The dread of many women when trying to look great in a sleeveless dress or shirt: bingo wings. They’re the flabby bits that hang from the bottom of your upper arm.


I watch women at the gym working hard to erase these wings, trying every trick in the personal trainer’s kit to get rid of the tell-tale flab. Here’s the thing your personal trainer won’t tell you (because the odds are good that he doesn’t know!): bingo wings are not caused through lack of muscle or laziness or poor gym discipline.

Bingo wings are a symptom of low progesterone.

This hormone decreases from about the age of 35 as we start the trek through peri-menopause heading towards menopause aged around 50.

During the peri and post menopausal years, our adrenals steal progesterone to help us deal with life’s stresses.

The lower your progesterone, the higher your oestrogen.

When this is out of balance, that’s when women experience things like PMT, hot flushes, weight gain (especially around the abdomen and hips), night sweats, moodiness, insomnia, depression, and so on. Oestrogen likes fat, and the litter rotter creates more fat. Oestrogen is like an out-of-control kid in a candy store ~ it just takes more and more and more. Unless you can get your progesterone levels to a healthy level, then oestrogen will dominate your hormones and keep progesterone hiding in the corner.

No matter how many upper-arm exercises you do, you won’t see results (that is, flab gone) until your hormones are balanced. This doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t build muscle or create a better tone, but don’t expect miracles to happen just because you’re paying a PT £30 a week or more. Bingo wings are a hormonal issue, not a personal training one.