Regulate your hormones, especially if you are a female aged between thirty to forty-five years old. As you head into your ‘middle ages’ it is inevitable that you may put on a few kilos of weight, it’s only natural. Genetics, some say, play a part in this natural weight gain or might poor lifestyle choices and below average eating habits be to blame? They all could easily be involved, but one thing for sure is that according to a vast array of evidence-based studies, high-stress levels and unbalanced hormones cause weight gain regardless of your age.
Fat loss is a significant concern for most people in our society today. Hearing so much about today’s obesity epidemic could maybe cause us to become complacent about how vital fat loss is for many people, especially if you have a genetic predisposition to a health condition such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Obesity has a direct correlation to developing such health conditions. If fat loss is something, you are trying to achieve trying to regulate specific hormones will give you effective results.
Hormones To Regulate For Fat Loss
All of your hormones work together like an orchestra in constant communication with each other. More often than not, if any of your hormones are out of balance, it will have an adverse effect on another hormone, sometimes several. Higher than average cortisol levels (stress hormone) is most often experienced today, as whether we realise it or not, stress is a significant concern for most of us. Typical day to day living can be stressful for our bodies before we even begin to talk about an upsetting situation causing us to stress. Talk to anyone on the street and most will have a stress release technique in their healthy lifestyle toolkit. Mindfulness and yoga are not trending topics for no reason.
Hormones have an enormous influence on the quality of our mind, body and lives. With a few tricks and highly effective stress relief techniques, practised daily, we can avoid becoming a slave to our hormones. Hormone fluctuations are caused by many daily things including too much or too little exercise, body fat, genetics, ageing, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, poor gut health, environmental toxins, alcohol and of course stress.
Hormone replacement therapy, thyroid medication, fertility drugs and insulin injections are available and are a quick, convenient and for some an attractive option. However, the thing is, do these medications address the underlying causes of why your hormones are out of balance? Will they be contraindicated to any medication you are on? If they don’t address your underlying causes of your hormones being out of balance, then often there is an adverse effect on other areas of your hormones and health. Check with your healthcare professional.
Significant hormones responsible for fat loss include.
Human Growth (HGH)
You need to regulate your hormones for optimal health, especially if fat loss is your main goal you are trying to achieve. Let’s take a look at how to balance each of these hormones.
How To Balance Glucagon
Glucagon is your fat burning hormone which works in tandem with insulin. Together these hormones balance your blood sugar levels and keep you full of vitality. Glucagon tells your body to burn fat instead of storing it. Your body produces glucagon when you eat carbohydrates. Choose slow releasing carbs which have a low glycemic index (GI), such as sweet potato, lentils, quinoa, oats, barley and bulgar, which cause a slow rise in blood glucose and generally call for less insulin to be produced.
Glucagon helps lower inflammation throughout your body which helps with lowering pain and may help prevent health conditions such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. This dietary hormone also helps detoxify your liver, lower bad cholesterol, raises good cholesterol, increases your energy and elevates your mood. You’ve got to love glucagon!
How To Balance Insulin
Insulin is your fat storing hormone. It tells your body to store fat. Your body produces it when you overeat protein and fats but especially when you overeat carbohydrates, specifically unrefined carbohydrates. The trick is to never eat a carbohydrate by itself. Always eat a protein and healthy fat with your carb. For example for breakfast eat eggs with your toast. Starting your day with protein also helps balance your blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings. Both essential tricks for fat loss.
Both cardio and resistance exercise are highly useful for lowering your insulin levels. Circuit training has been found to be the best type of workout for improving the way your body uses insulin. If you choose not to exercise and continue to overeat, your body goes into overproducing mode of insulin. An overproduction of insulin eventually causes your body to become resistant to insulin. It leads not only to your body finding it impossible to burn fat, but it also leads to type 2 diabetes. Ensure you exercise daily, eat fewer carbohydrates and avoid overeating. We have heard that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water is helpful for balancing blood sugar levels. Insulin may also raise your cholesterol and inflammatory levels.
High levels of cortisol are nearly unavoidable in today’s world. Your adrenal glands produce cortisol when you are stressed. Thus it’s called your stress hormone. Being stressed can be sometimes be a good thing, but when you are continually stressed, otherwise known as chronic stress this fatigues your adrenals and hurts all aspects of your health. So what’s your stress hormone cortisol got to do with fat loss? Well, it has a massive impact on fat loss because an overload of cortisol breaks down muscle tissue, increases fat stored around your abdominals, increases your craving for sugar and may even increase your chances of depression.
Control your cortisol levels with a mix of cardio and resistance workouts, yoga, meditation, breathwork, mindfulness and any other stress-relieving technique which works for you. Although sometimes impossible, try to avoid everything in your life that causes you to stress such as negative people, toxic relationships, food intolerances, environmental toxins and poor lifestyle habits.
Healthy fats signal to your body to release your leptin hormone. Leptin signals to your brain that you are satisfied and don’t need more food for up to four hours after eating a healthy fat.
Taming Your Thyroid Hormones
Whole foods rich in iodine include seaweed, yoghurt, tuna, raw milk, cheese, prunes, eggs and bananas. Visit your health care professional to have all, and we mean all, of your thyroid hormones checked. Bladderwrack is a popular herbal tonic used for increasing your metabolism and regulating your thyroid hormones, primarily due to its high iodine content. Optimally functioning thyroid hormones are vital for fat loss.
How Human Growth (HGH) Works
According to several studies, this hormone seems to be lower in overweight adults. Studies link HGH with fat loss and muscle gain. Your pituitary gland produces the hormone to fuel your growth and development as a child, maintains some of the functions of your body but declines with age. HGH pills, powder and injections are available and are often used for weight loss, muscle building and anti-aging effects. These injections have side effects, are expensive, and studies have shown no definite signs of them working for weight loss.
Actioning Adrenaline For Fat Loss
Adrenaline is one of the key hormones for losing belly fat. Interval training, specifically high intermittent interval training is the key to helping your body produce adrenaline. One of the adrenaline's primary functions is to break down and burn fat with a good dose of appetite suppression on the side. Sounds the perfect recipe for fat loss.
The formula of 8:20 seems to give the most beneficial results for fat loss. Eight seconds of intense exercise followed by a twenty second recovery. We love our rowing machine, treadmill and spinning bike for these training sessions. Train safe but train smart with our expert guidance to help you reach your goals.
Boosting Your Testosterone For Fat Loss
Testosterone hormone in women is responsible for muscle mass, bone density, optimal wellbeing and healthy hair. Low testosterone levels in women, may lead to osteoporosis, depression, low sex drive and obesity. Women who have higher oestrogen and progesterone levels seem to have lower testosterone levels and find fat loss, sometimes close to impossible. Simultaneously increasing your testosterone levels and lowering your oestrogen levels may help to improve your metabolism of fat. Strength training again comes out tops for boosting your testosterone.
Body fat produces oestrogen, so by lowering the amount of fat you have on your body you will effectively be decreasing the amount of oestrogen your body produces. Balancing oestrogen is essential for fat loss. Among other things, an oestrogen imbalance will impact your ability to build and retain lean muscles. High-intensity, short-duration resistance training is the most effective for building muscle and burning fat, without causing excessive stress.
Progesterone works in harmony with oestrogen. If your progesterone levels are low, it will cause your oestrogen hormone to dominate (oestrogen dominance). Low progesterone may cause your body to break down muscle tissue for energy instead of using your fat storage of energy. Thus, leading to increased fat storage, and production of cellulite.
Getting Your Ghrelin Down
Ghrelin and leptin are the two essential hormones responsible for regulating your appetite. When your stomach is empty, it produces the ghrelin hormone, which via your bloodstream, ends up in your hypothalamus signalling to it you need food. For fat loss you need less ghrelin produced, so don’t yo-yo diet and go hungry.
The Importance Of Macronutrients In Your Diet
Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fats. You need all of them for different bodily functions.
Our bodies require a regular supply of protein throughout the day. Protein is responsible for making all your muscles, skin, hair, nails, hormones, and neurotransmitters. The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, age and health. Our bodies are unable to store protein and will excrete any excess. Always start your day with protein to prevent sugar cravings and to help balance your blood sugar levels. Protein also plays a big part in controlling your insulin levels. Eat protein with every meal to help regulate insulin, inflammation and maintain weight. When you eat a protein, your body produces your dietary hormone glucagon, which signals to your body to use fat from storage and to detoxify. Protein prevents fat storage and weight gain.
Sources Of Protein
Dairy products; milk, yoghurt and cheese
Nuts and seeds
Beans and legumes
Lean meat, poultry and fish
Carbohydrates provide the primary source of energy. Carbs are a fantastic form of dietary fibre essential for increasing amount of chewing which improves digestion, increases faecal caloric loss, improves blood sugar control and feeling of fullness. Eating more carbohydrates than you burn off in a day will:
Cause weight gain
Stimulate sugar cravings
Unbalance your gut flora causing bloating, wind, discomfort, white coating on the tongue, nutrient malabsorption, inflammation of the bowel, and for some anxiety.
Choose slow releasing carbohydrates and eat them with protein to balance your dietary hormones. If you eat only a carbohydrate, such as a piece of toast for breakfast, your blood sugar level will rise, and within two to three hours your blood sugar levels will fall, and you will crave another carbohydrate. So you eat another carb, and this cycle can continue throughout the day. While you are asleep, your blood sugar levels continue to drop, which can disrupt your sleep, and when you wake up, you are hungry and crave another carbohydrate, and the cycle begins all over again.
Every time you hit a blood sugar high, you cause inflammation within your body, and if you have any pain from arthritis or any injury, it will get worse with every high, you will also gain weight with every high, as insulin is a fat storage hormone. Every time your blood sugar drops, and you hit a low, and you get mood swings, irritability, cravings, foggy head and you can’t make decisions properly until you eat again.
Sources Of Complex Carbohydrates
Quinoa, beans, lentils, brown rice, whole grain wheat, granary or rye bread, wholemeal pasta, oats, apples, pears, oranges, plums, berries, dark green leafy veggies, watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, green beans, capsicum, nuts, seeds and oatcakes.
Simple Carbohydrates To Avoid
Sugar, sweets, white bread, white pasta, white rice, alcohol, sauces, banana, raisins and fast food.
Balancing the right kind of healthy fats is vital for optimal wellness. Healthy fats packed with essential fatty acids (EFA) which among other things your body requires for:
Healthy fat tells the body to release your dietary hormone Leptin. Leptin signals to your brain you are satisfied and don’t need more food for up to four hours.
Sources Of Healthy Fats To Love
Extra virgin olive oil
Balance Your Gut Flora For Fat Loss
Balancing the flora of your gut is vital for so many functions in your body, optimal wellness and especially for fat loss. Probiotics are highly effective for balancing the flora of your gut.
Sources Of Probiotic Foods
Low Fructose For Fat Loss
You hear so much about low sugar, but it’s actually the fructose that does all the damage. Fruit contains a natural sugar called fructose which blocks the liver and makes you gain weight and may also promote diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, fatty liver, polycystic ovarian syndrome and obesity.
Foods high in fructose include.
Fruits high in fructose include figs, dates, grapes, apples, pears, cherries, prunes and bananas. Eat only a limited amount.
Fruits which are low in fructose include berries, oranges, grapefruit. Enjoy heaps of them!
Strength Training To Balance Hormones
As we have discovered in this article strength training is highly useful for balancing hormones. Strength training helps your body build muscle mass and control your metabolism. Keep your exercise program balanced, as pushing yourself too hard in the gym may cause your oestrogen levels to fall too low. Low levels of oestrogen may cause symptoms such as poor memory, sleep problems, hot flashes, mood swings, osteoporosis and even amenorrhea.
Aim to train at least three days every week. The largest muscles in your body are in your legs, so focus two of your training sessions on your legs. Vary your tempo to maximise the hormonal balancing effects of your exercise program.
A variety of repetition and type of exercise is also vital to keep your body guessing, to maximise your training regime, optimise the hormone balancing effect, and of course, to prevent boredom with your exercise.
How Infrared Sauna Helps Hormones
An infrared sauna is highly useful for fat loss. A buildup of toxins within your body may lead to weight gain. According to one study, the radiant heat from an infrared sauna penetrates into the body and causes your body to sweat in a way that releases more toxins. Regular use of an infrared sauna seems to be excellent for optimal health and effective fat loss. Book your infrared sauna today.
Yoga, yoga and more yoga my friends. We need a whole article just on the benefits of yoga, but for the purpose of this article, women have been practising yoga for centuries to regulate hormones for effective fat loss.
Breathing techniques practised regularly thought out your day is your most cost-effective trick for lowering cortisol and balancing all your hormones. Inhale for four slow seconds, hold your breath for four slow second, exhale for four slow seconds. On every inhale to make sure you activate your diaphragm and inhale right down into your belly. Repeat this eight times. Ideally, find a quiet space to practice this breathing technique, but you can easy and just as effectively do this while working. As easy as breathwork sounds, don’t underestimate the enormous impact it can have on lowering your stress levels and improving your overall health.