Is the heater up too high? Do I need take off yet another layer of clothing? Maybe an ice-cold bath with an even colder drink nearby will do the trick?

It’s those hot flushes. They creep up from some internal furnace and, within seconds, engulf the whole body with heat. If polite, it could be described as a glow but for most women menopause is anything but polite. It’s unpleasant at best, debilitating at worst.

No one wants to be covered in perspiration in the middle of an important business meeting. It’s uncomfortable and awkward.

But like many issues relating to health, it’s not your destiny to suffer through menopause. In fact if your overall health is strong, menopause should be nothing but a slight glitch that may not even be noticeable.

While we all know spicy food, caffeine and sugar will irritate hot flushes, the best thing you can do to reduce them or maybe even avoid them altogether is to eat a balanced diet, get your visceral fat (the fat that gathers around your middle, surrounding your internal organs) below a score of 10, the symptoms are so minimal, you’ll hardly notice it at all.

Stored fat has an enormous effect on our hormones so the more body fat you store, the higher your insulin levels will climb and the more you’ll suffer hormonal issues. So those trans fats, sugars and processed foods will have a huge impact on any menopausal symptoms because it’s aggravating the endocrine (hormonal) system.

Instead, make sure you’re eating plenty of Omega 3 fats, avoiding refined carbohydrates, drinking plenty of water and getting good quality sleep.

Also, don’t assume that mid-life means extra middle layers. Menopause just happens to coincide with a time in women’s lives when they’re probably less active, losing muscle tissue, not sleeping well, maybe drinking more alcohol and become more insulin resistant.

That’s the cause of the weight gain, not hormonal imbalance. It’s not HRT either. If anything, HRT should help because it’s restoring your hormones to a more youthful level so you’re less likely to gain weight around the middle and have a more male distribution of body fat.

I can honestly say I look the same now as I did when I was pre-menopausal. The only difference is that if I don’t train, I lose muscle more quickly and it takes longer to restore so I’m just more consistent.