My issues with hormones were mostly related to cortisol and melatonin. As a result, I was experiencing breakouts (for the first time ever), high anxiety levels, weight gain specifically around the belly, and poor sleep quality. I didn't feel good and I didn't feel in control of my body.
Hormones are powerful things. They are messengers in our body that tell our organs and tissues exactly what to do. Something to keep in mind is that our hormones are working for US. That means whatever message that they are sending to other parts of your body is a direct response and survival mechanism to whatever is going on in your environment.
When you have hormone imbalance, it's usually a huge indicator that something with your diet, lifestyle, or environment (or all three) is off and you need to address it. That's what I did earlier this year and as a result I am now breakout free, I'm energized, I sleep well, and my anxiety is low.
Today, I'm sharing 4 ways that you can help balance your hormones and feel in control of your body again!
#1: Cortisol ~ Your Stress Hormone
Cortisol is one of the most common hormone imbalances I see, especially with women. Naturally, you are supposed to have high levels in the morning and lower levels in the evening. But with constant cell phone notifications, caffeine too late in the day, exercising at the wrong time, and everyday stressors, Cortisol becomes raised all throughout the day and never really declines. This causes your body to be in a constant state of fight-or-flight which can hinder your weight loss goals, cause you to gain weight specifically around the waist, increase your risk of anxiety/depression, and significantly increase your risk of heart disease.
How to balance it: This one takes work. There's a lot you can (and need to) do, but one of the first steps is to slow it down. You can also reduce your evening cortisol levels (the time when you WANT low cortisol) with negative ions. Find out exactly what those are and how to use them HERE.
#2: Melatonin ~ Your Sleep Hormone
Most Americans aren't getting enough high quality sleep. Note that I said high quality sleep. This is what matters. I frequently hear from my clients that they wake up feeling tired regardless of how much they sleep. It's also common to see people waking up multiple times throughout the night. This is usually due to a reduction in the production of melatonin. Melatonin is tightly regulated along with cortisol. As cortisol goes down, this triggers melatonin to go up. But like you saw with the first tip, most of us have chronically high levels of cortisol, making it difficult to increase your melatonin. This leads to low quality sleep which leads to a further imbalance in cortisol - and the cycle continues.
How to balance it: First, you have to get your cortisol in check. While you do that, you can also utilize starchy carbs to help you get more zzz's. Find out more HERE.
#3: Growth Hormone ~ Your Fat Burning/Muscle Building Hormone
Weight loss is a common health and wellness goal. Cutting calories not only makes you hungry (read: hangry), it also doesn't work. That's where growth hormone comes in. Your body naturally produces growth hormone and you need it to tap into your fat burning mechanisms and help repair muscle tissue post workout. However, most of us are significantly low in this fat burning hormone because of gut inflammation, improper Nutrient Timing, and eating way too often.
How to balance it: With Intermittent Fasting and proper Nutrient Timing, you can increase your growth hormone, tap into your fat burning mechanisms, and achieve your weight loss goals without feeling hungry. Learn how HERE.
#4: Insulin ~ Your Storage Hormone
Insulin is another widely imbalanced hormone. Insulin is used to store carbohydrates/sugar into your cells. When those are full, it shuttles those carbohydrates to be stored as fats. High insulin levels and insulin resistance can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, weight gain, and PCOS.
How to balance it: There are a variety of tools you can use to balance insulin, but a few of the most successful tools I use with my clients include Nutrient Timing and balancing cortisol. Learn more HERE.
Remember, it takes an average of 17 years for what scientists know to reach common practice for doctors/nutritionists/health care practitioners. I've made it my mission to shorten this gap, constantly search the databases and provide you with up-to-date information to help you achieve your wellness dreams (without waiting 17 years to do it).
Share this information with your friends and family so that they can reap the benefits of these articles too! Keep spreading the word!
Autumn Elle Nutrition