence.

In another interesting study, scientists reviewed data from about 1,200 overweight and obese people who ate lunch at different times of the day. They found that those with the AA genotype at the PLIN-1 variant struggled more to lose weight when eating late than those who didn’t have this gene variant.

If you have this gene, in other words, you may want to be sure to eat on time!

APOE

The apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene seems to affect metabolism, to the point that it could increase your risk of being overweight.

APOE4, for instance, is associated with a greater risk of metabolic syndrome—a group of symptoms that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease:

  •       hypertension (high blood pressure)
  •       raised blood sugar levels
  •       high triglycerides
  •       reduced HDL “good” cholesterol
  •       a large waistline

In one animal study, researchers fed subjects a high-fat diet for 12 weeks. They found that those subjects with APOE4 were more susceptible to metabolic changes from the diet, including weight gain and high blood sugar levels, than those who did not have the APOE4 genetic variant.

Some other genes that seem to be associated with weight include:

  •   Panx-1: Pannexin-1 helps regulate the accumulation of fat. In a 2018 study, researchers found that when they deleted this gene, subjects gained more weight, and also had a higher risk of obesity later in life.
  •   IRX3: The Iroquois homeobox gene 3 can make it harder to lose weight. This may be because FTO exerts its effects on body weight by changing the expression of IRX3.
  •   Ankyrin-B: If you have this gene, your fat cells may absorb glucose at a faster rate than normal, which increases the size of the fat cell and can cause obesity.

Can You Use Genes and Weight Loss in a Personalized Plan?

The exciting part of all this research is that we’re starting to use what we know to help men more efficiently lose weight.

Wouldn’t it be helpful, for instance, to know whether a high-protein diet would be effective for you? Or how you respond to sweets? Or whether your hunger pangs are accurate or not?

Personalized weight loss plans based on genetics are the future of health, available today. Genetic tests allow you to learn more about what genes you may or may not have that are influencing your ability to lose weight.

The tests are simple—most consist of an easy cheek swab. They provide complex but applicable data on a large number of genetic variants. A genetic coach can review the results with you and help you understand how to apply them.

Genes Weight Loss Scale

Other Things to Consider In Addition to Genes and Weight Loss

It’s important to remember that genes aren’t everything when it comes to weight loss. In fact, depending on your individual makeup, your genes may have only a small effect on your ability to lose weight. This is where epigenetics comes into play – your lifestyle and environment that affect genetic expression.

Your lifestyle, exercise habits, diet, stress levels, and more all play a large role in your body composition. In one study of over 17,000 people, scientists found that those who carried the FTO gene and were active had BMIs that were no higher or lower than those without the FTO gene.

In another study of 240,000 people, those who carried the FTO gene had a 23 percent higher risk of obesity than those who didn’t, but being physically active lowered the risk. Those with the gene who exercised regularly had a 30 percent lower risk of obesity than the inactive FTO-carriers.

At the Gapin Institute, we pride ourselves on working with each individual to determine the best weight loss plan for them. While genetic testing can give us some important data to work with, we also emphasize the power of epigenetics and how your lifestyle and behavior can have a massive impact on your success. We also incorporate a total body composition scan and comprehensive health assessment, among other approaches, to help men succeed in their weight loss goals.

If you’re curious about how you may develop a personalized weight loss plan, schedule a free consultation with a men’s health advisor today.

10 Tips for Men Who Want to Lose Weight After 40

Featured Weight Loss After 40

Lose Weight After 40

If you’ve tried to lose weight after 40, you know the truth—it’s not as easy as it used to be.

Before, you could add a mile to your morning run, pump up your lifting for a few days, or cut back on dessert a night or two and your weight would come back in line.

No more. Once you reach middle age and beyond, weight loss gets a lot harder. What used to work doesn’t work anymore.

Why is that? And what can you do about it?

Why Is It Harder to Lose Weight After 40?

Hormonal Changes

Starting around the age of 40, testosterone levels tend to drop. Testosterone is responsible for regulating fat distribution, muscle strength and mass. As levels go down, the body tends to store more fat.

Men also produce less growth hormone as they age, and growth hormone also helps the body burn fat. According to one 2014 study, the production of growth hormone declines by 14 percent per decade.

Muscle Loss Makes It Harder to Lose Weight After 40

Studies indicate that after the age of 40, people typically lose about 8 percent or more of their muscle mass each decade. The process also accelerates the older you get unless you are fighting back with increased resistance training. If you’re dealing with a chronic disease like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, your rate of muscle loss could be faster.

Since muscle burns more calories than fat, the more muscle you lose, the fewer calories you will burn, sending more to be stored as fat.

Increased Stress

At midlife, we often experience more stress than we did when we were younger. You may be experiencing more work-related stress, and stress is known to contribute to weight gain. If you add on family-related stress, particularly if you have aging parents, the effects could be greater.

Changing Lifestyle

As you enter your 40s and beyond, your career is often in full swing, which can present a few challenges when it comes to weight. You may be extremely busy with work and unable to devote enough time to exercise and eating well. You may also be more sedentary than you were in your younger years, particularly if you work at an office and commute every day.

If you have young children you’re taking care of, or even teenagers that are demanding your attention, you may have little time to yourself, which can lead to dietary changes and skipped days at the gym. And though you are working hard throughout the day, you’re not working out like you may have done when you were in your 20s.

You’re Still Focusing on Aerobic Exercise

What you did in your 20s to lose weight likely won’t work after 40. That’s mainly because sticking to aerobic exercise is no longer enough. Whereas you may have been able to do a daily run or bike ride before to lose weight, doing them now may not have the same effect.

Aerobic exercise is excellent for your cardiovascular health, but it does little to build up your lean muscle mass. You need to add more strength training as well.

Your Old Dietary Changes Don’t Help You Lose Weight After 40

You cut back on calories. You limited your portion sizes. And the weight isn’t going anywhere.

That’s because after the age of 40, simply cutting back on calories is no longer enough. It becomes more about what kinds of foods you’re eating. Those that spike blood sugar levels, for instance, will contribute to weight gain after 40 even if you consume less of them.

Simply cutting calories can also slow down your metabolism as it tries to conserve energy, keeping your weight stubbornly where it is.

You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

When you’re sleep-deprived, your body releases stress hormones that stimulate hunger—particularly for high-fat and high-sugar foods. That means if you’re regularly getting six hours or less, your body will be primed to gain, not lose, weight.

Your Gut Microbiome is Unbalanced

We all have a balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. As long as the good guys outnumber the bad, we tend to be healthy overall. But if the bad guys start gaining a foothold, they can cause problems, including those that lead to weight gain.

Researchers found this to be true in a recent study. They analyzed stool samples taken 6-12 months after people started a commercial weight-loss coaching program. The results showed that the gut microbiome could influence the ability to lose weight.

Lose Weight Busy Lifestyle

Does a Slow Metabolism Hinder Weight Loss After 40?

It’s long been an accepted theory that as we age, our metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose weight.

A recent study seemed to negate this idea, at least somewhat.

An international team of scientists analyzed the average calories burned by more than 6,600 people as they went about their lives. The participants’ ages ranged from one week old to 95 years, and they lived in 29 different countries.

The results showed that our metabolisms don’t really start to decline until after the age of 60. Then, a person’s cells do start to slow down. By the age of 90, the scientists estimated that people would need about 26 percent fewer calories each day than someone in midlife.

The scientists concluded that midlife weight gain may have more to do with age-related changes in lifestyle and body composition than it does metabolism.

10 Tips to Help You Lose Weight After 40

It’s more challenging to lose weight after the age of 40. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You simply need to change your approach. We have ten tips to help you do that.

1. One-size-fits-all does NOT work.

One of the biggest mistakes I see men making is following the crowd. If the trend is the keto diet, they try that. If it’s running marathons, they get into that.

Sometimes these approaches work, but often they don’t, and that can leave you feeling discouraged.

The problem is that what works for one person may not work for another. You need to find out what’s making it hard for you to lose weight before you can create a weight-loss plan that will be successful for you.

Your metabolism, hormone balance, microbiome, genetic makeup, and micronutrient status all affect whether or not you can lose weight.

I recommend that men talk to their doctors and get tested to find out what may be going on. In my office, we create personalized weight loss plans that circumvent the frustration and get right to the source of the problem. These may include medical interventions and prescriptions, peptide and supplement management, lifestyle changes, nutrition, and support from certified health coaches.

Once you find out what your body is doing, you can address any problem areas and increase your odds of being able to shed the pounds.

2. Balance your hormones.

As noted above, hormonal changes that you experience as you age can make it harder for you to lose weight.

Balancing your testosterone levels may help. In a 2014 study, researchers found that long-term testosterone therapy in men who tested low for testosterone produced “significant and sustained weight loss, marked reduction in waist circumference and BMI, and improvement in body composition.”

In a later review, researchers found the same results: men with low testosterone who were obese experienced better results when they included testosterone therapy.

How can you tell if you’re low on testosterone? Get tested! According to a 2006 study, 38.7 percent of men tested were deficient in testosterone. The odds were higher in men with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes, and obesity than men without these conditions.

Obesity and low testosterone levels are also interrelated, according to the research, and “strongly influenced by dietary factors.” More about that below!

Remember that testosterone isn’t the only hormone you want to check. Growth hormone is the other important one. We can treat that with diet and supplements, which can help you lose weight.

In one study of obese adults, researchers found that those treated with growth hormone had a 1.6-fold increase in body weight loss as fat and a greater loss of visceral fat than those who received a placebo.

Weight Loss Diet

3. Determine your best weight-loss diet.

Simply picking a diet out of the air is unlikely to lead you to successful weight loss. You may think that you can increase your exercise and make it work, but that usually fails too.

Instead, after you find out what’s going on in your body, you can formulate a diet that will work for you. If you’re low on testosterone, for instance, cutting back on desserts and pastries may be particularly important.

In a 2018 study, those who had a pattern of eating more bread and pastries, dairy products, desserts, and restaurant foods were more likely to have low testosterone levels. These men also had a pattern of consuming too few homemade foods and dark green vegetables.

In general, the following tips are critical when you’re trying to lose weight after 40:

  • Return to real foods—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and nuts and seeds.
  • Limit or avoid refined sugars—it promotes weight gain as well as diabetes and heart disease.
  • Cut back on all processed foods—anything that comes in a bag or box and is likely high in sugar, fat, and sodium.
  • Make plant-based proteins a cornerstone of your diet. When choosing animal-based proteins, focus on lean meats and fish.
  • Limit dairy intake. When you do consume it, choose organic and grass-fed.

Beyond these basics, I also recommend bumping up your protein intake. Studies show it helps encourage weight loss, plus it will support your efforts to build more muscle. In a 2017 study, researchers found that those on a high protein diet lost significantly more weight than those in a standard protein diet.

4. Consider fasting to lose weight after 40.

There are a variety of different ways to try fasting. What they all have in common is that they allow your body to go for extended periods without food. This is helpful for a few reasons.

First, fasting forces your body’s cells to resort to other ways to produce energy. That means they are more likely to use fat for energy rather than glucose, which can help you lose weight.

Second, fasting helps bring your attention more fully to what you usually eat. It reminds you that you don’t need to be consistently consuming, and can help you to approach your diet more mindfully.

Finally, fasting can be just what your body needs to jumpstart your weight loss. It pulls it out of its habitual way of burning calories and forces it to regroup.

Most of us fast when we sleep. You can easily extend that time by choosing to stop eating after 8:00 at night and not to eat again until 8:00 the next morning. That simple 12-hour fast can help increase bodily repair and make it easier for you to lose weight.

In a recent review of 27 trials, researchers found that intermittent fasting resulted in weight loss of 0.8 percent to 13 percent with no serious adverse events.

Stress Management

5. Develop stress-management tools.

You may not realize it, but stress could be a tall barrier between you and your efforts to lose weight.

Particularly if your stress is ongoing—or chronic—it could be having a large effect on your ability to reach your health goals.

In a 2017 study comparing stress levels and body weight, researchers found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the participants’ hair were significantly correlated to larger waist circumference and higher body mass index (BMI).

In a later study, researchers again found that higher cortisol levels and chronic stress were predictive of greater future weight gain.

The problem is that cortisol is a strong appetite stimulant, meaning that you will be more inclined to eat when you’re stressed out. You know how it goes—you’re having a rough day, so you reach for comfort food. And usually, that food is not good for you.

Worse, any excess calories you consume because of high cortisol are more likely to be deposited in your belly. Hello, belly fat!

We can’t eliminate stress in our lives. But we can incorporate regular activities that will help reduce it. We all know this. The problem is we’re not doing it often enough. Schedule it into your day. Relieving stress is just as important as exercising and eating a healthy diet.

Good stress-relieving activities include:

  • Daily exercise
  • Time outdoors in nature
  • A healthy diet
  • Social support
  • Yoga and tai chi
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Pet therapy
  • Music
  • Crafts
  • Deep breathing
  • Anything that helps you feel calm and centered

6. Check your drinking habits.

Though moderate drinking levels aren’t likely to hurt your weight-loss efforts, if you drink more than 1-2 drinks a day, it may be time to re-examine that habit.

Alcoholic drinks contain extra calories that can contribute to weight gain if you’re not careful. In one study of over 7,600 men, researchers found that heavy drinkers (over 30 grams a day) showed the greatest weight gain and had the highest rates of high BMIs over a five-year period. It didn’t matter what type of alcohol they drank.

In another study of nearly 5,000 participants, men who consumed more than 60 grams per day of alcohol were more frequently obese compared with non-drinkers. They were also more likely to have larger waistlines.

Simply drinking alcoholic beverages may also encourage you to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods. In a 2017 study, researchers found that alcohol consumption could lead to “overeating episodes.” Reducing alcohol could help increase willpower when it comes to diet.

How much alcohol can you drink and still lose weight? Scientists attempted to answer that question in a recent 2021 review. They found that beer seemed to have a direct effect on weight gain, particularly waist circumference in men. According to their results, about 16.9 ounces of beer per day could hinder your ability to lose weight.

Lose Weight Sleep

7. Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night to lose weight after 40.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to gain weight. It’s that simple.

There are a lot of reasons for this, mainly because of the way sleep deprivation affects your hormones. But the bottom line is that every time you fail to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, you’re making it much harder for your body to lose weight.

In a 2017 comprehensive review of the literature, scientists found that individuals who regularly slept less than 7 hours per night were more likely to have higher BMIs and to develop obesity than those who slept more.

Lack of sleep stimulates stress hormones, which as noted above, can lead to weight gain. It also increases hormones related to hunger, making you want to eat more foods high in carbohydrates. Finally, it leads to fatigue, which usually leads to less physical activity.

How do you know how much sleep you’re getting? You can check when you go to sleep and get up, but that’s not always accurate. It doesn’t tell you, for instance, about the quality of your sleep.

I recommend you go a step further and track your sleep. We have technology now that allows you to track not only how long you sleep but helps analyze your sleep patterns so you can improve your sleep schedule and environment.

Check out these tools for comprehensive sleep tracking, then choose one that will work for you and get serious about your sleep!

8. Get stronger.

We talked about muscle loss above, and how it’s related to weight gain.

The good news is that the opposite is often true—gaining muscle loss correlates with losing weight.

Several studies show this to be true. It works because building up your muscles through resistance training changes the way fat cells operate. As your muscles are stressed through lifting, pushing, or pulling, cells release a substance that instructs fat cells to start the fat-burning process.

This change affects the muscles, for sure, but it can also set off a fat-burning response throughout the body. The more resistance training you do, the more you can change your body to support long-term weight loss.

In a study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health, researchers found that men who performed 20 minutes of weight training each day showed a smaller age-related increase in abdominal fat, compared to men who spent those 20 minutes doing aerobic activities.

Resistance training also helps lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But even if you have diabetes, strength training can help. In one study of older men who had already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, two sessions per week of resistance training significantly improved insulin sensitivity and fasting glycemia, and decreased abdominal fat.

Lose Weight Movement

9. Incorporate more daily movement into your life.

Yes, your daily workout is important. But as you age, moving more throughout the day is even more important.

That’s because overall, we are more sedentary than we used to be. In a study comparing 19th– and 21st-century Americans, researchers found a half-hour decline in daily physical activity. They also found that Americans’ resting metabolic rate—the total number of calories burned when the body is completely at rest—has fallen by about 6 percent since 1820.

This, despite our devotion to daily workouts.

In another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that replacing just 30 minutes of sitting with any kind of movement, every day, could help you live longer. And in a 2018 study, scientists found that standing instead of sitting for six hours a day could prevent weight gain and help people to lose weight.

It can help to keep track of how much time you spend sitting each day, and how much time you spend moving. You may be surprised.

The key to losing weight after 40 is to move more throughout the day. The more you sit, the more your large muscles are not using glucose, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Prolonged sitting can also change the activity of genes in such a way that they promote more fat storage.

Try these tips:

  • Set a timer that reminds you to get up and move around at least once every 30 minutes.
  • Incorporate walking into your meetings and outings with friends.
  • Park far away and take the stairs.
  • Adopt a dog.
  • Keep a jump rope in your office.
  • Turn on the tunes and dance.
  • Make it a habit to head out for a walk or play a quick game of catch when you get home from work.
  • Keep exercise equipment available.

10. To lose weight after 40: focus on establishing new daily habits.

If you want one tip to lose weight after 40, this is it: change it up!

What you did a decade or two decades ago is no longer going to work. You have to try something new.

After you talk to your doctor and get tested, sit down with your planner and create a new schedule. When can you cook a homemade meal? Add more resistance training to your schedule? Move more?

On what days will you take a walk or get back to your woodworking to reduce stress? When will you get that new sleep tracker? On what days will you fast for 12 hours or more?

You get the idea. Make some real changes in your life, and you’re likely to be more successful.

Remember—you can contact us for a personalized consultation. We can help you create that weight-loss plan that will be much more likely to work for you.