Weight gain is one of the most common and dreaded menopause symptoms, affecting approximately 90% of women in their 40s and 50s. During perimenopause, declining estrogen levels affect the distribution of fat in the body, which - combined with the natural slowing of metabolism and loss of muscle tissue that occurs with aging - causes extra pounds to accumulate around the waist. Weight gain is most effectively prevented with a low-fat, high-fiber diet and plenty of exercise, but herbal supplements can help support and maximize the effect of a healthy lifestyle.
Guarana refers to the small brown seeds taken from the South American guarana plant. Seeds are powdered and compressed as supplements. Guarana has been hailed as a healthy alternative to diet pills, as it is an natural stimulant, helping to boost energy levels and reduce cravings between meals.
Hoodia is a flowering succulent plant native to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Historically, the stems were used to suppress appetite for weight loss, and today, the stem is used in supplementary form for much the same purpose. Although scientific studies on the effects of hoodia are limited, some reports confirm the herb as an appetite suppressant.
Drinking green tea or consuming green tea supplements can boost your metabolism to help counter age-related changes in metabolism. The flavonoids in green tea increase metabolism, and the herb's caffeine content helps to suppress appetite.
Bitter orange supplements may help prevent weight gain during menopause. The herb has been found to assist with weight loss by mildly increasing metabolic rate over time, which could improve the efficiency of the way your body burns calories.
There are doubts about the effectiveness of this South American berry in terms of its role in weight management. The berry was historically used to boost metabolism in traditional medicine, and some reports indicate it is indeed effective for this purpose. At the very least, acai is an excellent source of antioxidants and can have positive effects on overall health.
Doing what you can to prevent weight gain during menopause is advisable not only for self-confidence, but also for health; an unhealthy body mass index (BMI) puts a person at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. It's important to remember that while herbal supplements can help prevent weight gain, they should complement - rather than substitute for - a healthy diet and lifestyle.