You've done all the right things: dieted, exercised, maybe even tried a cleanse or two. And maybe you've been successful in losing some weight, but not as much as you'd hoped. Sure, you can blame it on a slowing metabolism and shifting hormones, though truthfully, haven't you always suspected there's more to it than that?
We have, too, which is why we parsed the scientific literature to see if there might be other reasons so many people over 50 can't seem to lose the extra pounds. We found five possible culprits — but thankfully, we also found a few simple ways to increase your odds of losing weight.
Maybe it's your meds
Almost half of Americans took at least one prescription medication in the past 30 days, and a side effect of many of those medicines is significant weight gain. Antihistamines, for instance, target a receptor involved with both allergies and appetite; suppressing the receptor's activity can make you hungrier. In one study, men taking certain prescription antihistamines were 21 pounds heavier, and women were 10 pounds heavier, on average, than those who didn't take the drugs. Other drug classes that can cause weight gain include antidepressants, -beta-blockers diabetes medications, corticosteroids and antipsychotic drugs.
Don't quit taking medications you need. Instead, ask your doc for options. Some alternative drugs, such as the antidepressant bupropion and the diabetes drug metformin, may even be associated with weight loss.