Don’t Lose Weight.
I have been persistent over the past 30 years at avoiding the term “weight loss” for good reason. Weight itself is merely a metric of the gravitational pull on your body mass on earth surface. whoop-tea-doo right?
If we can selectively become leaner – lose fat but gain or selectively keep muscle tissue and bone density, I am all in. But weight loss in itself, I am not impressed. It makes a good comedy sketch though…from Office Space:
Well the story has been coming out for years now. Losing weight over the age of 50 is probably bad news and over the age of 70 is definitely bad news. Weight loss in later years seems to be a preferential loss of muscle mass. Countess studies have backed this up in the past few years:
Dementia risk increases with weight loss later in life, even between 50 and 70 years of age and having extra weight over the age of 70 years was “protective” to the onset of dementia. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwab096
Type 2 diabetes is more deadly in skinny diabetics compared to heavier people with type 2. That’s right – researchers call this the obesity paradox in type 2 diabetes and mortality: doi: 10.1177/1559827616650415
Parkinson’s disease progression is worse in those who lose weight in the early years following diagnosis and researchers conclude that if weight loss can be prevented, we would see better long-term outcomes. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000004691
When medical teams manage cancer patients, weight loss is perceived as a bad sign whether it is pre-treatment or during treatment. https://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JOP.2017.025221?role=tab
It was this spring of 2023 that researchers added to the weight loss / dementia risk link, describing how the risk of dementia onset associated with fattier muscle tissue. Simply, the leaner your muscles can be, the better. And once you have this lean muscle, bring it on… more weight is protective. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. doi.org/10.1111/jgs.18419.
So don’t lose weight. In fact as you build lean muscle you can work to gain weight over the age of 50. That is, IF you want to have less risk of dementia, prevent osteoporosis, reduce the death rate in type 2 diabetes, have a slower progression of Parkinson’s disease, and better survive cancer.