Make Your Hormones Your Biggest Ally

For women, hormones can be a burden. As if mood swings aren’t bad enough, hormones can wreak havoc on your appetite and cravings. They also determine where and how your body stores fat, which can be frustrating when it comes to weight loss.

These little chemical messengers rise and fall and can cause your appetite to do the same.

However, once you understand the natural behavior patterns of these hormones, and how to control and use them to your advantage, you will find adjusting to a healthy diet exponentially easier.

To win the battle against the hormones, you have to be able to differentiate emotional eating from actual hunger.

Meet your hormones:

Testosterone


These guys come from the ovaries and adrenal glands, and control your overall energy and strength.  Here’s the problem though. They go M.I.A. when our bodies prepare to menstruate. So what happens is our metabolism gets sluggish, and we tend to replace our fatigue and sluggishness with food. Exercise can help produce these during that time of the month, and avoiding sugar can help as well. Consuming too much sugar can actually kill the gene that regulates active testosterone levels in your body.

Cortisol


It is produced in the Adrenal Gland and is the steroid hormone. This hormone multiplies in your body in the presence of stress or danger. Anytime you stress out, your body expends energy and in order to replenish the energy, it comes out in the form of a craving; usually consisting of sugar and salt. Recognize when this happens, and don’t mistake stress for hunger.

Leptin


This is a hormone made by adipose cells and it regulates energy balances by inhibiting hunger. However, when fat cells go away, such as when you start to lose weight, your leptin goes AWOL as well. When leptin goes away, your body doesn’t get the “I’m full” message and so your proportions become larger and your caloric intake increases. Avoid crash dieting and make your “diet” more of a lifestyle.

Estrogen


This is the primary female sex hormone. She goes away when your period comes on.  In the absence of estrogen, the body is extremely susceptible to caving to sugar cravings.  This is why you binge before your period. Convenient, right?

To regulate estrogen balances, increase your overall fiber intake. Fiber moves estrogen and toxins through the digestive system so that we can recycle and rid of the toxicity.  If we don’t eat enough fiber, the same estrogen is recirculated throughout our bodies and the toxins that we should be eliminating, by flushing out our system with fiber, remain in the bloodstream which cause problems like high cholesterol and weight gain.

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