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Does existing bodyfat get redistributed after starting HRT?

Penny Patton

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I'm just getting started on transitioning and have not started HRT yet. I'm overweight at 260lbs (I'm 5'9"). I intend to lose weight no matter what, but I'm curious how HRT will affect my existing body fat. I've seen videos suggesting HRT redistributes fat, but none of them are specific and clear about whether this affects existing body fat, or only new body fat. Will some of my belly move to my hips and chest? Or will my belly stay the same until I lose weight the old fashioned way? Which, again, I am working on now. I'm already getting more exercise, cut soda out of my diet, and have recently begun a new diet that seems promising. I also plan to join a gym. (Although, I don't want to be skinny, either. My ideal body shape is chubby and curvy.)

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4 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

I've seen videos suggesting HRT redistributes fat,


As with so much of our lives, "Your Mileage May Vary".  Generally speaking, you will have to lose what you can of the male fat shaping (14 years and I am still not rid of a beer belly that was too well earned.) but after it is gone, you have a chance of picking it back into more female patterns if you are careful.  Better than relying on the fat issue though is to get some good help on creating a wardrobe and style sense with flattering clothes.  The one reliable issue is that HRT will help you get a thin layer of fat just under your skin on face, arms and legs that makes your skin appear softer which is a feminine trait.  A good skin health regimen will help you out there if you stick to it. 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you so much VickySGV


If I'm understanding you I should expect that my existing body fat will remain right where it is and plan for that. So if my weight goal is around 180lbs as a woman and have a body shape similar to these lovely ladies:




 I should actually aim for below my ideal weight and then gain weight back so it ends up in the right spots?

Edited by Charlize
Images in underwear are not allowed by our rules. The removed image of a woman in bra and panties clearly violated that.
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Posting again because I just learned how to mention people in posts!


Thank you @VickySGV! See my reply above!


And while I'm at it, thank you for the responses to my other threads! I've only been here a day or so but I'm learning a lot from the community!

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My shape has changed somewhat (started HRT at age 58) even though I didn't lose or gain a ton of weight over the last year and a half.

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You definitely want to master your target weight/fitness prior to begining HRT. I started in the summer with 210 at 5'9, and went to a low-carb mostly meat/fish diet. TBH it was a wonderful switch although the now-X hates fish and grumbled constantly of me living on salmon/catfish/lobster. Life got better and I got down to 169 with the same 70 miles a week of biking to work that I've done for 20 yrs.

Having started an HRT program, the wieght has stabilized around 174 despite definite changes in composition. A lot squishier in places, in a good way and less muscle in places(also a good way). Like its nice to have a lot smaller pecs and shoulders even though I got boobs ;)    Losing weight now is not nearly as conventional like I have to do sit ups and more riding to get the same results, but interestingly the athletic activity is far more enjoyable due to flexibility in my joints.

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I have found fat distribution has happened over time and have also found that as i age and my ability to exercise declines i have to concern myself with weight gain as well.  As a person with a lifetime of doing physical work the loss of muscle mass, which burns calories at rest, has declined as well.  It is lovely to see the changes in fat distribution but i have to work at keeping the amount of fat down.  





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Thank you @RhondaS @SaraB amd @Charlize all so much!


Ok, so my plan then is to get to, or at least close to, my target weight before I begin HRT. Which is fine because I I hadn't planned to begin HRT until hair removal was underway anyways. Hair removal is my first priority unless anyone here or my therapist and doctor can offer advice that I should be focusing on other things first.


 I began trying to eat healthier a couple of months ago and added a diet plan to that which I've been able to maintain for 6 days now. I'm confident I can keep that going and maintain the healthier food choices once I've decided the diet has done what I set out to achieve. Basically, I'll be eating like my sister. She was lucky enough to be a woman from the start and she is rail thin due to starting good eating habits when still in high school. Wish me luck!

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@Penny Patton


I started simultaneously dieting and exercising regularly with my HRT regimen at the very start of my transition. I can’t tell you exactly what fat moved where but I can tell you that after almost 4 years of HRT, most of the muscle mass in my upper body toned down substantially. The only compensation in my upper body weight has been the added weight from my BA implants. My thighs and hips added a layer or two of fat. And interestingly, my calves became more slender although the back of my butt remained about the same. I know a few other trans woman in my area who had similar changes but to different degrees. It really is a crapshoot when it comes to body changes.


One thing that feels completely different now is how my body feels when running. It feels as though my overall center of gravity is much much lower now and I am not as fast as I once was despite being much lighter overall.


If these changes had occurred overnight it would’ve been very difficult to adjust. But everything happens so slowly that you get very used to it. It’s been very different experience but if I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.🙂


Susan R🌷

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I too noted the change in leg shape even this early. As a cyclist I have been monitoring a lot of metrics of sizes and performance and so far even though I have lost a bunch of size in a lot of places, like my knees interestingly, my agility has gone up as has my riding performance. Where I hadn't expected a positive change was my seat contact area actually has some padding now. That's a plus !

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