We oftentimes talk about the hormonal changes that come with menopause (either natural or surgically-induced such as after a hysterectomy). Women may feel imbalanced, depressed, or start experiencing anxiety. But what about physical changes? Women may notice their body is changing– they might notice weight gain (especially around the mid section and stomach) and changes in fat distribution.
As a woman approaches menopause she may notice that her body shape changes. Instead of larger hips and a smaller upper half (pear shape) a woman may start putting on weight around her stomach and upper body (apple shape). Also, women find it’s just harder to lose unwanted pounds as they hit this time in their life. There are many several main reasons why this happens. (Note: If menopause is surgically induced, ladies may not have these issues).
Age & Lifestyle: The older we get the slower our metabolism gets. As we age, we also tend to reduce our activity levels, so fewer calories are being burned. Stay active by going for walks, gardening, or joining a fitness center. If you are retired, consider volunteering so you stay moving.
Muscle Mass: As we slow down, our body changes shape– muscle mass decreases and our bodies look less defined and toned than they used to. Consider age-appropriate strength conditioning like lifting small weights, or talk to a personal trainer at your local gym.
Estrogen: As estrogen levels become reduced, the fat distribution in the body changes, leading to more around the midsection. You might not be gaining pounds, but your body may begin to alter in shape.
Although we can’t stop the aging process, talk to us about the use of natural, safe estrogen.
“Changes in Weight and Fat Distribution.” The North American Menopause Society. 2017. https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/changes-at-midlife/changes-in-weight-and-fat-distribution