Your hormone’s powerful impact
|Despite what you may have been told, and the pervasive amount of food- and fat-shaming in our culture, the number on the scale isn’t always a simple reflection of the number of calories we consume vs. the number we burn. |
In fact, the added stress brought on by extreme diets and exercise can undermine them entirely—and actually cause weight gain. Often the real key to losing what may be unwanted belly fat, and gaining energy, clarity, and a better mood lies with your hormones.Weight loss resistance is nearly always hormonally based in women.
Most diets don’t work for women, because they fail to address the hormonal root causes that are the most common reasons for weight loss resistance, like excess cortisol, insulin and/or leptin blockage, estrogen dominance, a sluggish thyroid, low testosterone, and problems with the adrenal system.
Learning more about your hormones and how to eat and move to support balance will help you get off the diet roller coaster, reclaim your vitality, energy, and sex-drive, as well as stablize moods and reduce anxiety.
Do you RECOGNIZE ANY OF THESE?
|Do you suffer from any of the symptoms above?|
You’re not alone if you do. Nearly 70% of us will experience symptoms of hormone imbalance in our lifetimes. The main culprits of haywire hormones include:
Nutrient deficiencies. For instance, not enough vitamin C can lower your progesterone. Progesterone is nature’s Xanax, so a deficiency makes you feel overwhelmed and anxious. We’ll discuss simple ways to supplement in the Metabolic Reset program.
Excess toxins. Bisphenol A is a good example: It can interfere with the estrogen, insulin, thyroid, and testosterone messages in your body. (Look for more about toxins in a future email.)
Poor stress coping. I put myself in this category. Again, the root cause is that the alarm system in the body doesn’t turn off, so you make too much cortisol at the expense of other hormones.
Age. Women’s hormone levels change throughout their reproductive years and through perimenopause, menopause, and beyond. Common life events, such as menstruation and pregnancy, can throw your hormones off balance, as can medications like birth control pills.
Poor sleep. Only 3 percent of the population does well on less than 7 hours of sleep. Sleeping 7 to 8.5 hours every night keeps cortisol in check. Alcohol raises estrogen and cortisol levels, robs you of deep sleep, and lowers metabolism by more than 70 percent, as mentioned previously.
Exercise. While exercise is an essential part of balancing your hormones, it can also throw them further out of whack if not managed properly. Overtraining can stress the body to create or undermine hormone imbalance. Running actually places so much stress on the body that cortisol shoots sky-high. Think of a Tibetan monk versus a marathon runner. Who ages more rapidly? The runner, due to a higher load of cortisol, a wear-and-tear hormone. More on cortisol next.
The fab four
|Our hormones are complex and interconnected affecting literally every function in our bodies. |
For the purpose of the Metabolic Reset, we’re focusing on four main hormones, (your Fab Four): Thyroid, Estrogen, Cortisol, and Insulin
Your thyroid acts as the gas pedal of your metabolism, managing how fast or slow you burn calories. The wrong food choices can prevent your thyroid from getting the nutrients it needs to work well – slowing down your metabolism and putting you into sluggish, fat-storing mode.
When the thyroid is sluggish, it can cause weight gain, fluid retention, hair loss or thinning, depression, and constipation, among other problems.Women are more likely to have an underactive thyroid. In fact, 1 in 8 women will develop hypothyroidism. The disease gets more common with age. People over 60 years old experience it more frequently.
Cortisol is the main stress hormone secreted by our adrenal glands. An alpha hormone, cortisol helps regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, and immune function.When your stress is high, it makes your cortisol rise. When it is consistently high (due to daily challenges, poor diet, or lack of sleep), it affects other hormones like your thyroid and insulin leading to dysfunction and weight gain.
Too much cortisol can slow your thyroid down and overstimulate insulin production resulting in low energy, increased fat storage, brain fog. and low mood.Stress and cortisol are inextricably linked so a major part of hormone balance is finding ways to increase your stress resilience.
Estrogen is a group of hormones produced in the ovaries that makes you female. It’s what makes you menstruate, grow breasts and hips.Estrogen keeps you flush with serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter so your moods are better. Estrogen also keeps your joints lubricated, your sleep and appetite balanced, your sex drive high, and your face relatively wrinkle-free.
Estrogen dominance is when you have too much estrogen compared with its counter-hormone, progesterone. Having too much estrogen in the body causes a number of symptoms, including weight loss resistance, moodiness, PMS, and heavy periods.
Insulin plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels and converting food energy into fat. It also helps break down fats and proteins.During digestion, insulin stimulates muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb glucose. The cells either use this glucose for energy or convert it into fat for long-term storage.
Too much sugar can result in too much insulin which leads to insulin resistance.Insulin resistance or block means your cells can’t absorb the extra blood glucose your body generates from the food you eat—when that happens, your liver converts the glucose into fat. Insulin resistance usually causes weight gain and sugar addiction. If you are insulin resistant or have that tendency your cravings will be worse.
Lifestyle and hormones
|Lifestyle influences your hormones. Diet, movement, environmental toxins and mindset all impact our hormone, immune, and metabolic function.|
Once you understand these factors, you can start to see how your daily choices are affecting your hormones and metabolism, and what you can do about it.So the first of these influences is your DIET.
Food either feeds your hormones or disrupts them. Unfortunately, our standard western diets tend to be nutrient-poor, and our busy lifestyles tend to send us to convenience and processed foods.
When you start experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance (fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, brain fog, etc), it also makes us crave a fast fix in the form of carbs, sugar, bad fats, which only end up making our symptoms worse.
The Metabolic Reset program is where you’ll learn how food meets physiology to heal your body. Say goodbye to mood swings, night sweats, sugar cravings, and premature wrinkles. Say hello to satisfying sleep, stress resilience, and lasting energy throughout the day.
Take the quiz
|Take this hormone quiz to see which hormones might be out of whack in your body.|
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org