A lot of people like to call hormones “the body’s chemical messengers.” They travel through your bloodstream to stimulate your cells, tissues, and organs in order to affect your physical, mental, and emotional state.
As we get older, our bodies have a bad habit of decreasing the output and efficiency of our hormones.
Our hormones can also be affected by stress and a poor diet. But there are a few things we can do to whip our hormones back into shape that I’d love to share with you right now.
Eating the Right Things
Get Enough Protein
It is really important that we eat enough protein in every meal. When our bodies get enough protein, we begin producing the hormones that suppress appetite and make us feel full.
20 to 30 grams of protein is the right amount for most people, no matter your diet. After our bodies ingest that amount of protein, we begin to feel full and all those cravings for the wrong type of foods subside.
Avoid Sugar & Carbs
As delicious as they may be, sugar and carbs increase insulin resistance. The insulin hormone is regularly produced in our bodies and is something we need to turn simple sugars, like glucose, into energy.
When we eat too much sugar and refined carbs, which can be found in bread, pasta, pastries, and cereals, we don’t get the insulin we need. Avoiding these foods and reducing carb intake is an easy way to turn it around and increase our bodies’ sensitivity to insulin, which is what we’re looking for.
Insulin sensitivity can see improvements with high fiber intake. This affects the hormones that control hunger and is another way to make you feel full without overeating.
Including healthy, natural fats while avoiding unhealthy trans fats in your diet is one more way to reduce insulin resistance and stimulate the production of hormones that control your appetite.
An additional way to reduce your insulin resistance is by adding eggs to your diet regularly. They are extremely nutritious, have a great amount of protein, and are one of the more inexpensive options when trying to increase your protein intake.
Under / Overeating
Both overeating and undereating can cause health problems with our hormones. By consuming too many calories or even too few, your hormones could become unbalanced and cause deficiencies.
What you should aim for is at least 1200 calories per day for optimal health. Once you have that amount of calories as a consistent base, you can tweak your caloric intake and exercise for weight loss and longterm longevity.
That’s a whole separate topic, but if you’re interested you can find more information in my book, Quantum Paleo, while you’ll find on Amazon.
Chasing Good Ingredients
Whatever food you eat, it’s really important to try to get those good ingredients. If you can try to get high-quality vegetables, fruit, and proteins in your diet, your hormones will balance easier. You should also try to avoid those toxic, over-sugary foods and sugary beverages like sodas which will only lead to weight gain.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t have that piece of chocolate that you’ve been craving. But when you do grab some chocolate at the store, make sure it’s a high-quality piece of chocolate. And when you eat it, really savor it; take your time, putting more awareness to your tastebuds and your enjoyment of that piece of chocolate. When you do this, it won’t harm your body as much, and you hopefully won’t feel the need to eat the entire bag in one sitting.
Doing the Right Things
Physical activity is a key component of hormone production. Regular exercise in many forms like strength training, cardio, or other endurance or high-intensity workouts can modify hormone levels to reduce the risk of disease and also protect your muscle mass during the aging process.
While you do need to work out with a fairly regular schedule for this to work best, too much exercise can cause other hormonal imbalances. So make sure your workout consistent, but that you’re not to overdoing it.
There are many things that we can do to reduce stress. Engaging in good stress reduction practices such as meditation, yoga, massage, and listening to soothing music are positive ways to normalize the levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone.
When cortisol is out of balance, resistance to insulin increases, and our bodies tend to see weight gain. The most prominent areas that get affected by this weight gain are what we call the trunk, which is the hips, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks.
A good night’s sleep can do wonders for our bodies. Poor sleep quality, on the other hand, has been shown to decrease the hormones that make you feel full while increasing the hormones that make you feel hungry or stressed. On top of that, not getting enough sleep or not sleeping well reduces your growth hormone while increasing insulin resistance, which can be detrimental to your overall mood and mental health.
I hope you can now see how important a proper balance of hormones can be to your health, and have a better understanding of the actions you can take to keep yourself feeling great even as you start to feel the effects of aging. If you’d like any more information or have any questions for me, please feel free to shoot me a message. I’d love to hear from you.