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How can I get skinny arms without building huge muscles? The answer to this question may surprise you, but don’t fret. This article contains everything you need to get skinny arms without getting bodybuilder biceps.

After reading you’ll have a firm understanding of how the body burns fat, how to burn fat on your arms, which exercises to use for lean arms, and the right foods to eat.

Burning arm fat

If you’re wondering how to lose arm fat, let us break this to you gently…

There is no way to target arms specifically with weight loss.

It would be lovely, wouldn’t it?

To exercise an area of your body and burn fat from that area at the same time.

This idea, called spot reduction, is quite prevalent.

But the sad truth is, it is a myth.

And here’s why…

Unlike toning muscle, where you can target specific areas, burning fat affects the whole body at once.

This is because of how your body uses fat:

Excess fat is stored around the body in bundles called triglycerides.

When your muscles need energy, they burn the fatty acids stored in these triglyceride deposits.

It may be tempting to think that a muscle uses fatty acids from its nearest triglyceride deposit…

But they don’t.

When you need energy, fatty acids are taken from triglyceride deposits all over the body. These enter the bloodstream, which is where the muscles get them from.

If you don’t believe us, several scientific studies have proved spot reduction wrong:

  • One study found that tennis players did not have less fat in their arms compared to other parts of their body (1). If spot reduction was true, tennis players would have much less fat in their arms, as they are used all the time.
  • Another study asked participants to train one leg, and one leg only. No difference in fat levels were found between their untrained leg, and their trained super-leg (2).
  • Participants in a third study did over 5,000 press-ups in a 27 day period, and again: no difference was found in fat ratio between the abdominal region and elsewhere (3). If spot reduction worked, their abdominals would have had much lower fat.

How to get skinny arms

Don’t be discouraged, though.

You can still burn fat from your arms,

But you’ll just have to deal with burning it on other areas of your body at the same time.

Combining fat burning exercise with exercises to tone your muscle will give you skinny arms that look great.

We’ll explore each aspect of the process in the next sections.

Exercises for toned arms

Now we know that you can’t target specific areas for weight loss, we have more exercise options to work with.

Cardiovascular exercise – or just cardio – is a favourite for fat burning.

It increases your daily energy burn, and is incredibly varied. It’s a good active habit to get into, and you can increase or decrease the intensity as you see fit.

You can back up cardio with high intensity training and exercises to tone your arm muscles for optimal results.

Cardio and weight loss

Cardio is a much more efficient calorie burner than reps. Any exercise that increases your heart rate can be considered cardio, so you’ve got a lot of options.

Things like:

  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Climbing
  • Rowing
  • Kickboxing
  • Skipping

And so on.

Depending where you are in terms of fitness you could look at a Couch to 5k, or something a bit more intense.

Apps like Nike Running Club are great at curating exercise routines for you based on your skill level and goals.

Your aim should be doing enough cardio each week to burn fat on your body. As you do this, you’ll notice all areas getting more trim, including your arms.

How to tone your arms without building muscle

We mentioned toning, too.

This is important for making sure your newly thinned arms look strong and toned.

And don’t worry: we’re not going to recommend exercises that give you big, beefy biceps.

It takes more work than you think to build huge arm muscles, and achieving bodybuilder physique requires special and intense exercise regimes.

Because of the oestrogen in your bloodstream (any men reading: this obviously doesn’t apply to you), it will be hard for you to ‘accidentally’ build large muscles.

Instead, you’re aiming for gently toned muscles to make your arms pop.

A study confirmed the beneficial relationship between cardio and resistance exercise: “resistance exercise can benefit dieters by helping to preserve lean mass and metabolic rate in the face of a persistently negative caloric balance” (4).

With that in mind, here are some resistance exercises for your arms:

1. Bicep curls

This will target your biceps.

Choose a weight that you can comfortably lift 15-20 times. You can use a milk bottle full of water, if you don’t have weights.

Hold the weight and let your arms hang by your sides. Your elbows should be straight, and your palms should be facing in.

Raise one arm slowly, turning it as you lift. At the top of your lift, your palm should be facing your bicep.

Lower your arm, then raise the opposite arm in the same way.

Aim for 15-20 raises per arm. This makes a full set.

Aim for three sets, with a minute break between each.

2. Tricep kickbacks

This will target your triceps.

Choose weights with the same criteria as before: heavy enough to be challenging, but where you can lift 15-20 times.

Hold a weight in each hand, down by your sides and with your palms facing inward.

Bend your knees slightly, keep your back straight, and bend forward at the waist. Aim for just shy of parallel with the ground.

Your upper arms should be parallel with the ground, and your forearms holding the weights should be at a right angle to the floor.

Extend your so that your forearm becomes parallel with the floor, then return to the right angle.

Repeat this 15-20 times per side, then swap sides.

3. Lateral raises

This will target your shoulder muscles.

Hold a weight in each hand with your hands by your sides, then simply raise both arms until they are parallel with the floor. You will be in a T shape.

Repeat 10-12 times. Sounds easy, but it is surprisingly hard!

You can find more arm exercises in another article we’ve written: Gym routines that tone your arms.

Follow those, and when the fat does drop off, there will be lean muscles waiting beneath.

Dietary advice for skinny arms

It is important to lose weight in a healthy and controlled manner.

By combining exercise with a safe caloric deficit, you will see fat disappear from all areas of your body.

But you still need to eat enough calories to fuel your metabolism.

A BMI calculator can help you figure out a safe deficit to aim for, as can a conversation with your doctor.

As a ballpark figure, you should aim for an absolute minimum of 1,200 calories per day (1,800 for any men who happen to be reading this).

Your diet should include all five food groups, and a good amount of fresh fruit and veg. If you’re working on your muscles, you’ll need to pay extra attention to protein in your diet.

You’re best primed to absorb nutrients in the half hour or so after exercise, so a protein snack will help your body rebuild muscles.

You don’t have to shell out on expensive protein snacks. Instead you can eat things like:

  • Jerky
  • Trail mix
  • Tuna and hard-boiled egg
  • Peanut butter (spread it on celery sticks for an interesting snack)

Try to avoid eating too many fats, as well. There’s not much point doing extra exercise to burn fat if you’re still eating a high-fat diet.

Don’t just take our word for it. One study we read emphasised “the crucial importance of low-fat eating if exercise is to have an optimal impact on fat stores” (4).

In conclusion…

There is no way to burn fat just on your arms.

What you can do, though, is create an exercise plan that burns fat all over your body, and supplement it with exercises designed to tone your arm muscles.

That way, when you start to lose weight in a healthy, controlled manner, there will be toned arm muscles waiting underneath.

It’s the same time-tested combination that will help you to achieve skinny arms: a safe caloric deficit, a healthy diet, and the right exercise routine.

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References

  1. Medline Plus. Chromium in Diet. Link.
  2. Ducros V. Chromium Metabolism – A Literatiure Review. (1992). Link.
  3. Picolinic Acid. Link.
  4. DiSilvestro R et al. Comparison of Acute Absorption of Commercially Available Chromium Supplements. (2007). Link.
  5. EFSA Panel on Dietetic products nutrition and allergies. Scientific Opinion on the Substantiation of Health Claims Related to Chromium. (2010). Link.

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What are the benefits of vitamin B6 for weight loss?

We’ve been asked this question a few times, and it’s one we’re more than happy to answer. This article covers all of the questions you might have about vitamin B6.

After reading you’ll have a firm understanding of:

  • What vitamin B6 is
  • How your body uses it
  • The health benefits
  • The weight loss benefits
  • Safe amounts of vitamin B6 to take
  • The potential side effects

In short, everything you need to know about vitamin B6.

We’ll start with a look at what B6 is…

What is Vitamin B6?

The name technically refers to a group of compounds rather than one chemical, but they have very similar structures and functions (and don’t worry: We’re not going to go into them all).

One of these compounds, pyridoxine, is commonly used as a dietary supplement, thanks to its host of benefits.

Pyridoxine is what most people are talking about when they mention vitamin B6.

How Does The Body Use Vitamin B6?

Vitamins are molecules used by the body to keep us alive, and there are twelve that the body needs: A, B, C, D, E, and K.

“… but that’s only six!” you may be thinking.

That’s because vitamin B refers to eight smaller compounds: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12.

(There are reasons vitamins B4, B8, B10, B11, F, G, H, I, and J are missing, but we won’t go into that here!)

Vitamins are organic compounds, meaning they contain carbon. This is what distinguishes vitamins from minerals, incidentally. Each vitamin contributes in slightly different ways to the body’s metabolism.

Things like cell and tissue growth, macronutrient metabolism, antioxidation, coagulation of blood, and tons more.

The presence of vitamins also allows other reactions and processes in the body to occur.

Vitamin B6 helps the body to store the energy from protein and carbohydrates in your diet. It also helps the body to make haemoglobin, which is used for carrying oxygen in the blood.

We’ll dig deeper into the health and weight loss benefits in the next section.

But first we’ll briefly cover foods that contain vitamin B6, and how to tell whether you have a B6 deficiency.

Vitamin B6 isn’t particularly elusive. It is found in pork, chicken, turkey, and fish, as well as plenty of non-meat ingredients. Bread, oatmeal, brown rice, soya beans, eggs, and vegetables are all good sources of B6.

Symptoms of B6 deficiency include scaling of the lips and cracks in the corners of your mouth, a swollen tongue, anaemia, weakened immune function, and confusion (1).

It’s unlikely that you’ll have a deficiency of just B6, though. Usually people have a B Complex deficiency – that means B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 are all low.

This can be fixed by taking a B Complex supplement in most cases.

But let’s hear some more about the benefits of B6!

What Are The Benefits For The Body When Taking Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6 has been the subject of lots of research since its discovery by a man called Elmer McCollum, way back in 1915.

After more than a hundred years of studies we have quite a firm understanding of the role of B6 in human physiology.

The US National Library of Medicine (2) says that “vitamin B6 is required for the proper function of sugars, fats, and proteins in the body”, so it’s quite important.

A scientific opinion (3) published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found the following properties for vitamin B6:

  • Contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism
  • Contribution to normal homocysteine metabolism
  • Contribution to normal psychological functions
  • Contribution to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

A cause and effect relationship was established between vitamin B6 and each of these health benefits.

And because it is the EFSA’s job is to assess properties of foods and provide scientific advice on their nutritional value, you know this is good, trustworthy information.

Vitamin B6 Benefits For Weight Loss

The list above is great but let’s be honest: This is the quest most of us want answered.

Not all of those health benefits have an impact on weight loss.

The ones we’re interested in then, are

  • Contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism
  • Contribution to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

A few other weight loss benefits have been found in scientific studies – we’ll take a look at these too:

  • One study found that “taking B6 supplements has been found to improve the ratio between fat and lean muscle in your body” (4)
  • Another study found that “many phases of fat metabolism—transport, deposition, oxidation, and synthesis—are influenced by pyridoxine.” (5)

Read on to find out how each of these things will benefit your weight loss efforts.

Normal energy-yielding metabolism

This refers to your body breaking down the proteins and carbohydrates in your food, and turning them into energy you use to fuel your daily activities.

So in short, normal energy-yielding metabolism is how your body fuels itself.

The presence of vitamin B6 is required for the reactions in your body that get energising sugars from food, and store them in glycogen deposits for use later on.

But what does that mean, exactly?

Well,

The body stores glucose – the sugar it uses for energy – in bundles called glycogen.

When you eat, some of the sugar goes into your blood to be used as fuel, and the rest is stored as glycogen.

Your body can store about enough glucose for a day’s worth of energy. These are the reserves that are used to fuel a person between meals.

When the time comes for the body to get usable glucose from the glycogen storage, enzymes are sent to do the job.

Vitamin B6 is a coenzyme in this process, meaning it must be present for the reaction to take place.

Transport, deposition, oxidation, and synthesis of fats

A study found that vitamin B6 “contributes to fatty acid biosynthesis” (6), the process by which your body uses fats in food.

When you eat fat, your body breaks it down into fatty acids.

Some of these are used right away to give you energy.

But what happens to the fatty acids that aren’t used right away?

Well,

The body stores these in bundles called ‘triglycerides’. These bundles are then stored in fat cells, and fat cells have a lot of space.

If you eat more fat than you need it’s stored away until your body needs the energy it holds. And the more that is stored, the more fat you have on your body.

This means that if you don’t exercise enough your body will keep the fatty acids in storage, where it will be visible from the outside as fat.

B6 is present throughout the process of getting the energy from triglycerides, known as fat metabolism. In order to burn fat, this process needs to take place!

(Not too dissimilar to glucose and glycogen, really).

Improved ratio between fat and lean muscle

The goal of weight loss is to reduce the amount of fat on your body, and to maintain this new, healthy body composition.

B6 was found to have positive effects on many body composition measures (4).

The researchers in this study found that B6 supplementation preserved weight loss in the legs, and reduced the ratio of fat in the hips and waist.

Reduction of tiredness and fatigue

A B6 deficiency can cause anaemia, “which may lead to symptoms of weakness, tiredness or fatigue” (3).

Anaemia refers to low amounts of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood, meaning your blood transports less oxygen around the body.

Because oxygen is required to fuel aerobic exercise, anaemia can get in the way of a healthy, active lifestyle.

You just can’t push yourself as hard if there’s not enough oxygen in your bloodstream.

Reduction of tiredness and fatigue is the goal of anyone trying to stay fit and healthy.

How Much Vitamin B6 Should You Take For Best Results?

The US National Library of Medicine gives the following recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for vitamin B6 (2):

  • 1.3mg for females aged 19-50
  • 1.5mg for females aged 50+
  • 1.9mg for pregnant women
  • 2mg for women who are breastfeeding

The unit of measure here is milligram, and one milligram is a thousandth of a gram. (So 1.3mg is 0.0013 grams).

This may sound like a very small amount, but it’s amazing what the body can do with it.

Are There Any Side Effects of Vitamin B6?

Too much of anything can be bad for you, but it is very hard to accidentally take the amount of B6 required to trigger adverse effects.

Excess B6 is not stored in the body, so there is little risk from taking too much.

One study found that 90% of surplus B6 was eliminated via urine (7), which suggests your body has an effective mechanism for getting rid of extra.

It is good to be aware of the risks though, even if they are low.

The US National Library of Medicine gives a list of possible side effects for ingesting vitamin B6, which includes “nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, headache, tingling, sleepiness, and other side effects”.

TOPS TIPS

There is also research that suggests long-term B6 supplementation (a year or more) can cause nerve damage, which usually stops once you stop taking the supplement (8).

It should be noted, though, that all of these effects are associated with amounts that are a long way over the RDAs that we covered in the previous section.

The upper recommended daily limit for vitamin B6 is 100mg, over fifty times higher than the RDA…

So even if you took a special B6 supplement alongside the recommended dose of Leanbean, you would still be less than one sixth of the way to this amount.

In conclusion…

Vitamin B6 is an important macronutrient in glucose and fat metabolism. It has several noted health benefits, and several noted weight loss benefits.

Since its discovery in 1915, a wealth of scientific literature has developed around vitamin B6 and its role in human nutrition. We have a firm understanding of the role it plays, and the benefits it can deliver.

Pyridoxine – the form of vitamin B6 used in Leanbean – has been found to help your body break down and use sugars and fats, and to store them correctly in the body for use later. This metabolic effect contributes to healthy metabolism, which itself is associated with healthy lifestyles and weight loss.

It has also been found to reduce tiredness and fatigue, by preventing anaemia and ensuring enough oxygen is transported via your bloodstream.

And some studies found a positive correlation between B6 supplementation and favourable muscle to fat ratio.

A supplement that contains B6, taken in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle could contribute to weight loss. A healthy lifestyle refers to a diet with a caloric deficit that is safe for your body type, and regular exercise.

We hope this article has answered any questions you may have had about vitamin B6! The Leanbean formula contains B6 – click here to buy now.

Products

Use Leanbean for 90 days. See Results, or your money back

Getting beach-ready does not have to be an impossible quest. Leanbean will give your body the natural boost it needs to start burning fat. What’s more, if you use Leanbean four times a day for 3 months and don’t think it’s helped you get results we’ll give you a refund.

Find out more

References

  1. National Institutes of Health. Vitamin B6. Link.
  2. Medline Plus. Vitamin B6. Link.
  3. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products. Scientific Opinion on the Substantiation of Health Claims Related to Vitamin B6. (2010). Link.
  4. Shakibay et al. The Weight Loss Effects of Branched Chain Amino Acids and Vitamin B6: A Randomized Controlled Trial on Obese and Overweight Women. (2019) Link.
  5. Sherman, H. Pyridoxine and Fat Metabolism. (1950). Link.

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The menopause is a time of change for the female body. Changing hormones can cause hot flushes, headaches, insomnia, irritability, and many other symptoms. For many women, the list includes weight gain.

One study (1) found weight gain in 69% of patients over the course of their menopause.

If you aren’t part of the lucky 31%, this post will teach you how to get rid of menopausal belly fat.

Why Does The Menopause Cause Weight Gain?

It’s hard to establish a definitive link between the menopause and weight gain, but scientific literature review (2) summarised the situation:

“Whereas weight gain per se cannot be attributed to the menopause transition, the change in the hormonal milieu at menopause is associated with an increase in total body fat and an increase in abdominal fat.”

The literature highlights numerous factors thought to contribute to menopausal weight gain:

  • More of enzyme Aldh1a3 (3).
  • Less spontaneous activity (4).
  • Reduced muscle mass requiring fewer calories.

Here’s a bit more on each…

Aldh1a3 Enzyme

It’s thought that oestrogen “holds back” Aldh1a3, an enzyme that, when present, can increase visceral fat in the body.

This is the fat that develops around internal organs, as opposed to subcutaneous fat – the stuff that gets stored under your skin.

When the menopause takes place and oestrogen levels fall, A1dh1a3 levels rise (3).

A reduction in activity means fewer calories required

The menopause happens as we grow older, and for many people growing older also means a lifestyle with less physical activity.

And as we know: Less physical activity makes weight gain more likely.

Your muscle mass may decrease too, also thanks to lower oestrogen (2). This means your body requires fewer calories to fuel itself.

If your diet stays the same however, this means more weight gain!


How To Get Rid Of Menopausal Belly Fat

As we said earlier, one study found weight gain in 69% of menopausal patients (1).

Here’s how to beat the menopause belly, whether you’re in the 31% or not.

  • Eat healthy: A diet with fewer calories than you use.
  • Exercise regularly: Part of any effective weight loss plan!
  • Make exercise social. It’s better to work out with a friend, especially if they’re going through the same thing as you.
  • Stand up instead of sitting where possible: This burns more calories.
  • Try to eat meals around the same time each day so your metabolism is consistent.
  • Prioritise foods with healthy fats.
  • Be diligent with what you eat: Avoid frequent and unhealthy snacking!
  • Get a good night’s sleep! Sleep loss is linked to obesity (5), so getting enough shut-eye can help.

TOP TIPS

Remember that there are not specific exercises to burn fat in certain areas. While you can target certain areas for toning, exercise will burn fat all over the body.

Exercises For Menopausal Belly

It’s worth noting that the term “menopause belly” is used because of an “increased tendency for central fat distribution” (6).

Around the time of the menopause, the body is prone to store fat around your tummy rather than elsewhere. “You may notice a difference in the distribution of body fat, with more being stored around the stomach rather than on the hips and thighs.” (7)

There is motivating news about exercises reducing menopausal belly fat. This from the UK National Health Service:

“There is some evidence that women who exercise regularly and are more active tend to suffer less with menopausal symptoms.” (7)

If you’re wondering how to get rid of menopausal belly, here are some great ways to kick-start your exercise routine.

Prioritise aerobic exercise

Also known as cardio. This includes things like running, cycling, swimming, and brisk walking. In this type of exercise you burn carbs and fats from all over the body, including the menopause belly.

Consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

This means interspersing cardio with high-intensity bursts of activity. This will increase the amount of effort you’re spending, while not making your exercise too hard as to be unpleasant.

Make yourself sweat, but don’t push too hard!

Exercising more than your body can handle quickly does more harm than good. Ease yourself in, and make gradual refinements to your exercise routine as your strength develops.

Include weight-bearing exercise

This will strengthen your bones, which may get weaker during and after menopause due to reduced calcium.

There’s a great 10 minute abs workout (8) that includes stomach crunches, oblique crunches, planking, side plank, and stomach crunches with legs raised. These exercises are designed to tone your tummy, so it looks as trim as possible once the menopause belly fat begins to fall away.


Best Diet For Menopausal Symptoms

A balanced, healthy, and varied diet is encouraged, as always. But there are a few special considerations for your diet during and after menopause.

Falling levels of oestrogen mean less calcium in your bones, which can make them weaker. To counteract this look for foods with extra calcium and Vitamin D: Both associated with bone strength.

Calcium is found in dairy, fortified breads and cereals, kale (but not spinach, interestingly), figs, bony fish (the ones you eat whole, like anchovies, white bait and so on).

Vitamin D comes from sunlight, but if you think you’re not getting enough you can find extra in oily fish, red meat, eggs, and specially designed dietary supplements.

To tame the menopause belly you will also want to eat fewer saturated fats.

Using olive oil or sunflower oil instead of coconut oil (and olive or sunflower spreads instead of butter) is a great way to achieve this.

Oily fish is great for getting the right types of fat: Double points if it includes bones for calcium, too (fish like anchovies, whitebait, sardines and so on).

Eating less salt will help your general cardiovascular health, which is important when menopausal. Resist the temptation to add salt to your food, and look for foods with low amounts of salt.

You may also want to take dietary supplements that contain phytoestrogens. These compounds are structurally similar to oestrogen, and can bind to oestrogen receptors in the body. Because of this they are thought to play an important role in “lower[ing] the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, [and] metabolic syndrome” in menopausal women (9).

In short, you have a few options…

And here’s the kicker: All of them are delicious!


In conclusion…

Although it’s a time of great change in your body, the menopause does not mean inevitable weight gain. Nor does it mean that you lose control of your body weight.

Despite the lack of a definitive answer on whether the menopause causes body weight gain or is just correlated with changes in lifestyle that lead to it, there are things you can do to stay in charge.

Remember: By following the tips in this guide, you should easily be able to show menopausal belly fat the door. A healthy calorific deficit, perhaps accompanied by the right dietary supplements, is all you need to achieve this: Whether you do this by adjusting your diet to include fewer calories, by incorporating more exercise into your daily routine, or both.

Seeing the menopause as an opportunity to make some healthy changes to your lifestyle – perhaps ones that you may think are overdue – is a great way of entering this next phase of your life gracefully.

Products

Use Leanbean for 90 days. See Results, or your money back

Getting beach-ready does not have to be an impossible quest. Leanbean will give your body the natural boost it needs to start burning fat. What’s more, if you use Leanbean four times a day for 3 months and don’t think it’s helped you get results we’ll give you a refund.

Find out more

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Join the community and get our Workout Secrets Plan for free! Success! Email Download My Plan How to overcome a weight loss plateau BY AMANDA BERRY March 20th 2019 Your weight loss has been going well, and you’re achieving results that you feel proud of. But all...

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*Disclaimer: All testimonials and reviews displayed on this website are 100% genuine. Product results may vary on an individual basis, as products are intended for use alongside a diet and exercise regime.

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