When it comes to growing older, sadly, there aren’t too many redeeming factors associated with the aging process, and it can quite literally feel as if our bodies are deteriorating and breaking down right before our eyes. Our skin sags and becomes wrinkled, our hair turns grey, our bones and joints ache, we have less energy, and sadly, we find it even harder to lose weight, and much easier to gain it. This is especially frustrating as losing weight when you’re in your absolute prime, can feel like quite a challenge in itself, and is one of the main reasons why men and women all over the world are constantly waging a near never-ending battle with their own bodies in an attempt to lose weight and get fit and healthy. Just to add insult to injury, genetically speaking, women find it even tougher to lose weight than men, which is why so many women all over the globe find themselves struggling to drop those excess pounds in a bid to look and feel healthier and slimmer. As they grow older, women really have an uphill struggle on their hands due largely to the fact that once they go through what is known as the Menopause, losing weight will become even tougher. If you’re going through the menopause and are struggling to keep your weight in check, or to drop some stubborn pounds, you may wish to consider using supplements to really help you take things to the next level and kick-start the weight loss process. Here’s a more in-depth look at the menopause, healthy menopausal weight loss, and a few of the most effective weight loss supplements for women experiencing the menopause.
What is the menopause?
First off, before we read on, let’s first take a look at exactly what the menopause is. Put simply, the menopause is a process in which a woman’s menstruation cycles cease to be, thus ending menstruation. Generally the menopause kicks in at around age 45-50, although this is not the case for some people, as there are women in some rarer cases, who have gone through the menopause in their thirties, which is known as premature menopause. Sometimes known as “the change”, during the menopause, a woman’s ovaries will no longer produce an egg every month, so the woman will no longer have monthly periods, and will therefore be highly unlikely to fall pregnant.
What are the causes?
The main causes of the menopause are all down to natural changes in the body’s natural sex hormones. For example, during the build up to the menopause, which, by the way, is known as perimenopause, a woman’s natural oestrogen levels greatly decrease, which then causes the ovaries to fail to be able to produce an egg each month. Oestrogen regulates a woman’s period and is the dominant female sexual hormone, just as testosterone is the dominant male sex hormone. The menopause however, isn’t exactly a walk in the park as it causes a number of other very unpleasant side effects and symptoms, including: hot flushes, mood swings, dryness, night sweats, reduced metabolism, and an increased appetite. Those last two examples are especially frustrating for any woman trying to keep her weight under control, although to be honest, weight loss/management during the menopause in general, is tough for a number of reasons.
Weight loss during the menopause
As mentioned, losing weight, or simply trying to maintain your weight when going through the menopause is incredibly frustrating and difficult for a number of reasons. To begin with, due to the fact that the metabolism reduces so dramatically, not only will you have less energy and will therefore become less active, but you will also find it much tougher to burn calories, and much easier to gain weight. Then there is the increase in appetite, and finally, as your hormones will be all over the place, your mood and emotions will be as well, so if you’re feeling particularly emotional, the last thing you are going to want to do is work out in the gym and then tuck into a bland chicken salad. Despite this however, in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, experts recommend getting plenty of physical exercise, leading a healthy lifestyle, and following a healthy diet. When all of the above is put into place, women can then think about turning to specially created natural supplements to assist them with weight loss during the menopause.
The best natural supplements for weight loss during the menopause
If you happen to be finding it tough to lose weight and really want to kick things up a gear, here’s a look at some of the most effective weight loss supplements for women during the menopause:
Vitamin D is a very popular and very underutilized supplement when it comes to weight loss, and sadly, a great deal of individuals, menopausal or not, are often deficient in this very vitamin. Numerous studies have found that vitamin D can assist with fat loss by helping the cells within the body to listen to, and better respond to, insulin, thus increasing insulin sensitivity. Insulin shuttles glucose from the blood and into the cells to be used as energy. How does this affect body fat levels? Well, put simply, the more glucose that remains in your blood, the more will then be taken and converted into body fat being stored in your fat cells. This can cause chemical imbalanced which result in fat cells taking glucose sugar and converting it into fat. If more glucose is shuttled into your cells however, not only will there be less to be stored as fat, but you will also have more energy and will therefore be more active and will burn more calories. Vitamin D also assists with calcium absorption.
Calcium works in conjunction with vitamin D to assist with fat loss as it is stored within the body’s fat cells and can actually help force more fat out of the cells to be burned off as a primary source of energy. On top of that, as it binds to fat within the GI tract, less can be absorbed by the body.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Some women are hesitant to use omega 3 fatty acid supplements when they’re trying to lose weight, because they’re worried that the fats in the supplements will actually cause them to gain weight. This however, couldn’t be further from the truth. Omega 3 fatty acid supplements are incredibly healthy and beneficial when it comes to fat loss, due largely to the fact that they help to increase enzyme activity within the body. These fatty acids basically switch on enzymes which are responsible for burning body fat stored in fat cells. As well as that, as omega 3 fatty acids also promote happiness and boost the mood, this can help prevent comfort eating. The benefits don’t stop there however, as these supplements also increase Leptin production. Leptin is a hormone which communicates with the brain and tells it that the body is feeling full and doesn’t want any more food. The more leptin, the lower the appetite. There are also a whole host of other health benefits associated with omega 3 fatty acids, making them some of the healthiest supplements in the world.
People often think that whey protein should only be used by people trying to build muscle when in reality, studies have also found that whey protein supplements can be incredibly beneficial for weight loss as well. Protein for example, actually burns calories just by being digested, as it is what is known as a thermogenic compound. This means that it is tougher to digest and break down than the other macronutrients, and so the body is forced to work harder and burn off more calories just to digest it. This is beneficial for weight loss purposes as, not only do you burn more calories and therefore have more energy, but you also feel full for longer. On top of that, combining protein supplements with any form of physical exercise, can also help promote increases in lean muscle mass. Muscle requires more calories than fat, so again, the metabolism increases the more muscular an individual becomes.
CLA, or Conjugated Linoleic Acid, is another supplement that is ideal for fat loss, whether you happen to be going through the menopause or not. Again, CLA works by helping to increase insulin sensitivity and helping to shuttle more glucose into the cells. This means that the CLA is burned off as an immediate source of energy, instead of being stored as body fat. This increase in energy is ideal for physical exercise, and so obviously the more energy you have, the more active you become, and the more calories you can burn in the gym.