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Over 40 and Struggling to Lose Weight? HRT Can Make it a Reality

Jul 14 2020

Over 40 and Struggling to Lose Weight? HRT Can Make it a Reality

Achieving Weight Loss in Your 40s with HRT

 Aging happens to us with each passing day, slowly but surely, and by the time we realize time’s impact on our biology, most of us have begrudgingly accepted our fate. The youthful and slim figure that once graced our mirrors has given way to an older and shapelier individual that, while still being able to recognize some features in the reflection, you can’t help but wonder who and how you’ve become this way. And not to spoil the mystery, but the answer to these changes in our body is far too often the result of hormonal imbalances.

Your body’s metabolism, which once permitted you to enjoy your favorite foods with reckless abandon, has seemingly diminished to a former shell of itself. Nowadays, eating seems to net you some additional pounds despite the exercise regime you’ve committed yourself to. Our aging biology also throws in other physiological changes that can make maintaining your weight even harder. 

Many women over 40 find themselves looking to lose weight for the first time; all of a sudden, the diet and physical activity that once worked, has suddenly stopped working. Some biological inevitably has at long last struck: perimenopause.


With the beginnings of perimenopause (the transitional period into menopause), the natural body you’ve seen for years is slowly replaced. This physiological transformation occurs directly from the influence of altered hormones and hormone quantities. These changes mark the slowdown in one’s metabolism. However, you are not condemned to live with those extra pounds for the rest of your life. Today, hormone replacement therapy for weight loss is more available than ever before. Combat unwanted weight gain, which threatens to jeopardize your confidence and comfort in your own skin. With the right strategies and knowledge, you can make weight loss over 40 a possibility. To best do so, it’s paramount to understand the associated difficulties of weight loss at an older age in conjunction with HRT.

Women face an uphill battle with age. More specifically, changes in hormone levels make weight loss over 40 a significant challenge. Research has shown that aging and the transition to menopause contribute substantially to altered fat metabolism, which increases the accumulation of body fat and the risk of metabolic syndrome. This can profoundly affect your confidence and comfort in your skin and make you more vulnerable to a group of dangerous and life-threatening conditions, including obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Excess weight is also associated with a higher incidence of depression, loss of self-esteem and social functioning, and decreased quality of life. Simply put, weight loss over 40 is not a trivial matter – it is a significant concern with substantial implications for your physical and emotional health.

When Menopause Begins

Weight gain can best be understood as “calories in versus calories out, or energy consumed minus energy expended.” When the energy consumed from food exceeds the energy expended through physical activity and from basal metabolic performance, the unused energy is converted to stored energy or fat. Many factors affect the body’s energy balance, including a variety of hormones that play a crucial role in balancing metabolism and energy homeostasis. Hormonal imbalances and fluctuations are at the heart of many women’s struggles with weight, especially as they age.

It’s expected for estrogen levels to fall as women get closer to menopause. They begin to lose the protective effect that estrogen has against abdominal weight gain, which often causes noticeable changes to body composition. While the location of fat deposits change, metabolism also slows down, sometimes dramatically. Furthermore, studies suggest that estrogen deficiency is related to lower energy expenditure. In layman’s terms, that means that with age, fewer calories are burned by our metabolism, and exercise has to be more intense than ever before to make up for the slack.

Thyroid Problems For Women Over 50

Additionally, hypothyroidism is a common cause of sudden weight gain. It brings upon many symptoms associated with slowing metabolism, such as constipation, dry skin, memory problems and fatigue, menstrual irregularities, and miscarriage. Women over 50 experience the highest risk for hyperthyroidism. For this reason, some experts recommend thyroid screening for women before their first pregnancy, at age 35 or five years after that, then every one to two years after age 50. Finding the proper thyroid hormone replacement regimen can profoundly affect women’s health and help with weight loss of over 40.

Cortisol Hormones

Cortisol’s influence on our bodies is another hurdle for weight loss that must be recognized. Our primary stress hormone, cortisol, is secreted by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys. Along with the sympathetic nervous system, our critical “fight or flight” instinct drives our physiological response to danger and stress. This vital hormone regulates our energy reserves by increasing blood sugar when necessary. As stress levels become too high, as they are for many midlife women, excess cortisol can contribute to excessive consumption of comfort foods leading to stubborn abdominal weight gain.

A variety of other factors can also contribute to weight gain and challenge weight loss efforts in women over the age of 40. These include medications like steroids and antidepressants, high-calorie intake, chronic lack of sleep, and mobility problems, or medical conditions that force a sedentary lifestyle.

Exercising and dieting to combat weight gain is particularly important after age 40. Weight can affect the risk of various dangerous health conditions that commonly arise with age. A study with a large sample size of women with peri and post-menopause demonstrated a higher risk of heart issues due to weight gain. The researchers even took into account baseline weight, physical activity levels of each participant, and hormonal differences across the study. Furthermore, blood pressure is found to increase relatively rapidly after weight gain and that even a modest weight gain resulted in hypertension. Similarly, the risk of cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death among women, increases with age, while estrogen decreases as menopause approaches. These findings may be alarming, but they help us know that now, more than ever, it’s critical to take steps to preserve our immediate and long-term health.

The apparent answer to weight loss that we’ve seen all our lives has been to cut calories consumed and to exercise more. But if you’ve already maximized the number of calories lost from your workouts and have optimized your nutrition without seeing results, it may be time for something else: hormone replacement therapy or HRT. Don’t allow unbalanced hormones and your biology to sabotage your healthy lifestyle goals.

HRT as a Treatment For Weight Management in Women Over 40

If you’re a woman undergoing perimenopause or menopause, HRT, under the proper administration and guidance of a hormone specialist, can present life-changing results. Estrogen or estrogen-progesterone replacement therapy can help prevent menopause-related changes in body composition and the associated metabolic consequences. Additionally, many women find that HRT relieves symptoms that interfere with weight loss. These include fatigue, sleep disturbances, and mood symptoms, enabling them to make the decisions required to lose excess pounds.

Don’t allow a thyroid condition to thwart your weight loss goals above 40. Get a specific and accurate diagnosis by a hormone specialist. If your lab results and symptoms point to hypothyroidism, hormone therapy is the gold standard in treatment and can help restore balance and control your health. A hormone specialist can design a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and provide nutrition and lifestyle recommendations to support continued better health.

If chronic stress is hampering your weight loss efforts, a hormonal health specialist will start by testing your cortisol levels. If a cortisol imbalance is indicated, a personalized treatment plan will be developed. This may involve personalized recipes for hormone replacement and supportive diet and supplement recommendations, as well as lifestyle guidelines. Balancing this key homeostatic system is vital not only for the success of weight loss but also for the maintenance of life itself.

Hormonal changes and imbalances can critically challenge weight loss efforts in women over 40. With so many pieces of this complex puzzle, a hormonal health specialist can be your best ally to find a lasting solution that can reshape your body.

When lifestyle changes are insufficient to correct weight gain in middle age, Vitality Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine can provide the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your desired goals through HRT. Visit our website for more valuable information on Hormone Therapy Treatments for men and women