The terms "hormone balance" and "hormone imbalance" have gained a lot of popularity and traction recently. This is good news, as many of us are starting to realise that there is in fact a connection between our training load, stress management, nutrition and overall health.
Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that control all sorts of human functions. From hunger to fat loss, fatigue, sex drive, fertility and muscle gain - hormones call the shots. You can imagine why a disrupted hormonal system can wreak havoc on your overall health and stop you from achieving your goals.
There are MILLIONS of chemical interactions that take place in your body every day, but I just want to touch on three things that you can implement NOW to nurture, nourish and hopefully improve your hormonal profile.
1. STRESS LESS
Stress can have a HUGE impact on the physiology of our body. When we're stressed, we are reactive, on alert and the body will prioritise SURVIVAL. What does this mean for our hormonal system? More cortisol and adrenaline will keep us going (often assisted by more coffee!) but this means that stress hormones are prioritised over sex hormones. When this becomes imbalanced, we can see increases in body fat (particularly around the belly), bloating, PMS symptoms, irritability, reduced sleep and reduced repair and maintenance of lean muscles mass. Unfortunately, training at high intensities and stress around dieting can add to the problem. When stressed, it's important to take management steps BEFORE trying to ramp up your training or jump on a restrictive diet plan. Not sure what to do? Chat to us about some daily practices to get on top of your stress, first.
2. EAT REAL FOOD
We can't always control the external stressors that come at us in life, but we can definitely get in control of our diet (I promise you can!). Your food can be like a SPONGE for your inflammation and also a way to rid the body of excess hormonal buildup and waste. For example, roughage like veggies and fibre (think green leafy veg) can help to clean out your digestive system and take excess hormones (like estrogen) with them. Not only can diet help you rid unwanted hormonal build-up, but it can also help to provide the building blocks for hormone creation. To produce hormones, we need access to ingredients like cholesterols and proteins. These will come from a diverse diet, rich in nutrients and foods that come from the earth, happily raised animals and healthy fats. If you need a little more guidance, we can help to assess your diet and make sure that you're getting a range of these crucial building blocks for health and performance.
3. TRAIN SMART
You might believe that the ticket to your success is training harder and eating less - but unfortunately this idea has led to some very unhappy people with poor results. In fact, training HARDER can further imbalance our hormonal system and force our bodies into a "fight or flight" response, meaning muscle breakdown, body fat storage and increased cortisol and adrenaline. This squashes any hope of repair, recovery and nourishment and creates an environment that can cause further stress in the system. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE moving my body and I train regularly for performance and health but there are some key things to consider when it comes to training to manage stress, improve hormonal balance and feel GOOD! If you want to learn more about why we recommend weight training, check out my last blog post WOMEN - Strength Training For a Healthy You. Leave your details below to book a free phone consultation so we can pinpoint the three key things that you can impletment TODAY to start moving towards your goals.
WANT SOME HELP?
Well, it starts with realising that you need to be more SPECIFIC. You really can tailor your nutrition, training and stress to get the results that you want.
Without restrictive dieting.
Without smashing your body.
Jumping into a typical fitness class here or there, eating what most of you consider a “good” diet and your current morning and evening routine will not take you to the next level.
You feel like you already know what you need to do, but why can't you stick to it?
Let's chat about your goals and how I can help you