Why do women gain weight during perimenopause?

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Weight Gain During Perimenopause

Have you gained weight during perimenopause? I have.

I have been perimenopausal for the last few months. Along with changes to my menstrual cycle, the biggest change that I have noticed is weight gain around the tummy. My tummy seems to be slowly getting bigger and bigger!

I have tried to ignore it, as usually when I gain weight, I just tend to then lose it. But this time, it has been so difficult to shift.

So, I have been asking myself, ‘What has made me put on weight?’, and ‘What can I do about it?’ Here is what I have found.

Why have I gained weight?

Weight gain during midlife is common.

The reasons why we may gain weight are due partly to aging and partly to reduced levels of oestrogen.

Weight gain due to aging may be due to lifestyle changes such as more sitting and less physical activity. Muscle mass reduces as we get older and so we burn fewer calories both at rest and during exercise.

Menopause contributes to weight gain due to a decline in oestrogen and fat forms around the middle.

Before menopause, oestrogen deposits fat in the hips, thighs, and bottom. During and after menopause, the drop in oestrogen, leads to an increase in body fat, especially around the midriff.

The US National Institute of Health has published an article discussing the science behind reduced levels of Oestrogen leading to increased weight.

How to Control Weight During Perimenopause?


At least 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity exercise should start to make a difference.

I take the dog for a walk every day. Sometimes it is a long walk and sometimes a short walk but I always try to make sure it is brisk. Using the pedometer on my phone I usually walk around 5000 steps a day. I am going to try to get this up to 7000 steps a day. I would like to get it up to 10,000 steps a day but that is a lot of walking which takes up a lot of time! Small steps are going to be much better to get to an end goal than just having one big goal that is a big leap from where I am now.

I also do strength and flexibility training. I have been doing yoga on a daily basis and pilates once a week.

My upper body is not strong so I am going to start to build in a short arm strengthening routine. This is the routine that I am going to start with.

But exercise alone is unlikely to shift the extra padding around the middle.

Changes to Diet

I would say that my diet is generally quite good. But I am asking myself, “How can it be improved?”

What comes to mind is:

- to eat smaller portions during lunch and dinner

- I love carbs but I need to reduce these.

  • Over the last year, I have reduced the amount of bread (that I love). After a couple of weeks, I found that I wasn’t craving it as much.

  • My breakfast contains a lot of carbs. I am changing this to yogurt or fruit or even a very small bowl of porridge. Although porridge contains carbs it is much better than most cereals or toast.

  • Have much smaller portions of rice

  • Make sure at least half of my plate consists of vegetables or salad

I have to work a little harder to prevent myself from an enlarging waistline, and my goal is to try to reduce this enlarged waistline now!

There are other reasons why women may have a larger waistline during the perimenopause years, such as lack of sleep and stress. Stress results in high levels of cortisol. High cortisol levels can lead to increased weight.

I have put together a plan for myself. I don't want it to feel like a chore or that I am on a diet. I am aiming for a healthy lifestyle slight modification.

Homeopathy and perimenopause

Female hormonal homeopathic remedies for perimenopausal symptoms include Sepia, Pulsatilla, Lachesis, and Folliculinum.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine details the success of homeopathic treatments for perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms.

Here is more information about homeopathy and menopausal symptoms. I have also written a number of posts about menopause that may be of interest to you.

To obtain a 'Menopause Relief Naturally' guide, download here.


Is homeopathy for you?

Homeopathy is used all over the world for so many health issues, including menopausal issues. Whether you have a big health issue that is stopping you from getting on with your life, or niggly health 'annoyances', feel free to contact me if you think I may be able to help.

Next steps

If you would like to speak to me about how homeopathy may help with menopausal issues I offer a free 30 minute discovery call. During this call, we talk about you, your symptoms, and how they are affecting you. I will ask you some questions to see if homeopathy may be beneficial to you.

I am always happy to hear from you.

Naziana x

Homeopath for Women's Health offering Homeopathy for Menopause