Hormones are the body’s messengers that start chemical processes and tell the body how to function. They control everything from the amount of insulin in the blood to weight loss and fat storage. Everyone that has suffered from bloating right before their period or the sugar craving that comes can testify that hormones can cause discouragement and total abandonment from a healthy diet. Hormones also indicate how the body’s fat is distributed, so it does play a prominent role in belly fat, as well as dictate other problem areas, like the thighs.
Hormones are just chemical messengers.
If your hormones are out of whack, you are either sick, feeling out of sorts or are faced with problems like excess weight loss or gain. Insulin and blood sugar control are jobs hormones control that have an effect on how much you weigh. There are hormones that dictate where fat is distributed, such as the sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. Fat stored in the breasts, hips, thighs and bottom is called gynoid fat and is determined by the balance of sex hormones.
There is a balancing act among hormones.
If you have high levels of insulin, the chances of having high levels of glucagon are slim. Glucagon has the opposing effects on each other. When insulin levels increase, glucagon levels go down. Insulin regulates sugar levels and increases fat storage in the stomach area. Glucagon does the opposite. It causes the body to burn fat. Consuming protein increases the secretion of glucagon and consuming sugar and white refined flour promotes insulin secretion. Add in stress and you have cortisol playing a role in body fat. Cortisol is a stress hormone that increases the production of insulin.
There’s good news on the horizon.
You can control these three hormones and make a difference in your weight. If you noticed, eating sugary food and white refined flour increases insulin production, while consuming protein reduced it as it increased glucagon. Switch out that sweet treat for some unsweetened yogurt and fruit. Have more protein and less white bread or pastries. Lower your level of cortisol by burning it off with exercise. Adding healthy essential fatty acids to your diet, like those you find in nuts and seeds or fatty fish, can also help support hormonal health.
- Boost your metabolism with green tea. Green tea contains amino acids that also calm you, called L-theanine.
- Increasing your sleep helps not only reduce cortisol, but also reduces the production of the hunger hormone—ghrelin, while boosting the satiety hormone—leptin.
- Drink plenty of water. It boosts your energy level and keeps your digestive tract hydrated and healthy. When you increase water intake, it lowers levels of inflammation, increases metabolism and aids digestion.
- Take time for yourself, while also interacting with others. Give someone a hug, even if it’s a pet. It naturally lowers cortisol levels. Also, take a few minutes a day to appreciate all that you have and meditate, journal or pray.
For more information, contact us today at Jari Love