Balancing Women’s Hormones 101
By Cassie Zeider
Unfortunately, hormones for women, especially if you’re a mom, can wreak havoc on your day. Highs and lows, ups and downs… they can lead you on an emotional rollercoaster that can cause stress, discord in your relationships with your significant other and children and make you feel helpless and depressed.
And hormones can cause a variety of different health issues. You may be prone to gaining or losing weight, excess bloating, lack of energy and motivation and other issues with your body, such as hair loss or skin irritations.
More often than not, hormones play a role to some extent in these situations.
Hormones Hindering Weight Loss
While there are many different hormones, these are the 4 that are most likely to hinder your weight loss goals, wreaking havoc on your body in the process.
- Estrogen – plays a role in the growth of sexual characteristics and reproduction.
- Insulin – regulates how the body uses and stores glucose and fat.
- Cortisol – released in response to stress; used to create energy when needed in stressful situations – “fight or flight”.
- Leptin – regulates food intake and body weight.
As a Health Coach, I always recommend that my clients eat clean, which is a big factor in balancing hormones.
But what does it mean to eat clean?
Eating clean simply means eating as close to the earth as possible. It means eliminating (or at least decreasing) you’re consumption of food-like products (processed and packaged “food”). This includes chips, crackers and cookies that you buy pre-made at the market, in addition to frozen dinner, etc. You get the idea.
Your goal when shopping is to buy things without an ingredient list, those are the clean foods! Shop the perimeter of the market – produce and protein is what you’ll find. These are whole, real foods. These are the ones you want!
The main triggers you should try to avoid (or at least decrease) are gluten, dairy, soy and sugar (or artificial sugar). Many people are often intolerant, even allergic to the foods they commonly eat. Chances are, you are consuming something that may not be serving your body right now. Gluten, dairy and soy are 3 of the most common foods that people have an adverse reaction, often unknowingly.
Symptoms of food intolerance vary per person, but some of the most common ones include: digestive issues (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea); skin issues (rashes, acne); foggy thinking; poor sleep; sluggishness and fatigue; low libido; headaches; and many more.
Sugar should be eliminated due to the effect it has on our brain and our bodies. Sugars are even thought to be more addictive than cocaine and have no nutritional value.
I’d recommend starting with an elimination diet and observing how your body responds to certain foods. If you would like me to assist you in an elimination diet, please feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to help.
What is an elimination diet?
An elimination diet is when you eliminate all of the above foods (and any others you think may be a trigger for you) for 3 weeks. You then add one back at a time, waiting 3 days in between each food to see how you react. Symptoms can manifest up to 72 hours later, so pay close attention.
Other Important Factors To Consider
Besides eating clean, some other areas of life that will help you manage your hormonal imbalance are to:
- Meditation or Prayer.
- Eliminating Unnecessary Stressors.
- Adequate Sleep.
Sometimes we forget about the toxins that surround us on a daily basis. The air we breath, the food we eat, the chemicals we are surrounded by. They affect our bodies in ways we don’t realize. I believe the more we can eliminate being around these toxins, the better our body will respond and be able to function at a high level.
Toxins affect your body by causing bloating, headaches, migraines, achy joints, constipation, and sinus issues. In addition, there have even been studies linking toxic exposure to diseases, including cancer, MS, Lupus and other autoimmune conditions.
Remember, we don’t work in pieces so when something is “off”, listen to these signals to prevent further problems from occurring.
If you have questions or comments, please share those with me below.
Cassie Zeider is a Certified Health Coach, Mother, Daughter and Friend. She is passionate about food and how it relates to the body. Weight loss, digestion and hormones are her favorite topics, but she loves stress release as well. She focuses on a whole body approach to health.
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