Probiotics and Weight Loss During Menopause
During menopause, your body goes through a lot of hormonal changes. These shifts bring about several symptoms such as weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, and brain fog. Many women in menopause struggle with weight gain because it makes them feel less confident and lowers their body image. But, studies on weight and probiotics tell us that a solution to menopausal weight gain is closer than we think.
Weight gain in menopause is not just the result of your shifting hormones. Instead, it is a combination of that factor with your diet and style of life in general. Your genetics, aging, and habits you created all impact your weight gain as you get older. Muscle mass lowers, metabolism slows down, and the amount of fat increases. So, if you keep the same diet and exercise habits as you had before, you are not very likely to lose that stubborn fat.
Hot to Aid Weight Loss with Diet and Exercise
Your style of life has a significant impact on your health. If you sit for long periods, eat unhealthy food, and do not get enough sleep, you will find it hard to lose weight. But bad habits combined during menopause will prove to be even harder to burn off the extra pounds. While you can use probiotics to aid weight loss, there are also changes in your diet and exercise habits that will be very effective.
Work Out the Right Way
You surely know that exercise is always good for your health and especially for weight loss. The more active you stay in menopause, the less likely you are to have problems with managing your weight. Apart from weight loss, working out in menopause could help prevent osteoporosis, improve your immune system, strengthen your muscles and joints, and lower your risk of heart disease.
What if you exercise and still cannot do anything about your weight gain? Maybe the exercises you are doing are not the right exercises for balancing your weight. Try strength training, aerobics, cycling, swimming, jogging, and other activities that keep you moving. Strength training like gym machines, dumbbells, barbells, and yoga can help you preserve and build muscle.
Make sure always to warm up before and cool down after the exercise. This way, you will avoid injuries, which is especially relevant after menopause. Work your body, but do not overdo it. If there are any painful exercises, skip it and continue with lower intensity training before trying something more challenging.
Change Up Your Diet
Instead of not eating in the hope that the fat will just melt from calorie restriction alone, think about adding the foods that naturally help you lose weight. Eat more proteins, because your body will need more energy to use them, and they are also the building blocks for your muscles. Also, try to add healthy fats to your diet. Those include foods like salmon, olive oil, avocados, flaxseed, walnuts, and tuna.
Give up smoking and lower your alcohol intake because those factors can make you gain weight faster. Apart from that, consider checking the glycemic index of the foods you eat and choose those low on the scale. Think about adding apples, beans, sweet potatoes, cherries, oats, and oranges to keep your blood sugar in check.
Among foods you should avoid at all costs are those with a lot of sugar, fat, trans fats, and generally the foods that are processed. Remove such foods as white bread and pasta, cakes, donuts, pastries, cold cuts, and foods with added oils and sugars. Clean up your diet and see results very fast.
Using Probiotics for Weight Loss
Gut microflora plays an essential role in regulating your weight. If the flora is out of balance, it affects metabolism and creates an imbalance between the energy you consume and the energy you use up (1). As a result of this, you gain weight. And it is not just any weight; it is that stubborn fat around your belly that does not come off so easily. But, it is good to know that improving your gut microflora would help you lose weight more effectively than diet or exercise alone.
Another study has shown that probiotics could prevent obesity by improving the integrity of your gut and restoring the balance in gut microflora (2). A striking feature of obesity, especially in menopause, is gut microflora being thrown entirely out of balance. Solutions to obesity through surgery or meds can bring unwanted side effects, but getting to the core of the problem with probiotics seems to help without causing adverse reactions.
There is an important reason why you should use probiotics, seeing that they help regulate weight after menopause. Many obese women of this age have an increased risk of heart disease (3). This study has found that using a probiotic supplement containing several species of bacteria was very helpful for preventing heart disease in obese menopausal women. Apart from that, probiotics work on several levels and address the root of the problem instead of the symptom itself.
Where to Get Probiotics for Weight Loss
Probiotics are the friendly bacteria you can find in live yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, miso, kombucha, and tempeh. If you eat these foods often, that is great, because you are feeding your gut with good bacteria regularly. That is what you need to support the healthy microflora in your gut. But if you feel that you need more probiotics, try using a supplement.
(1) Nazarii Kobyliak et al. “Probiotics in prevention and treatment of obesity: a critical view.”
(2) Kiran Mazloom, Imran Siddiqi, and Mihai Covasa. “Probiotics: How Effective Are They in the Fight against Obesity?”
(3) M. Szulinska et al. “Dose-Dependent Effects of Multispecies Probiotic Supplementation on the Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) Level and Cardiometabolic Profile in Obese Postmenopausal Women: A 12-Week Randomized Clinical Trial.”