Life brings about a heap of changes, both externally and internally (and oh boy, don't we know it?!) shaping who we are, how we see the world and importantly, how we see ourselves in that world.

Perimenopause is a hugely transformative time, a phase that signals a transition towards menopause (a point in time when you haven't had a period for 1 year), marked not just by hormonal shifts but also by changes in our bodies, including weight.

The conversation around weight gain during perimenopause is often shrouded in myths and misconceptions, leaving many to wonder: Is weight gain truly uncontrollable during this time? The answer is of course not straightforward, and understanding the whys and hows can empower us to approach this natural transition with compassion, care and acceptance.

The Whys Behind Weight Gain in Perimenopause

Perimenopause is characterised by fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, which can affect the body in myriad ways. One of the most common experiences is a change in weight distribution and metabolism. As estrogen levels decrease, women might notice an increase in abdominal fat. This isn't merely a cosmetic concern but also a health consideration, as it can be associated with higher risks for cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance.

Moreover, the aging process itself can contribute to weight gain. With age, our metabolism tends to slow down, meaning we burn fewer calories at rest than we did in our younger years. Muscle mass also naturally decreases with age, and since muscle burns more calories than fat, this can further slow metabolism.

Find out how to improve metabolism during perimenopause here.

Acceptance and Nurture

Acknowledging these changes in our bodies requires a bit of acceptance and alot of compassion. It's crucial to recognise that weight gain during perimenopause is not a failure or a sign of losing control (which we know is so hard when we live in a world that bangs on relentlessly about how we - URGH!) . Instead, it's a signal from our bodies that we are evolving, just as we have at other significant life stages such as puberty or pregnancy.

Embracing body positivity during this time means celebrating what our bodies can do (and has done for us in the past - have a think about that for a moment - it's incredible!) and respecting the journey we're on. It's about shifting the focus from weight control to wellness, energy, feelings of vitality and health. This holistic approach doesn't just consider the physical aspects of health but also our emotional and mental well-being.

Supporting Ourselves Through Perimenopause with Nourishment, Hydration, and Movement

It's true we may not have complete control over the changes our poor ole bodies are going through, but we can support ourselves with nourishing food, adequate hydration, and regular physical activity - and you'll reap the benefits.

Here’s how:

  • Good Nourishment: Opt for a balanced diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean proteins. Foods high in fibre can help manage blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer. Incorporating phytoestrogens, found in soy products and flaxseeds, may also help balance hormones naturally.

    Our 14-day perimenopause nutrition plan will help you feel the whole SheBANG! again.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is crucial for maintaining energy levels and aiding digestion. Sometimes, our bodies can confuse thirst with hunger, so staying hydrated might also help manage food intake naturally (but also, tune in to your body: have a drink of water but be aware of what hunger feels like and be sure to nourish yourself when you need).

  • Daily Movement: Physical activity is key to managing weight, improving mood, and reducing stress. It doesn’t have to be high-intensity workouts—regular gentle walks, yoga, swimming, or any activity you enjoy can make a significant difference.

    Exercise also helps in maintaining muscle mass, which is vital for keeping our metabolism active. It’s not about going to the gym three times a week for 30 minutes, it’s about trying to incorporate daily incidental movement i.e. going for a morning walk, talking the stairs not the lift - that kind of thing.

  • Mental and Emotional Support: Acknowledging and addressing the emotional journey of perimenopause is just as important. Speaking to a healthcare provider, therapist, or joining communities (join the SheBANG! perisisterhood here) can provide insights and coping strategies. Meditation, mindfulness, and journaling are also excellent ways to navigate the emotional highs and lows of perimenopause.

Give Your Body and Mind the Best Possible Chance at Thriving Through Perimenopause

The key to navigating weight changes during perimenopause lies in embracing these transitions with kindness, compassion, care and patience. It's about creating a supportive environment for our bodies to thrive, acknowledging that health is multifaceted and extends beyond the scale (throw that scale away and instead ask: "How do I feel? How is my energy level?".

While we might not have total control over hormonal changes, our response to these changes can be empowering and have a positive impact on our experience of perimenopause.

In striving for health, remember to set realistic goals, celebrate small victories, and try to prioritise how you feel over appearance. The aim could be to foster a sense of well-being and vitality, understanding that our bodies are doing exactly what they're designed to do during this phase of life.


Weight gain during perimenopause can feel daunting, but it's a natural part of the body's evolution. By understanding the underlying causes and embracing this change with a positive mindset, we can support ourselves through nourishing foods, hydration, and regular physical activity. Remember, this transition is not just about physical changes but an opportunity to connect with ourselves on a deeper level, nurturing our bodies and minds with compassion and care. Let's celebrate our bodies for what they are and all they have been through, stepping into this new chapter with confidence, compassion and care.


March 30, 2024 — Angela Greely

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