Today I am going to talk about changes in body shape during menopause and why this can happen.
Unfortunately, as we get older, our body shape can change with age and the distribution of fat can change. Fat can increase, and our muscle mass can decrease. All of this changes our shape. What happens when we go through menopause is that declining estrogen can affect those changes more and more deeply.
What I’m going to see today is what changes can happen, why they happen and what you can do to help yourself. So, we are going to look at four different changes in body shape.
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Table of Contents
Distribution of fat / belly fat
Probably the number one change for many women is that you start putting weight around the abdomen. Instead of being pear-shaped along the waist and a little more shaped than our hips and thighs, the weight tends to increase in the middle and we can become an apple-shaped person. We become very rounder in the middle.
It is not just a case of eating more than necessary but it is a typical stress response. In menopause, the changes that are taking place make us feel more physically stressed.
We are more sensitive to stress and external stress so our lives can become more stressful on a daily basis. We may not be aware of it, but our body is definitely.
Our body sees this as a danger and the instinct of fight-or-flight comes into play. We need to have energy reserves so that when this happens we have the power to fight or escape.
For fat in the middle, You need to eat well but you need to eat the right things in the right amount.
I will go further about this in my blog ‘Best Hormone Balance Supplements And Their Impressive Benefits, where I look at the best exercises and the best diet that can help in this particular situation.
Decrease in muscle size and density
Decreases in muscle size and density can be caused by many factors. If you are going through menopause, it may be joint pain and soreness that interferes with exercise. It can be exhausting – how can you go out and run, exercise and stay active when you feel really, really tired?
It may be a lack of protein in your diet. Your protein needs go up during menopause and post-menopause. Make sure you are getting a good portion of protein with each meal every day. That’s really important. If you do not have protein, your muscles will not regenerate themselves.
For those of you who are vegetarian or vegan, or you don’t really like to eat a lot of meat or fish, adding to a plant-based protein powder shake every day is one of the best ways to increase your protein.
Intake this shake has a really good range of other vitamins and minerals so it is a beautiful addition to your daily diet that will not only help keep your muscles nice, strong and healthy, but will help a whole range of things.
You need to make sure you do some kind of regular exercise. Don’t push yourself too hard. Try walking 15-30 minutes a day or a small amount of high-intensity interval training two or three times a week.
How to prevent menopause weight gain?
Move further. Physical activity, which includes aerobic exercise and strength training, can help you lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat less
- Check your sweet habit.
- Limit alcohol
- Find support.
Breast size changes
Breast changes are very common during menopause. As we go through menopause, they may lose their worthiness. They can start swinging. They may begin to lose their shape and density completely and they become much less firm.
For a small number of women, breasts can actually enlarge, which is often caused by a certain type of hormonal change. This is really hard to sort out, but you may find that some of the plant estrogen supplements can be beneficial.
Some women find that kelp supplements can be really effective.
Calcium and magnesium supplements can sometimes also help support the breast. Dehydration can affect breast formation, so make sure you drink plenty of water.
Again, posture changes can be caused by a number of problems. Our bones become weak. Our spine is less stable, so we tend to be less upright.
You’ve also found things like Pilates. If you feel you are having pain in the neck, shoulders and back, then maybe consult a chiropractor. They can often find out if things are out of balance slightly.
Another small tip is that if you have a problem with your legs, it can then turn into spinal problems, which can affect your posture.
If you have pain in the ankles, or feet, check with a podiatrist, as they can sometimes tamper with your ankles, and this can have a big effect on improving your spine and your posture
What else can help?
Seeing all these changes, it is very good for me to say “accept your new shape”. It’s hard but we all have to do it.
Other things to remember – manage your stress, especially if it is in the middle of the weight, eat well and exercise regularly, even if it is only 15-30 minutes of walking every day.
Frequently Asked Question
Does menopause affect body shape?
“Physical changes associated with menopause and ageing include changes in body shape. Shifting weight from the hips to the central tummy area, drier skin, decreased muscle tone and hot flushes change how you feel, how you think about and the actual shape of your body.
How is your body different after menopause?
The shift in hormones as well as changes to blood pressure, “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides can also occur following menopause. According to the American Heart Association , one in three women develop cardiovascular disease. There’s an increase in incidence of heart attacks for women 10 years after menopause.
Can you get your shape back after menopause?
Absolutely not! While the odds seem to be stacked against you, you can take action to positively change your body composition after menopause. Remember to always consult with your physician before beginning a new exercise or eating plan.
How to get your waist back after menopause?
- Trimming the fat
- Eat a healthy diet. Focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products
- Replace sugary beverages
- Keep portion sizes in check
- Include physical activity in your daily routine
Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle. This is the time when your estrogen and progesterone levels drop.
After menopause, your risk for certain conditions, such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease, may increase. To manage your symptoms, maintain a healthy diet and do plenty of exercise to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
You should consult your doctor if you experience adverse symptoms that affect your ability to function, or if you find something unusual that needs to be looked at closely. There are plenty of treatment options to help with symptoms like hot flashes.
I hope you find this helpful. If any of you have any tips on how you have managed your body changes and what you have done to make yourself feel better, please share them as this can make a big difference for many women.