You may have heard time and time again that healthy weight loss is possible with a balanced diet, regular exercise, frequent hydration and a consistent sleep schedule. While this is true for many, you might find that supplementation and gut-healthy nutrients can assist you on your journey, helping boost your metabolism and promote smoother digestion. We checked in with doctors and health experts for 3 supplement suggestions if your goal is to lose weight healthily over 40.
Read on for tips and insight from Dr. Virginia Blackwell, MD, health and supplement expert at Eve Magazine, Jesse Feder, RDN, CPT, registered dietitian, nutritionist and personal trainer at My Crohns and Colitis Team, Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, and Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet.
Taking digestive enzymes before meals, Blackwell explains, can help “break down food and promote better digestion and nutrient absorption.” These are particularly beneficial, she adds, for those “dealing with digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Candida.” Additionally, she notes that they help in weight loss by “speeding up the digestion process and helping your body absorb nutrients more efficiently.” Best agrees, and says that some bloating is due to a “lack of certain enzymes necessary for the body to process and digest specific carbohydrates.” When the digestive process slows down, she warns that one’s metabolism can take a hit as well.
There are many forms of carbohydrates and even more enzymes needed in the digestion process. “If one or more of these enzymes are missing or lacking in your gut, like any of those needed to digestion the Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols (FODMAP) carbohydrates, you can experience gas and bloating,” she says. Some foods causing this include “garlic, artichokes, apples, mango, prunes, cauliflower, and most gluten-containing products,” Best continues. If you cannot reduce or avoid these foods, she stresses that “supplementing with their enzymes may be helpful.” By adding these enzymes into your supplement regimen, Best says you may find that your bloating and weight both decrease simultaneously.
For those who experience “consistent stomach issues,” Feder recommends probiotics, as they have been “shown to rebalance your gut microbiome to improve digestion, nutrient absorption, metabolism, and energy levels.” Richards agrees, and explains that probiotics are available in supplement form through various methods and contain many of these same beneficial bacteria that “naturally occur, live, and even thrive in the body of healthy individuals.” There are a myriad of products available containing a wide range of different bacterial strains, she suggests, “it is ideal to select the specific strain you need to address your unique situation.”
Chronic inflammation and gut dysbiosis can lead to issues with weight loss. When the body is in an inflammatory state or the gut isn’t balanced with good bacteria, Richards points out that this slows down many body processes, including metabolism. Inflammation can also lead to inaccurate numbers on the scale, and Richards adds that “reducing refined carbohydrates in the diet, even those found in healthy processed foods, can help to mitigate symptoms of chronic inflammation and weight loss issues.” With that said, she says “Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Gasseri and Bifidobacterium infantis are three probiotic strains” shown to most effectively help with weight loss.
In conclusion, Blackwell offers slippery elm as another gut-healthy supplement you can take over 40 (or any age really) to promote smoother digestion and a consistent metabolism. “A great all-natural laxative and anti-inflammatory, slippery elm is an excellent supplement to help relieve constipation and promote healthy digestion,” she recommends.
Blackwell concludes that it has a “high content of water-soluble fiber that can help regulate blood sugar levels, promotes bowel regularity, and aid in weight loss by reducing appetite.” Noted!
Author: Marissa Matozzo
Marissa is a Brooklyn-based culture journalist and staff writer at SheFinds, covering edgy celebrity style, timeless beauty trends, lifestyle and entertainment news. Her coverage of indie music, NYC fashion, underground and pop culture is featured in PAPER Magazine, Paste Magazine, The Knockturnal, Bandsintown and more. You can reach her at [email protected]