Hormones are chemical messengers in your body. They communicate and control most of the physiological things going on. They tell your body what to do and hormones work together like an orchestra. But, when they aren’t playing well together we start to see imbalance, and things get out of harmony.
These imbalances affect all other hormones. Cortisol is your main stress hormone and it gets pretty bossy when not kept in check by other hormones. Too much cortisol steals progesterone, drives up insulin and blood sugar levels and until you get it under control will cause issues with all of your other hormones.
There are 4 main hormones you need to focus on to find better balance and support in your weight loss journey.
First is cortisol, this hormone when left to run rampant is great at packing on extra belly fat, giving you sleepless nights and messing with the other 3 hormones.
Next, is insulin. Insulin by nature is a fat-storage hormone and if kept high in your system will work to store fat. Keeping your blood sugar in balance by following the Trim Healthy Mama plan is best.
We also need to look at your thyroid hormones. These are your metabolism regulator and thermostat hormones. If you’re feeling anxious, exhausted, and sluggish or you’ve gained weight without reason and are having trouble losing weight then it’s time to take a close look at your thyroid. These are all symptoms of a low thyroid which is all too common as we age.
Lastly, we take a look at estrogen. Estrogen is going to tell your body where to distribute fat. It’s vital for mood, energy, and brain & bone health.
These are our Four kingpin hormones to help balance other hormones and help us lose weight.
It can seem daunting and confusing to look at the 4 big hormones and wonder how on earth you are going to bring support when you don’t even know what is going on in your body. Well, I’ve got good news, you can create change and bring support by choosing good foods, following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, and adopting wellness habits.
There are a few key areas that you can control and focus on to create change in your body and how your hormones interact.
Your biggest culprits affecting your hormones are your diet, lifestyle (exercise & sleep), stress, and environmental factors.
One of the most important areas you can work on and have a lot of control over is at the end of your fork. What you put in your body. The number one place to start is by eating an anti-inflammatory diet and keeping your blood sugar balanced. These two changes will go a long way toward supporting your hormones.
Fill your plate with quality food. Grass-fed meats, eggs, and low-glycemic grains. Fermented dairy and lots of vegetables along with fruits are very beneficial. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods and work to eliminate and avoid refined carbs and sugars.
Sugar is one of the worst things for your hormones. It can dysregulate your hormones over time and has no added benefit. Avoiding “white” products will also help to keep your blood sugar from spiking and causing a cascade of other issues.
Protein is imperative for hormone balance so make sure you’re getting between 20-30 grams of protein at every meal and maybe a bit less at a snack. Anchoring meals with protein is very significant for supporting hormones.
Next, optimize your gut health. You have what’s called a microbiome and keeping a healthy gut microbiome is essential for the function of metabolizing your hormones. You can do this by focusing on gut-friendly foods like probiotics and fermented foods. Choosing foods high in fiber is also very helpful. Fiber has been shown to be perfect for metabolizing hormones, shedding belly fat and weight loss. Focus on eating foods that are high in fiber like green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, flaxseed, chia seed, psyllium husk flakes, baobab and oatmeal. Fiber is going to help you eliminate and detoxify excess hormones.
In fact, if you are not consistently eliminating and detoxifying then you are storing up excess estrogen and other hormones like xenoestrogens in your body which will lead you into a state of estrogen dominance.
Another area that is simple and cost-effective to investigate and change is your Vitamin D levels. If you’re not making adequate Vitamin D you are creating a very hard situation for your hormones to function, which in turn makes weight loss slower and more difficult. Low Vitamin D is harmful to your immune system, so talk to your doctor about getting your levels checked. If you struggle with PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids or are insulin sensitive or resistant then getting your Vitamin D levels up will be very helpful.
Another key supplement for women in menopause and midlife is Omega 3. You need a lot of Omega 3 to combat the overload of Omega 6 and 9 that are rampant in processed foods and oils. Focus on consuming and using good oils like olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil, and MCT. These are going to help with metabolism and hormone support.
Now I want to talk about lifestyle factors like sleep and exercise.
Exercise is crucial for hormonal support but you don’t need to go overboard. My suggestion is 3-5 times a week of at least 30 minutes of movement like walking. Moving your body is crucial for brain and hormonal health, detoxification, and overall mood.
Another good exercise for hormone balance and support is HIIT training, high-intensity training. I recommend 12 minutes at the most of low or high-impact HIIT workouts for no more than a total of 40 minutes each week. HIIT training has been proven to burn more calories even after your workout.
The other workout I strongly recommend for better fat-burning and increasing muscle mass is strength training. You want to plan 2-3 weight-lifting workouts each week with a rest day in between.
The best place to start is right where you are. If you aren’t walking every day then make that your goal and start today. Once that is a habit then add strength training. When you have a good routine then add in your HIIT workouts. Move your body as much as you can.
Sleep is another important lifestyle factor in supporting your hormones and optimizing your body for better fat loss but it can be tricky. Starting in our 40’s our estrogen levels begin to decline which can disrupt our ability to get a good night’s sleep.
I know I’ve covered a lot of information and tools you can implement to take back control of your health. But I want to encourage you to become a detective of your own health. Don’t just accept unpleasant or frustrating symptoms as inevitable. They aren’t, you can bring support to your hormones even before getting them tested. But if you’re concerned about your hormones and you’re having symptoms like PMS, cravings, really bad cramping, skipping periods, and more then I would suggest seeing your Practitioner and getting your hormones tested. There are many things you can do to support your body and I hope some of the things I shared today are helpful to you.
I am not a medical professional. As a Trim Healthy Mama coach, I am not providing healthcare, medical, or nutritional therapy services or attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any physical, mental, or emotional issue.
The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before undertaking a new health regimen.
Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of information you read on this website. Do not start or stop any medications without speaking to your medical or health provider.