Curious about hormonal changes after 35 and the effect on your weight?

There’s a lot you can get away with until the age of 35.

Your body is pretty resilient when it’s young, and it seems to cope with whatever you throw at it – eating, drinking, stress, sleeplessness and partying.

But by the time you are 35 – 50 years old, the good life seems to catch up with you and you find yourself getting tireder, thicker around the waist, with love handles and perhaps feeling a little wired or burnt out.

The thing is, it’s NOT just your habits of the past 20+ years that’s causing this.

It’s the fact that those habits of yours are colliding with one of the most pressured times of your life, AND, some major hormonal shifts. 

Life’s Pressures After 35

Hormonal changes after 35 | Downsize Me

The ages of 35 – 50 represent a culmination of pressures and responsibilities.

There’s having kids, more responsibility at work, starting a business, divorce, mid-life crisis, sick parents and mortgage stress.

All of these pressures rob you of energy and time.

They mean you are more likely to make unhealthy food choices, ditch exercise or drink more alcohol as a way of coping.  And that combination can actually cause hormonal changes after 35.

How Your Hormones Change After 35

There are a range of hormonal changes after 35 and up to 50 years old that affect the way you look and feel.

While these hormonal changes are natural, they can be made worse by your lifestyle habits and pressures.

Here are the most well-known hormonal shifts you will experience. 

Your insulin levels naturally increase

Increases in insulin mean you don’t regulate blood sugar as well as you used to.

Your body doesn’t handle carbs as well as it used to, and you are more likely to gain weight around the middle (think “love handles”). You’re more likely to get tired and crave sugar (especially if you are an endomorph body type).

Yes, your 20+ years of lifestyle habits (decreasing exercise, processed food, high carb diet) can cause those increases in insulin, independent of your age.

Your stress hormones (e.g. cortisol) naturally increase. 

To add insult to injury, the hormone that acts to lower cortisol (DHEA) naturally decreases.

Increases in cortisol are indicated by insomnia, irritability, memory loss, gaining weight around the middle and cravings for sugar, salt, fat, carbs and crunchy food (in other words, all the things that make your stress levels worse).

Yes, your new job, new business, family pressures and exposure to the blue lights in your devices are making those hormone imbalances worse.

If you are an ectomorph or a mesomorph who’s very driven and ambitions, or who loves to party all the time, you will experience these hormone shifts more than most people.

Hormonal changes after 35 | Downsize Me

Your oestrogen, progesterone and/or testosterone levels decrease.

Menopause or it’s male equivalent shower you with a range of uncool symptoms like weight gain around the middle (men) or hips, bum and thighs (women), loss of libido and a decrease in energy, as levels of these hormones decrease or become unbalanced.

Among other things (like genetics) the food you eat and the amount of exercise and sleep you get influence how much you’re affected by these hormonal changes.

Could that explain why women in Japan don’t experience any significant symptoms of menopause compared to Western women?

Your thyroid hormone levels decrease.

Since your thyroid is the master regulator of metabolism, this is a fairly serious hormonal shift. A sluggish thyroid is typified by cold hands and feet, lethargy/fatigue, and gaining weight through your torso.

Your lifestyle habits – particularly what you eat – has an influence on thyroid hormone levels, too. 

You Are A Consequence Of Your Lifestyle

500 years ago, most people were dead by the age of 50 due to exposure, contagious disease, malnutrition, or physical misadventure. Daily choices were simply about survival.

These days we get nearly twice as much mileage out of our bodies, and we are dying more slowly and perhaps more painfully from lifestyle diseases, inflammation and toxicity, over-nutrition and physical inactivity.

If you are aged 35 – 50 and you have 15- 30 years of eating, drinking, stress and/or late nights under your belt, you will be starting to see the consequences of it about now.

In other word, you have reached a tipping point: the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

How do you know you’ve reached a tipping point?

Signs that you’re facing a tipping point can include:

  • regular feelings of anxiety, stress or pressure
  • the onset or worsening of digestive issues
  • developing food intolerance
  • getting sick more often, esp. after intense exercise
  • energy levels slump or roller-coaster
  • developing food cravings and/or reliance on foods, caffeine etc to regulate energy
  • increasing insomnia
  • increasing body fat
  • onset of chronic fatigue syndrome or other immune/autoimmune issues
  • developing mental health issues.

The first step to change is recognising these warning signs and understanding how you can change and turn things around.

What You Can Do

You can’t change what you were born with, but you CAN change the way you live your life, and you can even switch genes on and off.

The basic formula for anyone to reduce hormonal shifts and maintain good health is to:

  • eat right for your body type 
  • sleep more soundly, and
  • get your exercise right.

If you’d like help to get control of your hormones and your habits, let’s have a quick conversation and see if we can help you get back your body, your energy and your health.

Click here to book a free 15 minute consultation

Got a question about managing stress or maintaining good habits? Put your question in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.

Melanie White

Melanie White

Chief Inspiration Coach

I'm a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.