Seven tips to support hormone health
As a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist, too often, I see people focusing on “Move More” and “Eat less,” but there is so much more to fat loss-for people. So much more involved than just moving your body and eating less. If that were the case, weight loss wouldn’t be the billion-dollar industry it is today. A caloric deficit is necessary for sustainable fat loss, but what about supporting the hormones that affect your metabolism.
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Support your Hormones to achieve sustainable weight loss
Hormonal support is often missing in people’s weight loss program, and if you’re overtraining and undereating, you may be compromising your weight loss. The hormone runs your body, and a disruption in the chain or over/underbalanced can result in stagnant progress, weight gain, or even weight loss. Supporting your hormones is key to helping you optimally and sustainably lose weight. Over a hundred hormones in our endocrine system regulate our respiration, metabolism, reproduction, sensory perception, movement, sexual development, and growth.
Understanding your Hormones is Important to your health
When you speak about hormones, far too often, people think of reproductive hormones and teens’ attitudes, but there is so much more to hormones than teenage lust. Many of the attendees of my Understanding of your hormones workshop were in disbelief in all the functions of their hormones and how they overlook their endocrine system in their health.
Check out my post Understanding your hormones for a basic understanding of how your hormones.
There are a few hormones that regulate your metabolism. I am going to share with you seven that have an effect on your weight loss and, with support, can help you achieve better results than “moving more and eating less.”
Some metabolic hormones and functions
According to Hormone.org the following hormones are defined as:
One critical hormone that affects your metabolism is your leptin hormone. Leptin is a hormone made of cells in the small intestines called adipose cells and enterocytes cells. Leptin hormones are responsible for regulating your hunger and transmit the signal that you are full. People who are leptin resistant have a hard time realizing they are full and utilizes fat storage.
This hormone, or what I affectionately refer to as the “gremlin” hormone (80’s babies may know this reference), is the hormone that tells you that you are hungry. When I am angry, I can turn into a gremlin unless you feed me fast. Like leptin, the Ghrelin is released in the small intestines and stimulates your appetite, how much food you intake, and encourages fat storage.
Cortisol is considered a hormone that is considered a steroid hormone and regulates many things in the body. It is responsible for regulating processes such as metabolism and immunity. It has a great impact on our response to stress and can be attributed to stalling weight loss.
HGH and popularized in the eighties bodybuilding era as well as nineties baseball. HGH is more abundant during childhood and helps to maintain and initiate tissue and organ growth.
Progesterone hormone is specifically a female hormone that is produced in the ovaries monthly during ovulation.
A chemically similar group of hormones that are commonly known as female sex hormones. Estrogen is mainly in women during their reproductive age.
Insulin sensitivity is your body’s response to insulin. Some people are highly sensitive, which is preferred because your body utilizes blood glucose and reduces blood sugar more effectively. If your body is insensitive, your body doesn’t process blood glucose and effectively reduces blood sugar. You can improve your insulin sensitivity through lifestyle and dietary changes.
If you believe you have a hormone imbalance, set up an appointment and speak with your doctor. You can also seek the assistance of a local Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner in your area. There is a directory at www.bonesandhormones.com that may help you find one if you are unsure.
Here are seven simple ways to support your metabolic hormones:
1. There is a way to support your estrogen to progesterone ratio with vegetables. Storing fat in the lower body and/or breasts often indicate elevated estrogen (compared to progesterone). The imbalance of estrogen to progesterone can affect your ability to burn fat. Support a lower estrogen relative to progesterone by increasing foods that help reduce elevated estrogen-like cruciferous veggies and green tea. I am a big fan of cruciferous veggies and use them often in my Detox & Devotion cookbook. As part of my 2-4p craving window, I sip Organic India Tulsi tea. It has been scientifically found that drinking green tea significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and increased insulin sensitivity. Incorporating Green Tea, you incorporate in your diet daily, is recommended for many benefits. I also believe the Ayurveda, which is known as the science of life, and Tulsi’s healing properties and start and end my days with Tulsi green tea.
2. A way to support your cortisol is through low impact exercise. Incorporating Pilates into my weekly movement for core strengthing and low impact movement. I also try to walk leisurely. I know it’s easier said than done, but you really need to stress less! Why? Stress is probably the main factor in your ability to burn fat. When possible, try to lower cortisol by doing restorative activities like leisurely walking and having quiet time to distress; pilates and meditation are helpful (even if it’s just 5 minutes!)
3. You can Increase fat-burning hormones potential with the right type of workout. Implementing high-intensity exercise like weight-training and HIIT can help lower cortisol over time and increase testosterone, a fat-burning/muscle-building hormone that people need to help burn fat. Movement aids you to burn the fat; exercise provides additional hormonal benefits. Other hormones are released during movement that helps to improve your mood. If your time is limited, get a quick moment of movement, you can move anywhere you have space to extend your arms and legs. Find short, effective workouts when you can on the FaithFueled Life app. I have exercise workouts you can choose from ranging from 15-45 minutes with different levels of intensity. If you are suffering from an imbalance that causes Adrenal fatigue, we also have a low impact exercise for you based on your level through my FaithFueled Life app.
4. Another way you can support or improve your insulin sensitivity is something we need to work towards. Highly active insulin sensitivity is a desirable state because it prevents your body from storing excess fat. Insulin is an anabolic storage hormone produced by the pancreas and regulates carbohydrate and fat storage in the body. When insulin levels are high, extra calories are stored as fat. Also, insulin inhibits glucagon release; this causes the body to use fat as an energy source effectively.
- Things that can help are Movement, adding more soluble fiber-which are foods that help feed healthy bacteria in your gut-Like Pre & probiotics. Organic India has a Psyllium husk powder that is an easy and effective way to add more soluble fiber. Use Faithfueled for 15% off
- Another nourishing source is adding more legumes, oatmeal, flaxseeds, vegetables like Brussels sprouts, and fruits like oranges.
- Other suggestions to improve insulin sensitivity is to lose weight, reduce stress, and taste the rainbow by adding more colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet.
My new program is coming out called Nourish Better. It takes you through six weeks of education and a step-by-step guide to help you honor your temple and support and offer great resources to help you increase these fruits and veggies in your life. Help you to stop obsessing about food, neglecting your body, and helping you to find the tools to nourish your body better. All while devoting through God’s word to convict you from the inside out to honor your temple.
- Adding herbs and spices specifically to your meal. Herbs and spices have so many benefits and add flavor and pizzaz to food. Being strategic and utilizing the herbs God has given us is so easily accessible in our modern world.
- A few effective ones to explore and add to your pantry to support your insulin sensitivity through foods are fenugreek, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic.
- You can add these through seasonings, teas, and tinctures. Apple cider vinegar also assists in lowering carbs– it doesn’t remove them.
Change how you eat to increase Insulin sensitivity.
Most people have a C.R.A.P diet and don’t eat nearly enough F.O.O.D, which you can help you get your daily necessities of carbohydrates. And carbohydrates are a necessity, but not all carbs are made equal. Some are made from God, but the ones most people consume are made from man. We explore the differences in my new program of Nourish Better based on my concept of Biblically-based eating and nourishing our bodies with what God has provided for us to eat. A little sneak peeks Cheez-its and Chips Ahoy is not on the list.
Avoiding trans fat and reducing sugar and added sugars will support your insulin sensitivity. It is possible to live a “no-to-low” refined sugar diet and still enjoy sweet indulgences. Just like carbs, there are natural sweeteners provided by God, not man. Adding supplements like chromium, berberine, magnesium, and resveratrol have also been found to help with insulin insensitivity.
5.Increasing protein and fiber will help support your Ghrelin hormone. Plant-based proteins have both in abundance, as well as whole grains. Grehlin is a hunger hormone produced in your stomach and the pancreas and alerts your body to feel hunger. It feels less ravenous when you intake more protein and fiber. Think of Ghrelin as your hunger alarm. Levels will increase before meals (sending hunger signals to the brain) and likewise decrease after meals. Alerting you that you are full and engaging the Leptin hormone.
6.When you support your Leptin hormone, you reduce cravings! Leptin is a hunger hormone, which is considered the counterpart to the hunger hormone ghrelin, its produced by the adipose (fat) tissue. While ghrelin is produced in the stomach and pancreas, but they work together. When you are craving food, it is an indication that you are not producing leptin. Also known as leptin resistance. Too many processed foods can cause leptin resistance, stress, and sleep deprivation tend to produce leptin resistance, causing your body not to feel full. It dulls the senses that tell your body you’re full. Movement and proper nourishment have the opposite effect. This is why most people CAN’T simply “eat less” to lose weight. It’s also why I got my NASM Weight Loss Specialization to help people with their weight loss goals and learn the science behind weight loss.
7. Pray and find community. There is power in accountability. You can have all the tools but not have the strength for the labor. “Give it to the greatest Carpenter.” Through daily prayers, devotions, and walking through your journey with Jesus, you can find all the strength, energy, and nourishment you need. He will meet you where you are and free you from your bandage, whatever is tethering you to neglecting your temple for temptation. When transforming, you need to die to the old to brace the new. Jesus gave us a real-life example of the sacrifice and obedience it took to set us free. Seek and trust in Jesus, Die to old ways, and adopt new habits that can lead you to a new lifestyle approach to wellness and honoring your temple.
For November, we are doing a 30 Day Steadfast Challenge. I will be sharing a verse and balance pose for you daily to meditate on God’s word as we navigate November. The community also helps you along the journey. Finding support and someone to hold you accountable makes a huge difference when trying to make a Transformation. This is not just about fitness. It’s about living a lifestyle that honors your temple and glorifies God. Suppose you’re looking for direction. I’d say join my FaithFueledLife group and get encouragement and direction to honor your temple.
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