Gaining Weight During Menopause? These Supplements Could Help

By Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

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When you were in your 20s and 30s, it may have seemed like you could eat whatever you wanted without gaining a single pound. It was wonderful to enjoy your favorite foods without looking bloated later on. Now that you’re approaching the age of menopause or you’re already going through it, you’ve probably noticed that it’s much harder to keep your weight under control. This isn’t necessarily a reflection of your diet or lifestyle changes. Rather, you have some pretty substantial fluctuations in hormone levels going on.

Understanding what’s going on with your body can help you make some necessary changes during the period of menopause. From weight gain to an unstable mood, there are different dietary choices and even supplements that you can use which will make menopause much easier to deal with.

In this article I’m going to talk to you about what’s causing this weight gain, how to find a menopause supplement, the different ingredients that are included in these products and I’ll even outline some product examples to get you started.

To make you feel confident you're reading a trustworthy article on this subject, we turned to an expert in the field - Dr. Alex Robles, a board-certified OBGYN and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist at Columbia University Medical College. We asked him a few important questions we thought everyone would benefit from. Let's begin!

What Makes a Woman Gain Weight During Menopause?

menopause weight gain

Of course, overeating, eating the wrong foods and not participating in exercise can make a big difference in your weight. However, menopause brings its own challenges that can affect how many pounds you’re putting on. 

According to Dr. Alex Robles,

"There are a variety of reasons why weight gain might occur during menopause. Although it's not entirely clear, it may be due to a combination of factors, such as:

Decreased levels of estrogen and testosterone

Although testosterone production doesn't decrease as much as estrogen production during menopause, this hormonal change can lead to a reduction in muscle mass, and an increase in fat mass.

Hormonally speaking, there is a substantial drop in estrogen during menopause. This shift often causes fat to redistribute itself around the middle section, rather than being dispersed all over the body. This often makes a woman feel like she’s gained a lot of weight, though the number on the scale doesn’t change much.

Increase in cortisol

One of the stress hormones, cortisol, also increases during menopause. Cortisol is known to promote weight gain, particularly around the abdomen, and insulin resistance.

If you’re stressed out about things going on in our life, this will increase the production of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is already higher leading up to menopause, so adding more to your plate isn’t ideal. This hormone tells your body that you should be storing calories instead of burning them off. The more stressed that you are, the more weight you may gain during menopause.

Slower metabolism

As women age, their metabolism tends to slow down. This means that they burn fewer calories than they did when they were younger.

A slowing of metabolism will also occur during this time, making women lose some of their muscle mass. This shift allows more fat to be present than muscle. Insulin resistance can be another reason fat accumulation occurs during menopause. Not only will the body becoming desensitized to removing sugar from the body make you gain weight, but it can also put you at risk of developing diabetes.

Sedentary lifestyle

Furthermore, as women age, they tend to become less active, which can also contribute to weight gain."

Finding the Right Supplements: Key Ingredients That Support Hormonal Weight Gain

doctor helping woman menopause

Dr. Alex Robles weighed in on what ingredients to look for in a menopause supplement if you're experiencing weight gain. Here's what he had to say,

"Unfortunately, there is no convincing evidence of any special ingredients in supplements that can help with weight gain during menopause. However, regular exercise coupled with a healthy diet is still important for maintaining a healthy weight."

That being said, there are still ingredients out there that have been clinically studied and could potentially help with menopausal weight gain.

But, with so many different menopause supplements on the market, how can you tell which one is going to be most effective for your situation? I recommend starting your search by looking at the key ingredients in a supplement. Allow me to break down some of the most commonly used ingredients in natural menopause supplements.

Chasteberry

Chasteberry is a fruit that comes from the chaste tree, located in the subtropical regions of Asia and the West. This fruit has been used for centuries, from everything to lowering a man’s libido to balancing a woman’s reproductive system. Even the most raging hormones can be calmed with the regular use of chasteberry. Not only does it work well during menopause, but it can help other menstrual symptoms at different parts of a woman’s life as well.

Chasteberry works primarily by balancing the production of prolactin and progesterone. When these two hormones are out of balance, it can cause all kinds of symptoms like weight gain, mood disturbances, sleep issues and more. Chasteberry will stimulate the production of lutein in the pituitary gland, also balancing progesterone and estrogen.

Probiotic Strain L.Gasseri

L. gasseri, also known as Lactobacillus gasseri, is an important probiotic strain that women can use for the purpose of losing weight during menopause. When taken early on enough, it can actually prevent weight gain from occurring. L. Gasseri has a close relationship with the production of leptin, which regulates how much food you’re consuming each day. Adding this beneficial bacterium in your gut microbiome can aid in digestion, prevent fat accumulation, decrease bloating and much more.

Probiotic Strain B.Breve

B. Breve, also known as Bifidobacterium breve, is extremely important when it comes to balancing your blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar is all out of whack, this leads to unhealthy eating patterns that can make you gain weight. This situation can also make you feel more bloated and gassier, which tends to make a woman feel larger and heavier. B. Breve naturally occurs in the intestines, but often it’s not present in large enough quantities. This will slow down your metabolism and make it harder to burn calories.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that is native to Asia and Africa. It’s often used for medicinal purposes because it’s what we call an adaptogen. This means it will help the body cope with various stressors. It can assist with increasing your energy levels, reducing inflammation, alleviating chronic pain and reducing menopausal anxiety.

Menopause results in a slowing of your metabolism, and you will inevitably gain some weight. When you supplement with Ashwagandha, this can increase the conversion of T4 hormone in the body to active T3. These two hormones are incredibly important when it comes to boosting metabolism.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a flowering plant that is native to North America. Also referred to as black snakeroot or baneberry, black cohosh has been used for centuries as a women’s health supplement. The roots and flowers are typically what are used for medicinal purposes, and they can help with things like fertility, hormones that are out of balance and other symptoms associated with menopause (such as weight gain). Black cohosh functions as phytoestrogen, which is a plant-based compound that duplicates the actions of estrogen.

Medical Disclaimer

For your health and safety, be sure to always consult your doctor or medical professional before taking any supplement.

The Best Menopause Weight Gain Supplements

My goal is to provide you with information that makes it easy to find a menopause supplement that will help you lose weight. In addition to the ingredients I just talked about, I want to outline some specific products that you should consider.

provitalize woman weight loss

Provitalize Probiotics are based off of years of research focused on helping women find natural menopause relief. A few different bacterial strains are included in this product, along with other holistic and plant-based extracts. Created by the Better Body Company, Provitalize can assist with things like hot flashes, night sweats, bloating and weight gain. It helps balance your hormones from the inside out without the need for hormone therapies that can come with all kinds of dangerous side effects like blood clots and spikes in blood pressure.

Pros

  • Assists with maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Maintains a natural hormone balance
  • Provides relief from night sweats and hot flashes
  • Reduces belly bloat
  • Made with safe and natural ingredients such as probiotics

Cons

  • Just like every product, Provitalize doesn't work for everybody, there are a lot of mixed reviews
opositiv meno woman weight loss

OPositiv MENO (review) is a natural menopause relief product that is formulated using natural ingredients like black cohosh extract, chasteberry, ashwagandha and vitamins D3 and B6. Clinical studies have determined that OPositiv has the potential to provide fast and effective relief for things like weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, sleeplessness and mood swings. Two capsules are the recommended dosage, and regular administration can help you balance your hormones and achieve relief from the symptoms of menopause.

Pros

  • Free of synthetic hormones
  • Safe for vegans
  • Clinical studies confirm proven results
  • Addresses multiple symptoms associated with menopause

Cons

  • It’s a pretty simple formulation. There are probably some other effective ingredients that would be beneficial, but something basic might be what you’re looking for.
giddy health menopause support

During this significant point of change in your life, Giddy Health Menopause Support can help bring your estrogen levels back to a normal point, so your symptoms decrease. Formulated using Panax ginseng, pueraria mirifica and black cohosh, Giddy Health Menopause Support can ease symptoms associated with painful menstruation, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, bloating and unpleasant mood. Made in a state-of-the-art laboratory, Giddy Health Menopause Support provides a sustained release of nutrients for optimal relief. Third-party testing is used for purity and safety purposes.

Pros

  • Based on natural ingredients
  • Hormone free
  • Reduces menopause symptoms
  • Improves markers of menopause
  • Increases nutrient absorption

Cons

  • The size of the capsules is pretty large. Some people might have trouble swallowing them.
holding semaine menopause essentials

Semaine Menopause Essentials is a supplement that can be used as you’re just starting to experience symptoms of menopause, or if you’re right in the middle of everything and not feeling your best. Innovative science has been used by Semaine to come up with this formulation which includes bergamot phytosome, red clover and olive fruit. One pill daily is all it takes, and you can expect to see some sort of change in symptoms after about one to two weeks. Though, most people see the biggest change after two to three months.

Pros

  • Relieves hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain and anxiety
  • Plant-based, hormone-free supplement
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Ideal for women in their late 40s to 50s
  • Free from all major allergens

Cons

  • It can take a few months to see a substantial change in your symptoms
menopause complete- nested naturals

The natural composition of Nested Naturals Menopause Complete allows you to achieve effective relief from some of the most commonly experienced symptoms related to fluctuating hormones during the time period of a woman’s life when she’s pre-menopausal and menopausal. Ingredients such as black cohosh and angelica root reduce hot flashes, weight gain and trouble sleeping. Milk thistle supports liver function during menopause. Chamomile very gently helps you relax and ensures that you get a good night’s sleep.

Pros

  • Balances hormones
  • Relieves hot flashes
  • Reduces weight gain related to menopause
  • Support for women in perimenopause and menopause
  • Relaxes you and allows you to sleep better

Cons

  • You may find that this product relaxes you a great deal, so it might be necessary to take it later in the day.
weight management menopause - estroven

This menopause supplement from Estroven is excellent because it is designed specifically with weight management in mind. It contains the clinically proven CQR-300, which is beneficial for keeping your weight at a healthy level in addition to preventing hot flashes and night sweats. By supporting metabolic health and serotonin balance, Estroven Menopause Weight Management is very affordable and accessible. It’s just one of the many menopause-based products that Estroven offers.

Pros

  • Made with weight management in mind
  • Offers relief from other symptoms of menopause as well (Night sweats, hot flashes)
  • Estrogen and hormone free
  • Balances serotonin levels naturally
  • Helps you combat excessive hunger

Cons

  • Be mindful of your symptoms when you start this product because of the effects it has on serotonin. If you’re prone to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, you want to make sure that you don’t feel worse with this supplement.
womanness - menopause

This potent menopause support product by Womanness is formulated using clinically tested ingredients including Pycnogenol, Bacognize and the adaptogen ashwagandha. Me. No. Pause is a doctor-supported product that can address symptoms associated with menopause such as night sweats, hot flashes, difficulty with memory, weight gain, low mood and much more. There’s nothing artificial in this product, and it doesn’t contain estrogen, phytoestrogen or other added hormones.

Pros

  • Tackles tough symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, memory and mood
  • Safe from major allergens
  • Non-hormone based
  • Contains safe and effective ingredients
  • Helps you better handle stress
  • Affects your libido in a positive manner

Cons

  • Minimal formulation

Can A Menopause Supplement Help with Weight Gain?

If you read through some of the product reviews that are listed on the websites of these products, you’ll find that a lot of women have been able to address their menopause weight gain with natural ingredients. Unfortunately, even the healthiest lifestyle can’t prevent every woman from experiencing these changes. You can use a menopause supplement to help with weight gain but also provide relief from some of the other common symptoms like poor temperature control, slow metabolism, anxiety, fluctuations in mood, etc.

Conclusion

Hormones are a tricky thing to deal with, especially when you’re approaching menopause or are right in the thick of it. When your hormones aren’t balanced properly, this can wreak havoc on so many aspects of your life. You don’t have to suffer through menopause. You also don’t have to turn to hormone-based therapies for assistance. Natural and plant-based relief is available through some of the products that I’ve talked about in this article. There are also plenty more that you can consider. Just make sure that you do your research to ensure you’re purchasing the best product possible.

About the author 

Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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