Managing Perimenopause

The hormone changes in perimenopause can cause you to feel like everything has been turned upside down.  You can’t stay asleep, your mood can go from despair to rage in the blink of an eye, no matter how much you exercise or restrict your eating weight gain seems inevitable, and why is it so hot now?  It’s a challenging experience and as usual you’re expected to perform your daily tasks despite how you feel. 

There are ways to manage these major shifts more gracefully, and it just requires some new strategies with your lifestyle.  It is also important to discuss your symptoms with an MD who specializes in menopause care and/or is a member of the North American Menopause Society.  Supplementing very small doses of hormones can have a dramatic impact and may be important for bone, brain, and cardiovascular health as you age.  Regardless of whether your path includes HRT, the list below will help you manage the many symptoms and weight concerns that come with perimenopause.

  • Nutrition – Incorporate 1 gram of protein per pound of your ideal body weight.  If your goal weight is 150 pounds, then you should aim for 150grams protein each day.  Carbs and fats are still on the menu, but hitting that protein goal will naturally keep your blood sugar more steady and minimize cravings.
  • Exercise – Strength training and building muscle are by far more important at this stage for staying strong, protecting your bones, and preserving your metabolism.  Add weights to your workouts 3 times each week and put less focus on long cardio workouts.
  • Mood & Sleep – with hormone upheaval, in perimenopause our cortisol levels often get out of whack.  Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and adaptogens like ashwaghanda and tulsi can be very helpful for stress, mood, and sleep. 

Adding weights to your workout 3 times per week and aiming for 1 gram of protein per pound of your ideal body weight each day is a great strategy for beating the weight gain and keeping your bones and muscles strong for the next chapter of your long and healthy life! 

No matter what you weigh now, if your ideal weight is 150 pounds, you will plan to eat 150 grams of protein each day.  This means you need to be intentional about your protein intake and plan ahead.  Think about your breakfast and lunch in terms of protein so that you are meeting your daily goal.  Here are some examples of protein amounts for reference:



35 grams protein = 3 oz smoked salmon (19g) and 2 eggs (12g) on an English Muffin (4g)

37 grams = ½ block scrambled tofu (22g) and 2 turkey sausage links (11g) on Wheat toast (4g)

24 grams = ½ cup Greek Yogurt(14g) and ¼ cup high protein granola (10 g)


Lunch: (make a salad, bowl, or sandwich)

1 can tuna (41g)

Egg Salad 1 cup (18g)

Deli Meat 3 oz (15g)

1 slice cheese (6g)

Leftover taco meat salad, lean ground beef or ground turkey 5 oz (40g)

Tempeh 5 oz (28g)

Black beans ½ cup (8g)

½ block tofu (22g)



½ cup cottage cheese (12g)

Protein shake (25-30g)

12 almonds (3g)

2 Tbsp peanut butter (7g)

Beef or turkey jerky 1 serving (14g)

Hard boiled eggs each (6g)

Hummus 1/3 cup (5g)


At Triangle Acupuncture we see many women through the bumpy ride of perimenopause.  We're always here to help you through life's big transitions!

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