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How to Balance Your Hormones and Lose Weight Easily
If you have been trying to lose weight and find that it’s been a struggle, perhaps you are focusing on the wrong thing. Did you know that there is a direct connection between your hormonal balance and losing weight? It’s true. Your hormones control many bodily functions including your metabolism, your cravings, and your appetite, and even where and when your body will store fat. Of course cutting out things like sugar and potato chips and hitting the treadmill regularly can help you shed some pounds. But when you’ve done that and it no longer seems to work anymore, when you think you have tried just about every diet and they don’t really work, it’s time to look at how a hormonal imbalance is affecting your weight loss efforts. Let’s take a look at how your hormone work and how you can balance or “reset” them; you might find that losing weight becomes much easier.
Hormones are chemicals that orchestrate how both your mind and body behaves. Essential to both men and women, they are essential for fighting stress, maintaining muscle mass, and collecting (or shedding) fat. Your hormones need to be balanced in order to have an energetic and happy life, but far too many people look towards possibly dangerous (not to mention expensive) supplements trying to get the results they want.
First, let’s focus on resetting or getting your hormones back into balance with a few easy to follow steps. Keep reading because once your hormones are working properly, and in proper proportion, you will find life is joy and you feel better than you ever imagined possible.
The first thing you should focus on is performing a detox program to help remove toxins from your body. Eating certain foods tends to irritate your entire digestive system, which upsets your hormonal balance. This can lead to severe cravings, and overeating. Overeating will lead to an accumulation of fat and those unbalanced hormones won’t allow your body to release it. Follow a detox program.
2. Foods to Eat
Try to eat foods that have a low glycemic (sugar) index to help balance your hormones. Eating plenty of foods that are high in fiber such as fresh, organic vegetables, raisins, nuts, beans, and bananas will stop your digestive system from becoming irritated. Be certain that you are drinking plenty of water, also. Water is what helps to maintain your metabolism and give your body a means of flushing out toxins.
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3. Foods to Avoid
If you have any food allergies, even if they are minor or you consider them fairly harmless, you need to cut those foods out of your diet entirely. These cause inflammation and irritation in the body. Also, avoid foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates such as white bread, sodas, baked goods, pasta, white rice, and processed foods. You also need to avoid the man-made fats found in most vegetable oils, such as corn oil, safflower oil, and canola oil. These cause inflammation and oxidation of your cells. Use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
4. Reduce Stress
Stress is a major no-no when you are trying to balance your hormones. When you allow yourself to stay chronically stressed, your body makes too much a stress hormone called cortisol, which tells your body that you are in some type of dangerous, extreme situation and you need to hold on to fat, especially belly fat. Find ways to reduce stress in your life and practice yoga or meditation to control the stress you cannot avoid. Eating beans, barley, citrus fruits, nuts, and spinach will also help to reduce cortisol levels. Although there are few studies to back up any claims, but many people claim that Holy Basil, an herb often used in India, can help to maintain healthy cortisol levels in the body. You can buy this herb in a supplement form at almost any health food store.
5. Junk in the Trunk
Although some people may like big butts, there are limits. If you find that you are storing most of your fat on your behind, it could be due to high estrogen levels. Eating plenty of cruciferous veggies, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli can help block estrogen in the body. Eating chia seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds are a great way to remove estrogen in the bloodstream. Red grapes and pomegranates or pomegranate juice are another good choice for lowering estrogen levels.
6. Avoid Hormone Disrupting Chemicals
Most people don’t realize it, but many of the chemicals found in plastics, pesticides, and household cleaners, even some mattresses, cause a disruption in our body’s production of hormones. These imitate our natural hormones, so our bodies don’t make more because they think we are already getting them when we aren’t. Avoid non-stick cookware, conventional meat, traditional household cleaners, scented soaps or lotions, and anti-bacterial soaps or sanitizers that contain triclosan.
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7. Get Enough Sleep
This is super important, more so than most people realize. Of course in a perfect world we would rise and sleep in time with the sun, get all the vitamin D we need from natural sunlight and plenty of magnesium from the ocean or from our foods, and get plenty of exercise in a stress-free environment, but that kind of world does not appear to be on the horizon. In the meantime, do all you can to remedy things as much as possible and one of the things within your control is getting enough sleep. Your body detoxes itself and makes hormones while you sleep. Get at least 7 hours every single night.
8. Take Supplements
Very few people get all the vitamins and minerals we need to work in today’s world from their diet alone. Take a magnesium supplement for better sleep. (Use an oil for better absorption.) Get 30 minutes of safe sun exposure daily or take vitamin D supplements as this vitamin is a pre-hormone that supports overall hormone function. Gelatin is a great way to get calcium, magnesium, and phosphate all in one fell swoop. Also, consider taking some fermented cod liver oil as this contains vitamins A, D, and K, all of which are vital for hormone production.
9. Fix Your Leptin
Leptin is the master hormone, and when it is out of whack, so is everything else. Fixing your leptin levels will help improve fertility, lower inflammation, and make losing weight much easier. To do this, don’t overdo the exercise, don’t snack in-between meals for a period of about 4 weeks, remove stress and do a detox program. Be sure you are consuming lots of those healthy omega-3s as well!
10. Get Some Light Exercise
Don’t go all out and do a marathon. In fact, heavy cardio is bad for you when you are trying to balance your hormones. Do simple exercises such as walking, swimming, and some light weight training.