Your body performs countless amazing functions on a daily basis. How does this happen? Hormones. Hormones are messengers that travel throughout the body, signaling various actions and processes. When these hormones are in balance, the machine (your body) runs smoothly, but when they're out of balance, that's when things can go awry.
One of the major things hormones impact is your weight, regulating your metabolism (your body converting food into energy and burning off calories) and helping you produce lean muscle mass. So, how does it work?
Which Hormones Impact Weight?
The three main hormones that can impact your weight are cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. First of all, cortisol is also referred to as the stress hormone and is produced by the hypothalamus during times of anxiety. Too much of it can seriously stall your metabolism, sending your body into survival mode. The second hormone is estrogen, the female sex hormone, and women can experience fluctuations in estrogen throughout their lives. When estrogen levels spike, you can gain more weight around the hips and thighs as well as in the chest. The third hormone to impact weight is testosterone, and the amount of hormone a man produces will decrease as he ages, which can make it more difficult to shed weight and build lean muscle mass. Now, it's important to note men and women each have estrogen and testosterone in their bodies, and too much of either can also lead to a sluggish metabolism.
How do you know your hormones are to blame for your weight loss issues? Start by taking stock of how you feel. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you having cravings for foods? What kinds of foods?
- How is your energy? Do you feel up and down throughout the day or are you powering through?
- Do you feel hungry? How often?
- How are you sleeping?
- Are you stressed? Is it more or less than usual?
Natural Remedies for Hormone Balance
If you're concerned your hormones could be out of whack, adding a natural supplement your routine can help. Here are three of our favorites:
- DIM -- Present in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), diindolylmethane can help bring excess estrogen in check in both men and women.
- Satiereal Saffron -- Saffron can help control stress-related cravings and eating that can make you pack on the pounds.
- Amino Acids -- Protein is crucial for hormone balance and amino acids are the building blocks of protein. If you're working out, be sure to get plenty of amino acids before your workout and after. Amino acids are a great way to boost low testosterone.
More Tips for Balancing Hormones
If you notice your weight is difficult to manage and are wondering if your hormones may be to blame, consider adding one of the above supplements to your routine. A visit to your doctor can help you determine if hormones are to blame and if there is a bigger issue at hand. If you're currently being treated for a hormone imbalance or taking any kind of hormone-replacement medication, be sure to consult your physician first and don't make any changes to your regimen without their direction and supervision.
Here are some other ways to keep your hormones in check:
- Make sure your diet contains enough protein.
- Be sure to get the recommended amount of fiber.
- Eat your vegetables -- dark, leafy greens especially.
- Exercise regularly.
- Cut our the junk food like processed foods or those high in fat and calories.
Living a balanced life with a well-rounded diet and plenty of physical activity can keep your hormones in check for a healthier, happier and leaner you. Check back soon for more of the latest health news!