Hormones and weight gain after 40 | The biology of aging

Yesterday, I asked my Facebook group for a writing prompt for today’s blog post. What fitness and health issues did they want to explore? Were there topics that they’d like me to research and share information about? Any exercise road blocks that they needed help navigating around? (At least that’s what my status update implied…)

hormones and weight gain

Those that responded were almost unanimous in their preferred topic: Why is it so much harder to lose weight and make gains in the gym as you age? Or in their own words;

“talk about that point in your mid 30’s when your body turns against you and your metabolism changes and you have to work harder but you’re more tired and any small amount of salt makes you blow up like a blowfish…yeah, talk about that…”

“Do you have to work out double [or] triple [the time] as you get older? Or other tricks to the lower the time you need to work out available.”

“…seems like the past few years I need to put in even more time at the gym…..but maybe I have been slacking a bit too much in the diet area”

“But shouldn’t long endurance workouts still be part of a fitness regimen??”

“What’s up with hormones and weight gain after 40?”

As a recently turned 46-year old woman who’s most definitely smack dab in the middle of peri-menopause AND as the personal trainer of dozens of women with similar questions and physical challenges, this is a subject that’s NEAR and DEAR to my heart!

hormones and weight gain

There’s SO much to say about hormones and weight gain after 40 that I can’t possibly cover it all in a single blog post (and that’s saying a lot, ’cause you know how ‘wordy’ I’m capable of being!).

Instead, I thought that we might explore the topic together, over a series of posts, guided by my research (you know how much I LOVE research!) but also fuelled by your comments and responses to the posts themselves.

I’d like to start the series by painting a picture of what naturally  happens to our bodies as we age, in particular, from the mid-30’s to the late 50’s; the twenty year period during which hormones gradually change and menopause is typically reached (a woman is said to have reached menopause twelve months after the cessation of menstruation).

As you read through this list, don’t despair; there are lots of things we can do on the exercise and nutrition front to offset, slow down and in some cases REVERSE the normal trend!

  • from about age 35 onwards, our bodies start to lose lean tissue. Organs (including your liver and kidneys) lose cells and muscles begin to shrink (or ‘atrophy’). Because muscle is metabolically active (meaning that it burns calories, even at rest), reduced muscle mass often results in a reduced metabolic rate.
  • peak bone mass and bone density are reached by approximately age 30. Both decline by a percent or so each year up until the point menopause is reached, at which annual rates of bone density loss increase to 2-3%. For the average woman, this translates into a loss of about 53% of their peak bone density by the time they reach their 80th birthday.
  • body fat increases steadily after age 30 and may increase by as much as 30% by the time menopause is attained. The distribution of body fat shifts from subcutaneous (under the skin, evenly over the body) to visceral (around the internal organs). Visceral fat is known to raise your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  • during the menopause transition, the ovaries gradually stop making the hormone estrogen. Estrogen is responsible for making your breasts grow at puberty and maintaining pregnancy by regulating the levels of another sex hormone, progesterone. When estrogen declines, cortisol and insulin production increase. Both contribute to fat gain, in particular, fat around the midsection.
  • peri-menopausal and menopausal women frequently report changes in their sleep patterns. Difficulty falling asleep, middle of the night waking and insomnia all contribute to lower energy levels and feelings of fatigue. Chronic sleep deprivation is also linked to elevated cortisol levels (and we know what that leads to; see above)
  • on average, women tend to continue gaining weight until about age 65, at which time weight loss occurs due primarily to muscular atrophy (as opposed to fat loss).

If this is the ‘normal path of aging’, is it any wonder that it becomes more challenging to maintain the physique of our early adulthood into our 40’s and beyond?

Of course, many women give up. They read statistics like the ones I’ve shared above and decide that accepting the aging process is easier than fighting it.

While I do believe that we need to be more compassionate with ourselves as we age (i.e., stop comparing your current body to the one you had in your 20’s…), I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel. If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing that you’re not either!

Stay tuned for Parts 2, 3 and 4, in which we’ll explore some exercise, nutrition and lifestyle tools for staying fit and fabulous into our 40’s (and beyond)!

Read Part 2 >> Why nutrition matters ever more now

Read Part 3 >> Exercise for hormonal imbalance

Read Part 4 >> The role of sleep

 

Please share your experiences with hormones and weight gain (before or) after 40.

Have a suggestion about a topic you’d like to see covered in this series? Fire away!

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Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.

Comments

  1. It is funny, I had to go off of birth control pills when I was 39 and then exercised like crazy to look good for my 40th. I found that it was easy to keep the weight off for a while, but now I see it creeping back. I can’t wait for parts 2, 3 and 4! Thanks!
    Erica @ erica finds recently posted…GetGoing for Travel Deals, A Check-In & MoreMy Profile

    • Erica, did you find that you initially LOST weight when coming off the pill? That seems to happen with a lot of women. Once your hormones re-balanced themselves (or became un-balanced in a different way…), the situation changed?

      • Yes – lost weight but there were other factors at play, too. Was on blood thinners and had to exercise less so I was more careful about my diet, too. Last year I was able to keep weight off easier. Seems like this year it is not as easy. I think my set point did lower a few pounds though off of the pill.
        Erica @ erica finds recently posted…GetGoing for Travel Deals, A Check-In & MoreMy Profile

  2. we really really need this to be a topic presentation of FITBLOGGIN 14.
    (says the 44 year old)
    Miz recently posted…How do you run with a dog?My Profile

  3. Fighting this battle, too – 44 next week, in the throes of peri-menopause. I have found (thanks to you!) that eating a low-carb diet helps a lot with the weight-creep. I’ve never had a stellar metabolism, but mine’s slowed down a lot – so need to compensate with less food overall, and pay closer attention to macronutrients. That said, I still let myself get crazy once in a while, though – I think Nora Ephron said in an essay that as you age, you should “just have a piece of bread” once in a while. Carbs are delicious, and life is short!
    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet recently posted…Lebanese Seven Spices SeasoningMy Profile

    • Yes! For you, lower carbs, more protein and high intensity weight workouts seem to be key. We’ll be talking about all of that in the next couple of posts. And I agree with Nora Ephron; I’m not going to spend the rest of my life saying no to bread, birthday cake and the occasional glass of wine. It’s all about balance (and accepting that by enjoying those things, you might not ever, again, look like the girls on the cover of Oxygen magazine!)

      • Well, I never came close to looking like those girls, so nothing’s lost here! In fact, I look more like them now, at 44 than I did at 20!
        Sarah @ Semi-Sweet recently posted…Lebanese Seven Spices SeasoningMy Profile

      • Hi Tamara,
        A million thanks for your website. Now I can identify my intercostal pain! But as for this topic, as 56 year old who has loved to play (bike, skate, run) across four decades….something has definitely happened now. You are so right, balance and moderation are the key. Smaller plates, slower eating to SAVOR one’s culinary handiwork and fork down between bites to take at least 20 minutes to eat helps. I will NOT give up chocolate, red wine or crispy ciabatta. But my how things have changed for me since hitting 55. I am working on not responding with anger or annoyance. Change is inevitable, I get that. But BOY….sometimes it feels like too many changes all at once. So, always look for some humor and levity. You are doing a great thing with your informative blog/site. I just found it, and am grateful for it. Keep up the great work. I look forward to more topics in this vein.

        • Jo Anna,
          Thanks so very much for your kind words. You have no idea how humbling it is to get this sort of positive response to one’s writing!
          I’m sorry to hear about your intercostal pain, but happy that it’s not so bad that you can’t keep moving!

          I’m working on my post about perimenopause and nutrition; watch for it later this week. I can’t wait to hear what you think! ~ Tamara

        • Hello, I am new to this site and have enjoyed it a lot already. Jo Anna talked about intercostal pain. I am interested in more information about this subject. I have had 3 bouts of strained intercostal muscles since July 2013. It seems that I am always on the mend but never mended completely. If anyone has information about this I would appreciate a reply. Thanks

        • I’m almost 56, and have practiced good diet and fitness my entire life. That being said, I’ve noticed a slow disappearance of my waist and flat tummy over the last few years, even without gaining weight. I feel strong, though, and can easily run 3 miles, bike, etc. What causes this pudgy accumulation, even without weight gain. I weigh the same as I did 6 years ago!

          • Hi Linda, Thanks so much for leaving me a comment.
            There are a number of reasons for changing body composition with age (that’s what you’re describing, if the number on the scale stays the same, yet you’re noticing that your shape has changed).

            One is loss of muscle mass. When we lose muscle, our metabolic rate declines and we don’t burn as many calories at rest as before. Unless we change what (and how much) we’re eating, we gain fat, which takes up more space in our clothes.
            Another is the change in female reproductive hormones. As estrogen and progesterone decline in the menopause years, middle of the body fat cells may proliferate, in an attempt to keep estrogen production a bit higher.

            Most of my 45+ clients find that they can no longer eat and exercise the way they did when they were younger and still get results. The trick is to work smarter, not harder and pay attention to the way your body responds to certain types of foods. Have a look on the Resources page of this website; I’ve written a ton about this and also work with an online fitness group to help people individually.

  4. this is quite interesting to me from my perspective as a 37yo… it helps to get an idea of what’s coming. it kinda makes me want to figure out what kind of healthy lifestyle plan will reduce the oncoming issues RIGHT NOW, so I can be ready. 🙂 I’ve changed so much in the last 8 months, I know that I can adapt now, what a blessing!
    Kristine recently posted…instagram: finishing the second sleeve on my low tide 🙂 #knittingMy Profile

    • Kristine, I just came across a really interesting article called “Why you need to get fit before you turn 40” (I’m paraphrasing, but it was something like this). The article was based on the premise that it’s easier to STAY fit than GET fit as we age. Seems to fit with the stats I’ve shared here; 40 is when all hell starts to break loose!

  5. I can’t wait for more in this series from you!!
    Weight wasn’t something I ever worried about too much until I hit 35. Then, overnight almost, things changed and I had to make drastic changes. I went from being only a runner (never did other exercises of any sort) to a huge believer in cross training and lots & lots of weights!! Between that huge change and a few small tweaks to my diet, things have been OK (43 now).
    I hope you do an entire post on the sleep issues – that is my biggest problem.
    Kim recently posted…MottosMy Profile

    • I love this post and cant wait for the rest to come! I fought the fact that my metabolism basically slammed itself into reverse in my late 30’s (now 43). The trick for me was to ask myself “How many times per week will I workout?” Once? Yes. Twice? Yes. Three times? Yes. Four? Yes. Five? Probably not. Four times a week it is! On occassion I do “bonus” fifth or sixth workouts, and I also cut myself some slack if I only get in three workouts. I now have faithfully worked out 4 times per week for a year and a half and eat less/better than ever.
      While I am not “what I once was” I feel really good for my age and that is what I remember when I want to skip a workout. Plus, finding inspiration in people/blogs/fitness partners!

      • Noreen, you make a very good point about the importance of scheduling and being realistic with yourself when doing so. I think one of the keys is consistency; don’t get in the habit of skipping your workouts and stopping and starting ‘diets’ (I hate that word, but it’s shorter than ‘nutritional plan’).
        Finding inspiration definitely helps too! What are some of the blogs that inspire you?

        • Hi Tamara!
          One blog I have followed for several years now is http://www.FitFoodieFinds.com. She is in her early 20’s so she can’t yet relate to this subject, but I find her refreshing and inspiring!
          The kicker for me though, has been finding “fitness friends”. I joined a class at the recreation center and made a few new friends who want, and like, to workout. We do classes together, and find other ways to have fun with fitness such as hikes or 5K’s or whatever. There are several of us so if one cant make it, there is always one other person holding us accountable to show up. I think we all know as we age, finding new friends is a bit harder too – I put myself out there and with a little effort found fitness and friendship!

    • Kim, you have found the combination of things that seem to work for many women. Can’t wait to chat about it all and SLEEP is a big part of the ‘lifestyle’ component of the series. Thanks for your comments and support!

  6. I had totally forgotten that cortisol levels go up post menopause as estrogen levels go down. Could explain a lot – like 30 pounds of a lot!
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted…Father’s Day: Happiness, Love and HealthMy Profile

    • Yes! That’s the one that perturbs me the most. Even if you do all of the lifestyle things you can to reduce stress, you’re still stuck with the cortisol your body naturally secretes…

  7. Really interesting post. I see some of these things starting to happen to women around me in their mid-thirties. Something that makes me go hmm… is how pregnancy in the late 30s & early 40s impacts all this. My midwife has mentioned that during pregnancy, women can actually build their bone density & take in calcium–maybe one positive thing about being pregnant at my age!

    Seeing info like this on body fat percentage increase scares me a bit though–wonder if it’s going to be doubly hard at age 38 to get the ‘baby fat’ off once this baby’s born?

    By the way, hope to see you at the big Vancouver Mom shindig tonight–I’ll be one of the ambassadors at the door. 🙂
    Lisa C recently posted…Win Tickets to See Bon Jovi!My Profile

    • Lisa, good question! With so many women postponing pregnancy until their late 30’s and early 40’s, we may be experiencing a double hormonal whammy. I’d love to look into this further (my hubby and I both are trained as evolutionary biologists and frequently chat about the effects of delayed reproduction on human health, lifespan and social structures…; but that’s another whole series of posts 😉 )

      Yes! I’ll see you tonight; I’ll be the girl in the red dress!

  8. I think this post is great and am looking forward to part 2/3!! As a premenopausal woman and almost 48 to boot I am finding it very difficult to lose the last 10 pounds. I started going to the gym and swimming twice a week last October and was losing a pound to pound and half per week. After xmas I have stalled and can’t seem to get over the hump. I have always been active. But I struggle with weight around my middle. My personal trainer has switched up my workouts and told me to cut back on working out- I was working out at least 6 days a week. I wonder if too much is a good thing and my body has adjusted and is holding onto the fat. Its also very discouraging when you see people around you doing crazy fad diets and the weight falls off them and I am trying to do it with exercise and watching what I eat! I will never be a skinny miss, my body is not that type but the weight around my middle concerns me. So am looking forward to your posts to see if you come up with any solutions. Well its raining and my knitting is calling…..)

    • Ann, I’m with your trainer. You can do too much of a good thing and exercise does create a stress response within the body. Stress leads to cortisol production which can lead to fat storage.
      We’ll be talking about this all next week, but one of the things that might help you psychologically, is reducing your emphasis on the scale. Focus more on the other, non-weight related changes in your body and the incredible things that it can do!
      Thanks for commenting and I look forward to hearing more from you!

      • Hi Tamara, I am noticing a different kind of “chub” on my body since turning 35. I really really noticed crazy changes with how I looked, my posture, I can’t quite put my finger on it but it was sudden and scared me, now turning 37 soon.

        I am working on trying to go back to my lower carb diet, lots of veggies and basically eating less, more exercise more often. BUT all that being said my biggest challenge is when I do more exercise, I think my body does stress out big time with cortisol production. I am not sure if it is in my head but I feel bigger and more bloated, sometimes after working out. Or if I weight lift I seem to get bulky quick!!! With hard bigger muscles.

        You will maybe tell me to wait it out and keep going but feeling “bigger” and “hungrier” when I am trying to be more active is confusing to me. I am a very muscle dense girl with a very curvy body, so if I gain weight on top of my muscles it makes me feel so uncomfortable, with a 5 ft 2 inch frame. My desire is to feel tiny and petite as I think I am truly a small person, in reality. I also don’t like the starving idea because I value having a very healthy nutrient rich diet. Just some thoughts…….thanks for posting this blog, look forward to reading more! 🙂
        Sky

  9. I am the queen of this subject & you know I have bitched about it on my blog way too many times!!! 😉 I could write a book since I have been going thru every single stage of it for over 7 years & still going on AFTER menopause! :O

    I think there are a lot of things one can do & you will write about them but I think women are going to have to get real & accept the fact that they are going to have to move more & most likely eat less and/or change their food program. I was doing everything they said to do ( eating right, weights, cardio & more) when this hit me so all I could do was change my food & work on the intensity of my workouts – it is tough stuff & not for the faint of heats – the hormone change I mean! 😉

    Looking forward to reading more!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…THE PROCESS! #What’sBeautiful with #IamEnough!My Profile

    • Thanks Jody! And I certainly did think of you while writing this post! There is more and more research on menopause and exercise all the time; probably because peri- and menopausal women are the fastest growing demographic in North America!

  10. As a 47-yr. old, you know I love this post! I have definitely had a harder time keeping lean muscle and burning fat over the past couple of years. Also in peri-menopause. I have had to take a good hard look at my diet and increase the strength training to make a difference. I do hate that it’s so much more work, though, I will admit. I miss the days when weight would drop just by adding in an extra workout or two/week!
    misszippy recently posted…MAF test #2–wow!My Profile

    • Me too. I remember my twenties, during which I could pull all nighters, drink beer with abandon and not worry a bit about the effects of carbs or salt. Funny how I didn’t appreciate it then!

  11. I was just 25 last year, right? Wait, that metabolism was 15 years ago? Oh….that explains a lot. Great post!
    Barbara recently posted…You Might Want To Subscribe To This BlogMy Profile

    • Thanks Barbara! I still feel 25 too; thank heavens my hubby still thinks he’s 33!

  12. I’m over 50 now and a little thicker around the middle. I’m blaming it on my sleep apnea and hope my a-pap machine will help. I have no obvious risk factor for sleep apnea like being overweight (or male!). If you snore loudly enough to bother your bed partner, it’s worth looking into the possibility.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted…Mango, Avocado and Roasted Corn Salad with Creamy Ginger DressingMy Profile

    • Mary, sleep plays a huge roll in weight loss/weight loss maintenance and health in general. What is an a-pap machine? I’ve not heard of this before.

      • It is an auto-pap machine. C-pap is continuous positive airway pressure, it gives you the same amount of air whether or not you are experiencing an apnea. The a-pap detects when you are having an apnea and increases the air pressure at that time to treat it. You do not have so much air blowing all the time so the machine is more pleasant to use. In the last couple of years the machines have been improved greatly.
        Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted…Mango, Avocado and Roasted Corn Salad with Creamy Ginger DressingMy Profile

  13. ok, so i just turned 36 and I feel like my body is turning on me. granted I’ve had some unusual stress factors over the past 2 years i.e.: moving twice and cancer just to name 2, I have remained an avid runner but I feel like my body is different. Salt is my mortal enemy all of a sudden and I just don’t have the pep I used to. God help me when I do turn 40.
    Tiffany recently posted…I’m In The Picture (Week 10)My Profile

    • That’s a lot of stress in two years, Tiffany. Does the running help you manage it? Low energy levels can be a sign of thyroid or adrenal issues. I always recommend a visit to the doctor and a full blood workup to rule out any underlying issues. Hoping that next week’s posts will be useful!

  14. Found this article through a tweet from Stephanie (@skinnyjeans). As a recent-turned 44yo, this has been my frustration the past 4yrs. I’ve never been a fitness fan, and working out is something I’ve never gotten in to a rhythm with. But I’ve seen this phenomenon first hand. Thanks for addressing this and giving us “fab after 40” gals hope!

    • Love the term ‘fab after 40’! I think there IS hope, but I think that being realistic and willing to do some work is also required! Next week we’ll be talking about exercise; let’s turn you into a fan!

  15. Darn it! I turn one year older next Wednesday!!!! I have… so… much…. to look forward to? LOL!!!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Jurassic Stomach ProblemsMy Profile

    • Happy early birthday, Gigi! You know, despite the physical changes, my 40’s have been fantastic! More confidence, more opportunities in my life, less stress about inconsequential things….

  16. Michelle says:

    Love the ides of a series about this Tamara! I am turning 31 this year, but the last couple of years have brought about significant changes for my body re: how easy or hard it is to lose weight and get back to my “happy” size.

    • Michelle, so glad that you’re on board! I did read an article the other day about why it’s important to ‘get fit before 40’. You’ve got loads of time!

  17. I can’t wait the the other parts of this topic. I’m struggling so hard with weight gain for the first time in my life. It started at 45 for me.

    • Jewell, I hear you. I think last year was my biggest struggle too. Hoping that the research and writing I’m doing will help all of us!

  18. I’m only two years away from being 40 and I have to say that my metabolism is really becoming slow and I have gained a lot of weight. I’m looking for ways on how to improve my metabolism and hopefully lose weight.

  19. So interesting about the exercise/cortisol connection. That’s the first time I’ve read that but of course it makes sense! It has become much more difficult for me this year to maintain my weight or try to lose it by “doing the right things.” The is was great insight. Thank you!

  20. Just got to read this- busy with end of the school year teacher work. I feel like you are talking to me! I am 52 and no matter what I do, the weight just seems to stick to me like glue. My saying at 50, when I ran my first marathon, was I wanted to be 50 and Fabulous. Although, my husband still says I’m fabulous, I just don’t feel it! Looking forward to the part 2.

    • Hi Lorrie, just checking in after a busy 5 days (mostly) offline. I’ll have part 2 (nutrition) ready to go later this week. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think!

  21. Hi Tamara,
    This baby boomer, career woman and mom of 3 at 54, has also found that my weight has increased over the past 2 years despite my attending bootcamp 3x a week, cutting food intake, but I’m a grazer so I nibble which is most likely contributing to the weight gain etc. I have gone for blood tests to check my hormone levels, and thyroid and low and below I’m hypothyroid and my estrogen levels were was down…so on vival hormone patch, as well as thyroid meds…still need the tricks of the trade on nutrition to aid in keeping the weight down and off….it is a daily /yearly battle.

    I’ll keep checking in to try something different and avoid the insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Thanks for starting the blog…

    Holly

    • Holly,
      Your last statement made me laugh; it’s the quote I was planning on starting my nutrition and hormones blog post off with!
      Good point about having blood work done. Often there are issues with thyroid and/or estrogen that undermine all of our healthy food and exercise choices. Loss of estrogen is particularly difficult to deal with, as it’s a natural consequence of the end of our reproductive years. And many women are still afraid of using hormones to supplement.

      Next post in this series up this week!

  22. I’m just definitely prompted with all your creating abilities and as well with all the structure with your site. Is it your paid issue as well as did you customize it by yourself? Regardless continue to be in the quality producing, it is strange to see a great site such as this one at present.

  23. Great post – just linked to it from a recent Facebook post….
    Is there a part 2 and 3? Really looking forward to more of your thoughts on this
    ,

  24. As a soon to be 46 year old, I must say things are starting to change for me a bit. I have always been a fitness junky and I have always eaten very healthy. Our bodies change plans and so must we. I find that I cannot do the same things as I did in my 30’s, I have to step it up a bit. I am starting to increase my weights. Expecting good things to happen. 🙂 I enjoy reading all the comments, and find them very helpful.

    • Cindy, I am in the same shoes are you! It can be very frustrating to see the changes in our bodies when we haven’t made any changes to diet or exercise. I agree that stepping it up a bit can be helpful. But so can incorporating more walking and stress-reducing activities in our days. I’m working on the latter 😉

  25. Veronica says:

    I’ll be 45 in December. The only thing that works for me is eating sensibly, weights, and doing plyometric workouts like Insanity. This past winter I got cocky and lazy, ate what I wanted and gained some of my weight back, but I’ve learned my lesson. I definitely can’t be lazy if I want to keep the pounds off, so I’ve been working out five days per week, a mixture of weights and cardio. I definitely refuse to throw in the towel and I do know I’ll never see 124 or even 140 again. I have too much muscle to drop down to 140 now, so the weight my body is most comfortable at is 150 or 155. It’s surprising how much your body changes over the years.

    • Veronica, sounds almost exactly like what I prescribe for my clients. I also encourage leisurely walks and good sleep; both help bring down cortisol production, which, in the presence of low estrogen (or estrogen dominance) and high blood sugars leads to the dreaded menopot…

      Thanks for sharing your story! ~ Tamara

  26. I am 42 and in the last few years have gained about 50 pounds. I first quit smoking,and I was taking prilosec, and an antidepressant. Started doing research and quickly quit my antidepressant and I am really trying to not take the prilosec. Anyway,I have been trying to eat better,and started the couch to 5k. I haven’t lost a pound…I drink plenty of water stay away from sugars and do some strength training,but still nothing….

    • Hi Tara, thanks so much for commenting and sharing your experience. I’ve written about medication and weight gain in the past; it’s unfortunate that taking a drug to help solve one health problem can sometimes cause another one.

      Have you talked to your doctor about having a hormone panel done? If estrogen and progesterone are low and out of whack, weight gain is often inevitable. My understanding is that doing a saliva test will give you better information than a simple blood test. There are patches and creams that can help restore relative levels of hormones and help with managing the various symptoms of peri-menopause.

      Of course, figuring out the best exercise and nutrition plan for YOU is also crucial. Sometimes eating healthy and doing some strength training isn’t quite enough. Are you lifting heavy? What do your macronutrient ratios look like? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you do any HIIT or metabolic training? All of these will help, as will trying to eliminate stress from your life.

      I invite you to take a look through my ‘Resource Pages’. There’s one specifically for perimenopausal women and you’ll find a series of posts I’ve written about eat of the above points!

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