ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Healthcare experts estimate 1.3 million women in America enter into menopause every year. The majority of women entering menopause will be between the ages of 48-52, according to the Office on Women’s Health.

Women’s bodies go through many changes with the onset of menopause. One of the most frustrating things may be weight management, said Dr. Mehmet Oz.

He said shifts in a women’s hormones can cause mood swings, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, or inability to lose weight easily.

“They (hormones) actually affect the amount of muscle you have in your body, and muscle is a metabolic furnace. It burns through all the calories that you consume and if you don’t have any muscle nothing’s consuming the calories, any calories you eat will put fat on,” Dr. Oz said in an interview with NEW10’s Mary Wilson.

These hormonal changes lead to increased belly fat which can also increase the risk for heart disease, colorectal or breast cancer, diabetes, and dementia. There are ways women can fight back, Dr. Oz explains, through a nutrient-rich diet, exercise, and hormone therapy.

“Eating food that’s just sugary without any nutrients in it will get your body looking for more food as soon as you finished eating,” he said.

The best thing women can do for themselves Dr. Oz said, is weight or resistance training two to three days a week for between 20-30 minutes.

“Lift things, your body, furniture, weights things that force you to keep your muscles strong because even with lower hormone levels the exercise will help you,” he said.

Another step women can take is talking to a healthcare provider about the benefits of hormone replacement therapy if they are having trouble managing menopause symptoms. Hormone replacement options include tablets, patches, gels, and implants.

“Most women who are having trouble with this ought to consider seeing a doctor,” Dr. Oz said. “A specialist in these hormone replacement therapies because they can be hugely beneficial.”