There are many ways in which people tackle their health, fat loss, muscle building, strength gains and suchlike.
Some of these ways include counting calories, a paleo diet, a ketogenic diet, using specific training variables and taking “magic” supplements, but one I have always focused on is balancing hormones properly by eliminating toxic foods, alkalizing the body and identifying and fixing nutrient deficiencies.
Some of these different “diets” inadvertently do just that. It is not the type of diet that got you the results per se. It is the balancing and optimization of your hormones while making better lifestyle choices consistently that get you the results.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
When our hormones are out of whack many psychological and physiological issues can arise.
Today we identify Top 7 Signs That Your Hormones Are Out of Whack and how we can fix them.
Unexplained weight loss or loss
We all experience minor fluctuating weight loss and gain based on our eating and drinking habits, exercise routines etc. but what about that weight loss/gain that you cannot explain. In terms of weight gain this would be a sign that your hormones are unbalanced. This could be due to metabolism issues.
If you are chronic dieter who cuts calories for long periods of time your body can and will seek ways to store fat as a survival mechanism due to decreased leptin, T3 and T4 levels.
A simple way to combat this would be to ensure that you have a refeed or cheat meal or day to boost your levels of leptin, T3 and T4 on a weekly basis. This does not mean pizza, wings and beer sadly. That won’t help too much.
Try a strategic re-feed where you overdo it on the nuts, seeds and other healthy fats. This way you don’t undo the work you’ve done all week. In the case of unexplained and unintentional weight loss, this can be a little more serious.
There are many possible causes for this including Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency), Cancer, Celiac disease, changes in diet or appetite, Crohn’s disease, depression (major depressive disorder), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), medications, substance abuse (alcohol, cocaine, other) among others, so go see your doctor if you lose over 5% of your bodyweight unintentionally in less than 6 months.
Fatigue is very common yet overlooked sign of hormone imbalances. It can be something as simple as inadequate sleep which is a simple fix or it could be the timing of your meals and the substance of that meal or it could be adrenal depletion.
Let’s begin with sleep. Sleep is the mother of hormones. It has big influence on what hormones do and don’t do.
Lack of sleep has a massive cascading effect on the rest of your hormones. If you are not getting 6-8 hours of quality sleep at night, there’s a good chance that you will be tired during the day, needing coffee and other caffeine drinks to keep you going throughout the day, which has a big effect on your adrenal glands.
Much in the same fashion as insulin; when the adrenals are overstimulated (by caffeine) the body begins to have trouble recognizing its release of norepinephrine, epinephrine, cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones which can cause a resistance to these hormones and lead to weight gain especially around the waist.
Once you get your sleep under control, then you must pay attention to the foods you eat and how you feel after you eat. If you have a high protein/high fat lunch (slower digesting) for example, try eating quick absorbing or simple carbs, like an apple, afterwards.
If you no longer feel tired, you may want to change your high fat/protein lunch to higher carbs lower fat/protein or just add simple carbs at the end of your slower digesting lunch.
Cravings are a classic sign of a nutrient or multiple nutrient deficiencies or engrained habits.
This could mean your meals really aren’t balanced, and, you may be dehydrated. My recommendation to balance nutrient deficiencies would be to take care of the big 4. The big 4 would be magnesium, vitamin D, omega 3 and vitamin C.
Obviously check with your doctor before you decide to supplement these nutrients. If you take care of these deficiencies and you still experience cravings, try altering your habit loop and instead of rewarding yourself with chocolate or a beer, do as many push-ups as you can in one sitting. This will activate new hormones that will alleviate the craving and in time change your habit.
The brain’s circadian clock regulates sleeping and feeding patterns, alertness, core body temperature, brainwave activity, hormone production, regulation of glucose and insulin levels, urine production, cell regeneration, and many other biological activities. As you can see, if your sleep patterns are off, so will your hormones.
This can cause havoc on your hormones, so try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Your hormones will love you for it.
Oestrogen plays a major role in headaches, especially in women. A drop in oestrogen can cause headaches but genetics are also thought to play a role in chronic headaches and migraines. People who have migraines tend to have multiple factors that spark their headaches.
These include: skipping meals, too much or too little sleep (there’s that sleep thing again, hint hint), severe weather fluctuations, alcohol, soda, too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal, stress, processed meats, monosodium glutamate (MSG), soy products, artificial sweeteners and more. If you can go through the process of elimination on these, you’ll be on the road to balancing your hormones.
Loss of sex drive
Testosterone is present in both men and women and it plays a big role in the desire/libido for sex. Once again, sleep is a major factor here. If your sleep is off, most other hormones will be off including, adrenaline, cortisol and testosterone.
There are many other factors that affect sex drive like, medications (especially anti-depressants), ageing, exercise frequency and modality, stress management, drug and alcohol abuse.
All of the above can be directly related to irritability and mood swings. Work on fixing any one of the other 6 mentioned and you can change your mood to the positive person you really are. You can also intentionally change your mood. Try smiling for 1 minute straight. See what happens!
Looking at these 7 Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Whack, it is clear many of the factors involved are in our control. We can control our sleep, we can control our nutrition, we can control our exercise habits, we can control our hydration levels and we can control our stress management.
We have the capacity and the power to take control of our hormones. We have the power to live a happy and healthy life without blaming our hormones. All we need is to take the time to care for ourselves, to educate ourselves and ultimately make better life choices to make a better life for ourselves.
Connect here with Watchfit Expert Michael Keane