I wanted to run a little scenario by you this week to help you understand how hormone balances can affect your daily lifestyle. So let’s run through a possible “Day in the Life of [Your Name].”
Today is Monday. You knew you were going to try to have healthy week, so you spent the weekend clearing out your cupboards and pantry, throwing away all of the ‘bad’ foods, doing your grocery shopping for your healthy alternatives, and then preparing your meals for the week. You are so proud of yourself because you feel really great anticipating that this is going to be a ‘good’ week. You have everything planned out, and you feel prepared. You are determined that your diet is going to work this time.
You go about your daily routine and by 10:00 a.m. everything has gone as planned and you are ready to eat your mid-morning snack, but before you know it, you are called into a meeting and as you have been summoned to be there quickly, you have to leave your healthy, natural snack on your desk. Before you know it, hunger sets. Still, what can you do? You can’t leave this important meeting — you’re stuck.
Now it’s 1:00 p.m. and you are starving. All you’ve had so far is the breakfast you ate at 7:45 a.m. It’s been over five hours since you ate. You just don’t know if you can manage to eat quickly enough, but as you think about that great salad you made, you realize you have lost the excitement you had about your beautiful homemade lunch. You are so hungry that a salad just isn’t going to get it for you. What a dilemma. Still, as hungry as you are, you decide you will just have to forego the salad and head out for the nearest cafe where you have more than you should to eat – and on top of that, not the most healthy choice. Still,with your stomach rumbling, and your intense hunger, you just have to get something “more substantial” inside you. So you justify it with the fact that you missed out on your snack and you had a stressful morning with that emergency meeting.
Before you know it, the guilt sets in. “Wow,” you say to yourself, “I really blew it. If only I hadn’t given in and just had the willpower to eat my salad. I know I would have felt better than I feel now – all bloated and heavy. How did I get to the point of skipping my healthy food and deviating from my diet – and this is just the first day. What am I going to do?”
Does this sound familiar?
Well, all is not lost. You can have a “do-over.” Don’t beat yourself up. Do better for your next meal and stay on track. Also, think this through a little further. Could your hormones be a little bit “out of whack?” Hormones and hormonal based-food cravings are hard to overcome. Did you know that hormones help to regulate metabolism, blood sugar control, stress, sleep, cravings and your weight. I’m sure you’ve heard how important balancing your hormones is. Eating the right foods will help you to be in a better position to keep them balanced so that they work for you instead of against you.
When your hormones are out of whack, you crave carbs or fatty foods. In addition to that, you will find yourself feeling hungry most of the time and you never quite feel full and satisfied. You are under stress, and as a result, you have difficulty sleeping. It’s a vicious cycle. When you are stuck in this cycle weight loss can be very difficult to achieve.
So how do you change this cycle and balance these four hormones that promote weight loss?
- Start your day with a breakfast made up of protein and fat. The combination of protein and fat promotes feelings of fullness, keeps blood sugar levels stable and signals the hypothalamus that you are full.
Tip: Try eating 2-3 whole eggs with 1 cup of vegetables cooked in 1/2 tsp. of coconut oil. Avoid all simple sugars, processed grains and foods with hidden sugars.
- Sugar promotes high levels of insulin secretion. This includes 100% whole wheat and whole grains. Replace your grains with high-fiber beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.
- Eat every 3-4 hours. You should avoid snacking every two hours because if you are constantly eating, your body doesn’t have time to use up the glucose, which is for energy, and never gives your hormones a break. Your meals should be big enough to keep you feeling full for four hours.
- Don’t over exercise or do long bouts of cardio. Since the aim is to reduce cortisol levels (stress), long bouts of cardio will create a stress response in the body. Instead, try short, intense workouts – like weightlifting or sprints. Also, your workouts should only last 30-45 minutes if you do them at the right intensity.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. This is important because your body repairs itself during sleep. Your liver completes its detoxification cycle and your pancreas processes out the remaining glucose. If you are not getting enough quality sleep, it creates a stress response, elevates insulin levels and causes you to crave carbs.
Balancing your hormones is vital to your goal of losing weight.
By following the five tips above, you can gain better control over your hormones and the weight will start to come off. The best part is that when you do the work to balance your hormones, losing weight isn’t so much of a battle anymore!
Do you feel that your hormones are out of balance making it hard to lose weight? If you need help figuring out what you should include in your diet or would like help with your daily diet plan, feel free to jump on a free call with me so that we can discuss your specific and individual goals and health concerns.