Are you worried about the effect going through the perimenopause or the menopause will have on your weight loss? Research shows that, with the help of our eating plan, expert advice and unbeatable support, you can achieve and maintain your target weight, while managing your symptoms.
We recently surveyed 2,472 members who were either going through the perimenopause or who had already experienced the menopause, and found that 79% had successfully lost weight with Slimming World during that time.*
One of those members is Sue Sykes, who joined Slimming World after struggling with her menopause symptoms. Sue says:
I started going through the menopause at 49. The main symptom for me was hot flushes – I was getting up to 20 a day. They’d come on so suddenly, starting in my chest and quickly rising up, until it felt as though sweat was literally dripping off my face! I’d get night sweats in bed each evening, too. I don’t think the fact I weighed more than 20st helped, as I would overheat so quickly anyway. On top of that, I’d started experiencing mood swings and I felt permanently sluggish – so much so that every afternoon I’d want to reach for a sugar fix.
I’d known for a long time that I needed to do something about my weight. I was on medication for my blood pressure and, as well as being checked out for heart issues, I was advised that I was at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Then, in October 2016, I went to see my doctor about the hot flushes. She explained that if I slimmed down, a lot of the menopause symptoms I was experiencing might improve. She also told me that she couldn’t prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) until I lost weight. At the time, I was mortified at being told that so directly. On reflection, though, it was what I needed to hear.
I’d started putting weight on in my late 20s, and I had attempted to slim down in the past, but nothing I tried ever seemed to stick. Now, though, I was intent on making a change, and I knew that meant doing things differently. I found a local Slimming World group on a day that worked for me and went along, not knowing quite what to expect… and was stunned when I lost 9lbs in the first week! It was a real light-bulb moment, and it made me determined that, this time, I’d lose the weight and keep it off.
A year later, I’d lost 4st 8lbs and I was already getting fewer hot flushes. Before I started Food Optimising, I used to eat quite a lot of unhealthy junk food. By 2017, though, I preferred the meals I’d cooked from scratch to takeaways, and the flexibility of the Slimming World plan meant I could make smart swaps and still enjoy all the dishes I loved.
In the past, I barely did any activity at all. After hearing about Body Magic (Slimming World’s physical activity support programme), in group, though, I felt ready to change that. I live by the sea, so I decided to give paddle-boarding a go, and I instantly loved it. These days, getting out on the water is an important part of my weekly routine; I’ve even met a whole new group of friends through it. I’m sure my three Scottish terriers are glad I’m fitter, too! We used to go on the quickest, shortest walks possible – now I love taking them on long strolls along the beach.
I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved. I feel like I wasted so much time while I was overweight, and losing both my parents in recent years has made me realise how short and precious life is. I still have the occasional hot flush, but my menopause symptoms are so much better and I have loads more energy. Now, my main ambition is to enjoy my healthier, more active lifestyle and fully embrace the new me!
Sadie Kerslake-Smith is Sue’s Consultant, and she runs the Moordown Slimming World group in Bournemouth. She says: ‘Sue is such an inspiration – to me and to the other members. Even though she’s achieved her dream weight, she still comes to group every week as a target member** to share advice and tips. Knowing that Sue’s lost 9st while going through the menopause is so encouraging, and I know it reassures other members who are approaching that stage in their lives. Sue’s smile says it all – she radiates happiness and I feel blessed to have played a small part in making her shine that little bit brighter!’
Sue’s day on a plate
Thick white toast spread with butter and either jam, marmalade or chocolate spread.
Overnight oats made with fat-free yogurt and topped with Speed Free Food fruit, or an on-plan air fryer cooked breakfast, with lean bacon (visible fat removed), Slimming World Pork Sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and poached eggs.
Shop-bought sandwiches, crisps and two chocolate bars.
A big, colourful smoked salmon salad, sprinkled with Healthy Extra ‘b’ seeds and a Free or low-Syn dressing.
Fish and chips from the chippy or takeaway pizza, followed by ice cream or a sharing-size bar of chocolate.
A filling Food Optimising dish like chargrilled chicken with new potatoes and green beans, or a frozen Slimming World meal (see the food range page for stockists), with a bowl of berries covered in fat-free Greek yogurt for afters.
Biscuits, cakes, cookies or pastries.
Fruit and low-Syn cereal bars.
Weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.
*Data collated in September 2023, from an online poll of 2,472 Slimming World members who were either experiencing the perimenopause or who had already gone through the menopause.
**Slimming World members who achieve their target weight and stay within 3lbs of this agreed weight are offered free maintenance sessions.