When your Cortisol, Thyroid, Insulin, Estrogen or Testosterone are out of balance, then you are out of balance, and weight gain is just one side effect of abnormal hormone levels. For this article I am going to share with you strategies to overcome each obstacle.
Cortisol – your STRESS hormone, is also your alpha hormone, meaning that it influences all of the other hormones previously mentioned. When you are stressed (which I don’t know of many people that are not) your cortisol begins to run high. High cortisol is associated with hard to lose belly fat, lousy sleep, and sugar cravings (sound familiar?). Here are my tweaks for lowering cortisol.
Find something that helps you to manage the stress – Yoga, Meditation, Worship, Deep-Breathing. Supplements like fish oil or herbal remedies like magnolia or essential oils like lavender or chamomile are also helpful.
Thyroid – the gland that most people recognize as a metabolism booster. Many women and men suffer from underactive thyroid function, which can be triggered by stress and high cortisol. Other thyroid damaging and slow metabolism offenders are environmental toxins (endocrine disruptors), gluten, and vitamin D deficiency. So if you suffer from symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, and depression then work with a doctor who understands thyroid function and all of the complexities that come with it.
My recommendations here are to decrease your stress, remove toxic endocrine disruptors from your home and diet (plastic water bottles with BPA, flame retardants, unnatural cosmetics), increase your vitamin D to at least 60ng/ml, and remove gluten from your diet (at least for 2-4 weeks, if you lose weight and have more energy, BINGO you nailed it).
Insulin – this is your fat storing hormone. When your cells become insulin resistant (which can easily be tested with a glucose monitor) your body lays down fat like a baker lays down icing on a 5 tier cake.
How do we fix it, REMOVE SUGAR AND ANYTHING THAT TURNS INTO SUGAR. This includes cakes, pasta, bread, dairy, candies, etc.
Estrogen – did you know that low estrogen stimulates appetite? According to researchers from Yale, the estradiol acts just like the hormone Leptin which pushes your hunger button to tell you that you need more food.
Simple ways to balance estrogen are exercise, acupuncture, healthy fats, and a good ol’ orgasm.
Testosterone – low “T” slows down your metabolism and decreases muscle integrity. Simple fixes include removing alcohol, including that glass of wine you feel that you NEED. “Do you want to lose weight, or do you want to numb you r body with alcohol?” Giving up alcohol lowers cortisol, raises testosterone, and balances estrogen.
For this and other great weight loss and health tips, join me Monday nights from 6:30PM-7:30PM for our FREE nutrition and weight loss support group. Just call 980-355-7600 for registration information.