$295 for Semaglutide Weight Loss

$195 for HRT

Website Logo

Difficulty Losing Weight

We help women in menopause help lose stubborn weight

Once you hit your 40s, you may find yourself having more trouble losing weight than you did when you were younger. Don’t blame yourself. If you find yourself asking, “Why can’t I lose weight?”, you’re not alone.

Because of hormonal changes that happen as women move through perimenopause and menopause, losing weight after 40 becomes more difficult. Understanding what’s happening with your body helps. There are steps you can take when you feel that you just can’t lose weight during this time.

Menopause and Perimenopause

Most women realize that menopause begins when they experience their last menstrual period. Before that time, though, your body is already beginning to change during a stage known as perimenopause. During menopause, production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drops fairly dramatically.

However, during perimenopause, which lasts about four years, production of these hormones goes up and down unpredictably. As a result, many women experience irregular periods and start to encounter menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and difficulty sleeping. The hormonal changes during perimenopause and early menopause can also have an effect on your ability to lose weight.

Difficulty Losing Weight During Menopause and Perimenopause

The hormonal changes that you go through during perimenopause and menopause play a role in why it’s difficult to lose weight. They also affect the way weight is distributed on your body. Women of childbearing age tend to see excess weight cluster around their hips and thighs. With age and hormonal changes, though, weight tends to distribute around the waist and midsection. The hormonal changes and weight gain of menopause also makes you more susceptible to heart disease and high blood pressure.

Other Symptoms of Menopause

Of course, weight gain isn’t the only effect of hormonal changes brought on by menopause. The primary effect of these hormonal changes is the cessation of monthly periods. Many women also experience the following symptoms:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Bladder infections
  • General muscle soreness
  • Memory loss, “fuzzy brain”, and other cognitive changes
  • Mood swings
  • Dry eyes
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss

In some cases, women just endure the effects of menopause. For many women, though, hormone replacement therapy provides a valid means of treating all these disparate symptoms.

Reasons you may have Difficulty Losing Weight

As your estrogen production starts to diminish with menopause, your metabolism slows down. That’s the primary reason it’s hard to lose weight once you hit your 40s and beyond. Those hormonal changes, including the drastic ups and downs of perimenopause, often cause your body to increase its rate of fat storage.

At the same time, those hormonal changes can result in an overall loss of muscle mass, which in turn causes your metabolism to slow down further. Your body burns fewer calories at rest than it did when you were younger (and those extra calories have to go somewhere). Increased insulin resistance is another effect of menopause for some women — and this symptom also makes it more difficult to lose weight.

The changes in distribution of weight may have more far-reaching effects than just a tighter waistband. A recent study shows that menopausal weight gain around your midsection puts you at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, in addition to Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Tips for Losing Weight During Menopause

Losing weight during menopause may feel more difficult than when you were younger. That’s because it is, since your body is, in some ways, working against you. While lifestyle changes can’t fully compensate for the hormonal shifts occurring in your body, there are plenty of steps you can take to keep potential weight gain under control, including the following:

  • Cardio exercise. To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you ingest. Cardio is a great way to do that. Plan on 30 minutes of walking, running, swimming, or cycling five times a week.
  • Strength training exercise. Strength training can help you maintain or regain the muscle mass that you lose naturally during menopause. Because you burn more calories maintaining muscle than fat, you should also lose weight. Plan on at least two days a week to work your major muscle groups.
  • Healthy, sufficient sleep. Many women experience sleep disorders and insomnia during menopause — and lack of sleep exacerbates weight gain. Practice good sleep hygiene by turning off electronics an hour before bedtime, creating a dark and restful environment for sleep, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Standing whenever possible. Studies show that sitting encourages fat to coalesce around your midsection, so look for opportunities to stand. Pace while you’re on the phone, get on the treadmill when watching TV, and consider switching to a standing desk.
  • Minimize carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates turn to sugar inside the body. For menopausal women, that means an increase in belly fat and an elevated risk for diabetes. Reducing your carb intake has been shown to decrease weight gain in menopause.
  • Planned mealtimes. Many women tend to begin nibbling in the afternoon — just as they’re winding down their physical activity for the day. Some nutritionists believe that only eating within restricted hours (say, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) can help with postmenopausal weight gain. Intermittent fasting is also a potential weight loss strategy.
  • Minimized stress. Stress boosts the hormone cortisol, known for its “fight or flight” response that triggers the release of blood sugar. However, when chronic stress keeps cortisol production high, the result can be insulin resistance, which can, in turn, lead to Type 2 diabetes. Minimize stress by spending time outdoors, meditating, and seeking psychological therapy.

Would you like to learn more?

Feel free to call us or take our short women's health questionnaire.

Weight Management Services for Menopausal Women

How Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help With Trouble Losing Weight

Another significant step you can take to deal with weight gain caused by menopause is hormone replacement therapy. By taking bioidentical versions of the hormones your body is ceasing to produce, you can treat many of the symptoms of menopause all at once, including weight gain.

Recent studies show that hormone replacement therapy can help prevent the increase in belly fat that comes with menopause. It’s also useful in lowering body-mass index (BMI) and overall body fat. While hormone replacement therapy isn’t the answer for weight gain in general, it can benefit women who are experiencing other symptoms of menopause. You’re likely to find that replacing the hormones your body is missing helps with symptoms of weight gain, while also relieving your hot flashes, insomnia, and other symptoms.

Additional Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy has other benefits beyond easing the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. It decreases the risks of several serious medical conditions that often creep up on women during menopause.

Women experience bone density loss as they age, often leading to serious osteoporosis. Hormone replacement therapy helps prevent continued bone density loss and reduces the risk of bone fractures. In addition, hormone replacement therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Colorectal cancer risks are also somewhat diminished with the use of hormone replacement therapy.

Our Approach to Weight Management for Women in Massachusetts

If you’ve been coping with unwanted weight gain in conjunction with other menopausal symptoms, hormone replacement therapy may be an answer to many of your questions.

Here at Hormonally Balanced, we serve women in Massachusetts who are having difficulties with perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. We can help get your body back in balance so you feel stronger and move through the sluggishness, fatigue, and weight gain of menopause. Through the right combination of bioidentical estrogen, testosterone, and progestogen, we can get those symptoms under control so you feel ready for the next stage of your life.

Contact us now to schedule an appointment and discuss whether your recent weight gain is linked to other menopausal symptoms. We’ll provide the support and care you deserve to get you through the changes you’re facing, so you can feel strong and healthy again.

Take our hormone questionnaire

If you’re experiencing any symptoms, complete our short quiz. 

Or get in touch now!

Head straight to our contact page and complete our form there. Our team will be in touch right away.