I experienced spontaneous weight gain without a shadow of a doubt when I started going through the peri-menopause.

I had lost 10kg 2 years previous, and kept it off, then suddenly wham! No change in activity or diet but the weight piled on with no explanation in completely different places to normal.

Lifestyle choices obviously make a huge difference to our health full stop. I don’t dispute that.

Moving regularly (aka exercise), food selections that suit YOU (can’t stress that enough) and beverage consumption that are in-keeping with you (otherwise you’re too stressed trying to drink gallons of water and therefore it defeats the object by causing high anxiety) ALL have an impact on general well-being.

But when the peri-menopause strikes and all other things being equal, your body mass changes and you don’t realise or understand how or why at the time.

I know this happens as I experienced it myself and have spoken to many, many women who found the same. We can’t all be sudden lazy farts who ate all the pies.

Any ‘health’ professional out there that tries to tell me it’s the food I was eating or the lack of exercise and those fabulous words ‘all you have to do is’ …  well you had better be prepared for a sharp right hook, with follow through and you will be on the floor and I’m telling you now if it’s the part of the cycle when I’m really grumpy the chances of you getting up are slim DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR.

If any helpful soul who is not now or has never been a 50 year old women in peri-menopause then zip it!

Putting all that to one side I did eventually find some steps to take, although quite slow but never the less effective that suited me, that has so far resulted in just over 12 months a 8Kg weight loss – or as I prefer to think of it ‘fat burn’.

How have I done this? Firstly I have taken stock of how I feel and when I feel stuff. Alsorts of stuff – state of mind, physical aches and pains, happy to grumpy moods, as much as I can note about myself I do.

I also register food types – whilst very a careful to stick with groups of foods I know I’m fine with I also note when I don’t and subsequently how I feel the next day and some time after.

I’ve noticed that sometimes the yucky effect is not instant it can be more compound over a few days or even weeks.

Secondly the type of movement. I researched the type of exercise that has shown to have an impact for menopausal women and strength training came up top. My choice was a tad extreme and I chose Aerial Fitness! I stuck with it even on days and weeks I really felt crap. I also trained privately for a while with an instructor to improve cardiovascular fitness and combined it with the aerial and that helped tremendously.

So, yes spontaneous weight gain is real during peri-menopause and in order to keep it off or get it off you need to change the way you move and maybe change some food types. For sure it’s nature not number of calories and it’s certainly not about exercising more, it’s the type of exercise that makes the difference.

At all times be mindful of you and how you feel. Don’t stick with something just because someone else told you to. Yes you need to commit to a system, but unless it feels right and you track your response and tweak things to get the results, you will just rinse and repeat the weight loss, weight gain cycle and not feel any better at the end of it.