Hormonal weight gain The Fit Mother Project

Hormone imbalances are common among women, especially those over 40, but you don’t have to live with hormonal weight gain.

This type of weight gain can be caused by fluctuations in estrogen, thyroid hormone, or multiple hormones.

Making a few simple lifestyle adjustments can help you achieve or maintain your desired weight, feel better, look younger, be happier, and have the best possible quality of life.

Common risk factors associated with hormonal weight gain include:

  • Being over 40
  • Fatigue
  • Slowed metabolic rate
  • Bad eating habits
  • Too little exercise
  • Too little sleep
  • Continuous stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Thyroid disorders

Although common, you don’t have to settle for being overweight due to hormonal weight gain.

A healthy body weight is achievable regardless of your age or risk factors.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to settle for gaining weight over 40 despite fluctuating hormones.

Make simple changes to your routine, see your doctor regularly, and use hormone therapy when needed to optimize your physical health, mental health, and overall well-being.

Read on for everything you need to know about hormonal weight gain.

Learn how you can start boosting your metabolism after 40.

Best Ways to Avoid Hormonal Weight Gain

Ways to reduce or avoid hormonal weight gain include:

Check your hormones

If you suspect that a hormone imbalance is preventing you from reaching or maintaining your ideal weight, consult your doctor.

They may use a blood test to assess your current hormone levels and determine if they are within healthy limits.

Signs of hormone imbalance include fatigue, hot flashes, weight gain, decreased muscle mass, decreased bone density, vaginal dryness, depression, mood changes, sleep problems, and low libido.

Get treatment when needed

If you have thyroid disorders, low estrogen, or other hormone imbalances, your doctor may suggest you take synthetic thyroid hormone or try hormone replacement therapy to improve your metabolism and facilitate weight loss.

You can take a pill, get a pellet placed under the skin, apply a cream or gel to your skin, or wear a skin patch to better balance the hormones in your body.

If you have diabetes, your provider may recommend that you take extra insulin, a hormone that helps manage high blood sugar levels.

Keep your body moving

Sitting too much during the day is a risk factor for hormonal weight gain because it can lower your body’s metabolic rate.

Even if you don’t exercise, there are things you can do most of the day to stay active and burn extra calories.

Take frequent breaks from sitting at a desk or looking at a computer screen to take the stairs, take a short walk, or do housework or yard work.

Consider getting a sit/stand desk to cut down on sedentary time and enjoy fun (active) hobbies with your family.

Go for a bike ride, try rollerblading, swimming or skiing.

Take care of your mental health

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can affect your appetite and eating habits.

Furthermore, hormone imbalance is a risk factor for depression.

If you find that you’re eating too many calories or missing out on exercise because of a mental health disorder, see a mental health professional for an evaluation.

Medication and counseling, in addition to healthy lifestyle changes, can improve your mood, physical health, outlook on life, and overall quality of life.

Take dietary supplements

Hormonal imbalances often cause fatigue, making it difficult to stay active enough to maintain an ideal body weight.

Ask your doctor which nutritional supplements are best for your individual needs.

Taking a multivitamin designed to meet women’s micronutrient requirements helps reduce deficiencies, increase energy, and reduce the risk of hormonal weight gain.

Your provider may also recommend women’s hormone balance supplements, probiotics, omega-3 supplements, vitamin D, calcium, fiber, or other nutritional supplements to optimize energy levels and reduce your risk of health problems.

Complete fat burning workouts

While you don’t need to max out during exercise to burn fat, it’s important to incorporate fat-burning workouts into your regular routine.

Try the Fit Mother Project fat burning exercises or consider mixing and matching the following exercises:

High intensity interval training

Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT), alternating high-intensity with low- to moderate-intensity cardio for 20-30 minutes.

Long continuous heart

To complete a long continuous cardio workout for fat burning, just do at least 45-60 minutes of aerobic exercise at a moderate pace.

You can choose to run, brisk walk, use the elliptical, row, bike, swim, or do other cardiovascular exercises.

Framework training

Circuit training involves cycling between different cardiovascular or strength exercises with no rest periods.

For example, you might do mountain climbers for 30-6o seconds, do 20 squats, do 20 burpees, complete plank jacks for 30-60 seconds, rest and repeat this set before moving on to the next circuit. training exercises.

Superset strength training

By choosing superset strength training, you won’t be resting too much between sets to burn maximum fat.

Constantly alternate between two different sets of exercises (biceps curls with triceps extensions, squats with inclines, etc.) and try not to rest between supersets.

Change your mindset

Changing your mindset is one of the best ways to maintain your ideal weight, prevent hormonal weight gain, and even lose weight.

Be mindful of what foods you choose, portion sizes, and how many minutes a day you stay active.

Drink water frequently throughout the day, minimize stress, and aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Instead of eating as much food as possible before you feel too full, focus on eating only when you’re really hungry, eat slowly, and stop as soon as you start to feel full.

Focus on the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight rather than the pleasure you can get from eating certain foods.

Measure yourself regularly and pay attention to how your clothes fit.

Calculate your body mass index (BMI) by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 703, dividing by your height in inches, and dividing that number again by your height in inches.

You can also use a BMI calculator.

A healthy BMI range is 18.5-24.9. Aim to stay within this ideal weight range.

Switching from added sugar to fruit

If you have a sweet tooth, a reduced-calorie way to curb it is to choose fresh fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, or freeze-dried fruit instead of candy and other sweet treats.

Instead of a traditional dessert, you can also have applesauce without added sugar.

It is important to choose dried or freeze-dried fruits that do not contain added sugar, although they still taste sweet because of the natural sugars in them.

Choosing fruit over added sugar provides vitamins, minerals, fiber and fewer calories to help you avoid hormonal weight gain, especially over 40.

Focus on fiber, protein and heart-healthy fats

To reduce your risk of hormonal weight gain, it’s important to focus on three key nutrients that promote satiety and promote fat burning.

These nutrients include:


The human body doesn’t fully digest or absorb fiber, a type of carbohydrate that helps control weight by increasing satiety but doesn’t significantly contribute to your calorie intake.

Examples of fiber-rich foods are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Fill half of each plate with fiber-rich vegetables to help meet your daily fiber recommendations of at least 21-25 grams of fiber per day for women.

Add fruit or vegetables to protein shakes and nutrient-dense smoothies, or eat fresh, dried or freeze-dried fruit as an in-between-meal snack.

Dip fresh vegetables into hummus or eat dried or roasted vegetables as a snack.

Your doctor may suggest you take dietary fiber supplements to help control weight or improve disease management, but check with them to make sure such supplements are right for you.


Protein is vital for preventing hormonal weight gain for many reasons.

It can increase your metabolism, help you burn calories, increase lean body mass, and enhance satiety to keep you fuller longer.

Eat protein-rich foods such as eggs, fish, seafood, chicken, turkey, or plant-based meat substitutes.

Fill one-fourth of each plate of food with protein-rich options and eat protein-rich snacks throughout the day.

Additional protein-rich foods include milk, some plant-based milks, Greek yogurt, kefir, cheese, legumes, hummus, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.

Healthy fats

Add heart-healthy fats to round out your nutritious menus and avoid hormonal weight gain.

Healthy fats add satiety to your diet and keep you fuller for longer.

They also reduce the risk of more than 40 diseases and weight gain when used instead of saturated fat, added sugar, refined grains and sugary treats.

Add olive oil, avocado oil, or other vegetable oils to your recipes.

Choose oil-based dressings with no added sugar, avocados, nuts, seeds and nut butters.

Consider meal replacements

Eating replacement meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner can reduce your calorie intake without feeling hungry.

Such replacement can also help you avoid hormonal weight gain.

Combine protein powder with water, milk, or plant-based milk to make a meal replacement shake.

Optional toppings include fruit, ice, nuts, seeds, nut butters, oatmeal, coffee, matcha powder, or tea.

Get creative or use these Fit Mother Project protein shake recipes.

Erin Coleman

BS – Nutritional Science, RD, LD

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her Dietetic Internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as a Health Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she is currently working on publishing her first book. Erin is a wife and mother of two beautiful children.

*Please note that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. you may not achieve similar results. Always consult your doctor before making any health decisions. This is not medical advice, just very well researched information hormonal weight gain.

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