how to lose weight on bioidentical hormones

How to Prevent Weight Gain from Bioidentical Hormones

“Why am I gaining weight on bioidentical hormones?” Sometimes patients come to us with this question when they are undergoing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT. These patients  expected that BHRT would lead to weight loss, but they are instead  frustrated by persistent weight gain. 

First, what are bioidentical hormones? 

These are hormones derived from plants that are used to offset hormonal imbalances that can occur (for example) during menopause.  BHRT involves placing hormone pellets beneath the skin, which is a simple in-office procedure performed by a doctor. 

Can taking bioidentical hormones make you gain weight? 

No. In fact, they should have the opposite effect, since they replace estrogen and/or other hormones that your body needs to maintain a healthy weight.

So then why am I gaining weight on bioidentical hormones? 

Unfortunately, BHRT is not a “get out of jail free” card when it comes to weight management. As the saying goes, you can’t out train a bad diet, and you can’t BHRT your way out of one, either. Therefore you need to fuel your body appropriately, to keep extra pounds at bay. So here are some tips to help manage your weight, with or without BHRT: 

1. Make half of your meals veggies. 

Vegetables fill you up without adding too many calories. Salads are always an easy option, of course. But if you aren’t a salad lover, then sneak frozen cauliflower, spinach or kale into a smoothie. You can also blend steamed veggies into a creamy soup. Or, try roasting vegetables, which can be surprisingly delicious even if you aren’t a veggie fan. 


2. Include protein at each meal and snack. 

Protein improves satiety and helps preserve muscle mass. While many of us automatically include a protein with our meals, we may not be as protein-focused when it comes to snacks. So when it’s snack time, reach for hard-boiled eggs, all-natural jerky, Greek yogurt, low fat cheese, edamame, or a handful of nuts. 


3. Front load your day. 

Add fibrous carbs like whole grains, fruits etc. at breakfast and lunch. For dinner, aim to keep your plate as low carb as possible. If you are hungry for a snack before bedtime, reach for one of the protein options above rather than a handful of pretzels or a sweet snack. 


4. Include strength training in your workout regimen. 

We can’t emphasize this enough: Weight training is a game changer, and we strongly encourage two to three sessions per week. It helps our bodies preserve muscle mass, which is even more important as we age. And strength training also helps us lose fat. 


5. Be patient. 

How long does it take to lose weight on bioidentical hormones? Even when your hormones are regulated by BHRT, weight loss takes time, and the speed of change is unique to each individual.  If you are undergoing BHRT and you still aren’t seeing results, consult with your health care professional. 


6. Get the nutrition guidance and support you need. 

Meet with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. Together, we’ll formulate a plan that is customized for  your age, lifestyle, activity level and personal goals. You need a plan that is realistic and above all sustainable, since maintaining a healthy weight is a life-long endeavor. Also, you can join our 12 Week Program for well rounded approach. 

Ready to learn more? Click here to schedule a “Learn More” session.