If you're over 50 and wondering, "What's happening to my body?" don't fret! We're diving into the incredible journey of menopause body changes. It's time to embrace your best shape and feel fabulous. Buckle up for a quick tour through the seasons of womanhood.
Let's start by breaking down these terms, readers. Perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause are like the chapters of your life's novel. They come with their own set of quirks and adventures.
During perimenopause, which can start in your 40s, hormones like estrogen and progesterone start playing their own tune in your body. It's not unusual to experience irregular periods, mood swings, and, you guessed it, changes in your body shape.
Menopause, usually around your early 50s, is when your cycle takes her final bow. Hormones may throw you a curveball with hot flashes, night sweats, and yes, shifts in fat storage. You have hit menopause when you experience no monthly cycle for a full 12 months.
Once menopause has had its moment, postmenopause sets in. This is when your body adjusts to its new normal. But hey, the show ain't over; you've got many more acts to go!
Jennifer, one of my clients, went through the wringer with belly fat, muscle loss, and joint pain. Sound familiar?
She was “gaining more belly fat, losing muscle and her clothes fit differently.”
During these hormonal seasons of change, you will notice your body composition change. The scale may not move up or down but your clothes don’t fit the same.
Ladies, estrogen plays a big role in how your body stores fat. As it takes a bow, fat may waltz over to your belly, making it more of a prominent character in your story.
Because of fluctuating hormones your body composition begins to change.
Estrogen tells our fat to go to our “womanly places” but when we lose estrogen the body shifts and redistributes fat to sit around the waist.
These hormonal changes can stir the emotional pot, too. It's important to address how you feel about these shifts in your body and embrace the beauty of your uniqueness.
You might be thinking, "What's a gal to do?" Here are some manageable steps to make menopause your time to shine.
You may not get back to an hour-glass figure but you can reduce belly fat and change your body composition.
Now, we're talking business. Strength training isn't just for your younger years; it's your secret weapon to fend off muscle loss and keep your body strong. This one key exercise is the biggest needle-mover for changing the shape of your body after menopause.
Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue but as you lose muscle and gain fat then your body’s metabolism slows down and burns fewer calories at rest.
Focus on lifting heavy weights to muscle failure which will help you build muscle. Muscle is your metabolism, the more muscle you have the less fat you have, and the more muscle you have the stronger you are.
Because strength training is the #1 exercise for women in midlife.
Sleep does influence body composition. Without proper sleep, you have higher cortisol levels, higher insulin levels, and loss of Human Growth Hormone.
Diet and sleep are game-changers for you on this journey. Protein is your new best friend and quality sleep? It’s your secret to living an age-defying midlife.
All of my clients who have upped their protein are telling me that they have fewer cravings, more stabilized blood sugar, and more energy.
Sometimes, a little help from hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can make all the difference to how you feel and how your body looks in the mirror. Declining hormones, when they are replaced, can be protective against Alzheimer's, heart disease, and breast cancer and help with your body shape by retaining muscle. But remember, consultation with a professional is the secret ingredient.
Ladies, in the grand tapestry of life, menopausal body changes are just a small side note. Embrace the new you, because it's never too late to start feeling beautiful and vibrant!
In this journey through menopause, remember that change is beautiful. It's a chapter of life that makes you stronger, wiser, and more fabulous than ever. With everyday movement, strength training, hormone replacement therapy, and a Trim Healthy Mama diet, you can strut your stuff with confidence.
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