Do you feel like your mood swings like a pendulum from happy to sad? How about your energy? Are you constantly fighting fatigue and struggling to keep your energy up, especially in the afternoon? Have you found it extremely difficult to lose weight and keep it off?
It may just be that your hormones are getting in the way, keeping you tired, making your mood unstable, and making it difficult toshed those extra pounds. How can you begin to balance your hormones better and start to feel healthier? Understanding what’s happening in your body hormonally is a great place to start.
The first hormone that can help regulate weight is insulin. Insulin levels that are too high will cause the metabolic pathways to shift, so that they store more fat. Eating the wrong foods can cause such a big burst of insulin and cause levels to stay high for 18 hours — most of the day and part of the night. It’s just not worth it.
The next hormone to regulate is cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. You already know by now that cortisol at high levels can translate to excess belly fat.Stress affects your weight, yourgut, yourthyroid, and just about everything in between. Tobeat stress, you’ll need to focus on strategies that work for YOU. There are many simple strategies you can implement to lower stress levels, includingbreathing exercises,epsom salt baths,yoga, taking awalk, or listening to music.
The third hormone to regulate is melatonin. Adequate melatonin production is essential togetting a good night’s sleep, which is essential to weight-loss. Do everything you can to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep, since it’s essential to your overall health. Start by turning off electronics an hour before bed and reducing your exposure to blue light. Try taking anatural sleep supplement, like Smarter Sleep, and avoidfoods that disrupt sleep in the evening.
Finally, you need to pay attention toyour thyroid. For many, this should be a top priority! But when you have 20 pounds or more to take off, all four of these hormones need to be considered. Here are nine strategies to help you better balance these four hormones. Nutritionists suggest you try several of these for best rest results.
9 Ways to Influence Your Hormones to Lose the Weight
Avoid the Carbs
Reducing the amount of carbs you eat can be accomplished with the popular (but controversial)keto diet . This diet puts your body into ketosis, which means you start to utilize fat for energy. The diet works for many partly because it prevents the insulin surges that come with eating too many carbs, especially foods that are rated medium or high on theglycemic index.
It also has purported cognitive benefits too. Many people feel more emotionally stable on the keto diet, and recognize higher levels of creativity, energy, and simply feel a greater sense of wellness. These benefits can translate to greater weight loss as well. We do, however, recommend following this diet under the supervision of a healthcare provider, and maybe not permanently, as some experts suggest that following it long-term can have some negative health impacts.
Eliminate Processed Foods
Processed foods can ruin your best weight loss plans in a heartbeat. Hormonally speaking, they will raise yourblood sugar levels and cause greater bursts of insulin that can interfere and block weight loss.
However, the damage from these foods is worse than that. Processed foods use up your existing nutrient stores of vitamins and minerals, without providing anything good in return. Functional medicine doctors will tell you thatnutrient deficiencies of iodine, zinc, selenium, magnesium, B complex and vitamin A (nutrients missing in processed foods) will surely cause low thyroid function, with resulting weight gain. In addition to cutting out processed foods, consider getting the vitamin and mineral boost you need with amultivitamin derived from natural food sources.
Get Quality Sleep
Melatonin is one of the best anti-aging hormones, too. It’s also important for your sleep cycles — so you canfall asleep and stay asleep during the night. Melatonin influences the immune system as well.
The problem may be that you are staying up too late at night, causing a dip in your body’s natural production of this important hormone, especially if you are on any blue light screen at night — like your phone or smart device. Shut those devices off a few hours before bed to maximize your melatonin production, which occurs when it is dark. Blue lights prevent the body from producing melatonin.If you don’t get good sleep, you’ll end up dragging yourself throughout the day and making poor diet decisions. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night.
Intermittent fasting helps reset hormones — and metabolism in the body. It stimulates the body’s detoxification pathways and its ability to repair. Try at least 12 hours between your last meal of the night and the first meal in the day.
Take Digestive Enzymes
If your belly is unhappy, you will be unhappy. This is because of thegut and brain connection. Doctors have discovered that the happiness hormone, serotonin, is mostly produced in the gut. Digesting your food properly is critical to health, wellness, weight, and balanced moods. What happens in your gut is directly related to your body’s production of key neurotransmitters and even related to what’s happening with your adrenal gland and cortisol production.
Digestive enzymes ensure that protein, fat, and carbs get broken down properly and avoid potential issues with something calledleaky gut syndrome. Using a broad spectrum enzyme supplement before meals is an excellent to get your belly optimized.
Lower Sugar Intake
Sugar affects your insulin levels and feeds into many nasty pathways that can drive weight gain. It also affects your mood and how you think. Sugar junkies are more prone to bad decisions than those who aren’t giving into sweet treats, fueled by fluctuations inblood sugar levels. Blood sugar crashes after a sugar surge can lead to more than just weight gain, including an inability to concentrate,headaches, sleepiness, more sugar cravings,depression, and more.
Avoid all of that byreducing your sugar intake to almost zero. Life’s too short to have to deal with all these sugar symptoms and resulting hormone fluctuations. So try your best to eliminate sugar — one snack and one craving at a time. Over time your body adjusts and it gets easier.
Raise Good Gut Microbes
Thehealthy gut bacteria we have are worth more than gold — we just don’t realize it. They’re essential to maintaining a healthy weight, better moods,better skin,digestive system comfort, and even better thyroid function.
Raising the level of good gut microbes can be done rather quickly by eating morefermented foods and supplementing with a heartysoil-based probiotic. Unlike other probiotics that must be refrigerated or that rely on undesirable coatings and chemicals to keep cultures alive, soil-based organisms are naturally acclimated to conditions like moisture, heat, and air exposure. Research shows that taking a good probiotic along withhealthy fats help to facilitate the transit of active cultures through the stomach can help restore balance to your digestive system.
Raise Gut Health by Eating More Healthy Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber feeds your gut bacteria and they love it dearly. It’s their fuel. The fiber in foods breaks down and produces butyric acid, which the good bacteria scarf up the minute they see it. Make sure you get at least two servings each meal of fiber rich foods such as dark leafy greens, legumes, seeds, and other colorful fruits and vegetables with the skin on.
Support Your Thyroid Nutritionally
The more studies that are done, the more we see the thyroid’s need for several nutrients, in addition to iodine. You also need zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, manganese, selenium, and B vitamins to properly feed your thyroid. What this means is that you simply can’t have an approach to your nutrition that only considers a few of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. You needthe right amount of all the essential vitamins and minerals for health, wellness and yes, weight loss!
If you want to lose the weight that has crept on because of an imbalance of your hormones, it is absolutely doable for most of us! Nutritional science is pointing to insulin, cortisol, melatonin, and thyroid hormones that have to be balanced in order to achieve a healthy weight. Try implementing these tips and see and feel for yourself just how restoring your hormonal balance naturally can aid with weight loss and so much more.