Are imbalanced hormones wreaking havoc on your life?
Poor sleep quality. Difficulty losing body fat. Low libido. Chronic acne. Brain fog. Chronic and generalized fatigue. These are all symptoms of imbalanced hormones. It can be frustrating and leave you playing a guessing game. It’s likely your doctor tells you you’re “fine” since your imbalanced levels are in a “grey” area, leaving you confused. That doesn’t mean your symptoms aren’t valid. Hormones are always the boss, especially in relation to body composition goals. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to balance hormones naturally and without drugs!
Balance hormones naturally through diet
One of the easiest ways to reverse your symptoms is to make positive changes to your diet.
Increase omega-3 fats, and decrease omega-6 fats. Boost your omega-3’s by eating wild caught oily/fatty fish such as salmon (do NOT eat farmed fish) Include flax seed/oil in your diet. Decrease or eliminate sources of omega-6’s – canola oil, soybean oil, and other vegetable oils. They have been highly refined, processed, and heated, causing an inflammatory response in the body and send hormones out of whack.
Eliminate refined carbs and sugary beverages. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Refined carbs are void of nutrients and cause an inflammatory response in the body. Switch from bread, crackers, chips, and cereals to nutritious fresh and colorful foods. Aim for at least 6 cups of veggies per day and 1-2 servings of fruit (organic only.) Giving your body the vitamins it needs and improving gut health will help to balance your hormones naturally. And don’t forget to drink at least 90 oz of water per day!
Eat lots of healthy fats. Low fat diets and diets low in cholesterol can have a negative effect on fat burning hormones and hunger. Include avocados, coconut oil, organic eggs, and nuts like almonds in your diet every day!
Eat organic foods. Especially meats. Non-organic foods are loaded with toxic pesticides, which destroy healthy gut flora and cause systemic inflammation.
Remove soy from your diet. It seems like soy is in nearly everything. Soy mimics estrogen, creating a hormone imbalance. This is bad news for body composition for men and women. Not to mention conventional soy is GMO.
Balance hormones naturally through supplementation
Magnesium. This is a big one that nearly everyone is deficient in. Magnesium calms the nervous system and prevents creation of excess cortisol, a stress hormone. This in turn balances progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. These hormones are critical to a desirable body composition and fat loss.
Fish oil and flax oil. To help you increase your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, try Nordic Naturals cod liver oil or organic flax. Add it to smoothies if downing it plain makes you gag. The orange flavor nordic naturals cod liver oil isn’t bad…
A high quality, multi-species probiotic. Don’t waste your money with the ones in the grocery store supplement isle. Look for a refrigerated probiotic that has at least 8 strains. I use Klaire labs ther-biotic powder and highly recommend it.
A B-vitamin complex. Increase energy levels and decrease PMS symptoms. B-6 is especially important for estrogen metabolism and keeping blood sugar in control, which is crucial for desirable body composition and fat loss.
Iodine. Iodine is best known for its role in proper thyroid function. It’s a well known fact that a healthy thyroid regulates everything from metabolism and body composition, to blood sugar dysregulation, to skin conditions, to autoimmune conditions. Unfortunately iodine deficiency is common due to very few available sources (top sources are seafood and seaweed) and poor soil quality. Iodine also detoxes the body of heavy metals. Iodine has been increasingly difficult to obtain through food. Supplementation is almost a requirement. Iodine is vital to hormonal balance and overall health.
Balance hormones naturally through lifestyle
Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. No other lifestyle factor influences hormones more than sleep, or lack thereof. Enough said. Make sleep a HIGH PRIORITY.
Ditch steady state cardio and swap for weights and interval training. Strength training and HIIT increases testosterone and growth hormone for increased muscle mass in men and women. No ladies, this doesn’t mean getting huge like a man. This means a nice toned body. Steady state and endurance cardio is muscle wasting, causes increased sugar cravings, and a decreased metabolism. This results in a higher body fat.
Switch to glass from plastics. Plastics, even BPA-free, are endocrine system disrupters. Glass is the only safe bet to store food and beverages.
Decrease stress. I know this is easier said than done. Try yoga and daily meditation, even if for 5-10 minutes. It can have a positive effect on calming hormones which favor fat loss.
Get daily natural sunlight on your skin. Vitamin D is very important in all processes of the body. Without it, we feel depressed, sluggish, and more anxious, creating a negative hormone profile.
Switch to non-toxic make-up and lotions. These will cost more money, but you get what you pay for. The cheap ones are full of chemicals that are endocrine system disrupters.
Don’t use scented candles and air fresheners. Surprised? They are endocrine system disrupters.
If you are having a difficult time reaching your body composition goals, yet feel you’re doing everything right, hormones may be to blame. Take these steps to balance hormones naturally, and start seeing results of your hard work in the gym!