This article was republished with permission from fitnessrepublic.com.
Hormones can affect much more than just your mood. Weight gain in undesirable areas and digestive problems can be caused when your hormones are out of whack. If you’ve been gaining weight in your thighs, butt, belly, or arms and you don’t know why, hormones may be to blame. Fortunately, there are actually plenty of things you can do to get your hormones back on track. These easy tips will help you become happy and healthy at your ideal weight.
1. Cut Carbs
Any foods that are high in carbs or sugar can do damage to hormones like insulin and ghrelin. As a result, your body loses control of your blood sugar and appetite. If you’re not careful, high carb foods can lead to inflammation and increased cortisol levels, which causes fat to be stored in your belly. Consider cutting extra bread and other carbs out of your diet to stabilize your hormones.
2. Drink Water
Stay hydrated. This is the most important thing you can do for your body. Not only is staying hydrated absolutely necessary for your day-to-day health and performance, it is also important for maintaining hormone balance. When you have enough water in your system, your body will be performing as it should, keeping rampant hormones in check.
3. Eat More Fiber
Having good digestive health is vital for your hormonal balance. Eating lots of fiber will keep your digestive tract working properly, and it will keep you full so you don’t overeat, which could potentially cause other hormonal issues. Fiber can’t be absorbed by your body, so you should try to eat as much as you can for optimal digestive health.
4. More Fat in Your Diet
This may seem counterintuitive, but it is important. Many fatty foods like meats and seafood have Omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your health. Despite what it sounds like, your body does not actually immediately convert fat into fat cells on your body.
5. Get Some Sun
If you don’t spend a lot of time outside, start making a change or arrange to start taking a vitamin D supplement. You need lots of vitamin D for strong, healthy bones, but that’s not all it does. Having enough vitamin D keeps your hormones in balance and helps you sleep better. Many people who take a vitamin D supplement find that their moods improve and they have more energy overall. Of course, the most natural way to get more vitamin D is to simply get out in the sun.
If you think your hormones are out of whack, talk to your doctor. It is entirely possible that your body is not producing enough of a certain hormone, which could cause mood swings, weight gain in certain areas, and other problems. If the doctor can identify one particular hormone that you’re missing, he or she may be able to recommend a supplement or medication you take to remedy the problem. You should never take medication based on a self-diagnosis though. Please talk to a doctor first.
7. Get More Sleep
Everything always comes back to sleep. We need enough sleep on a regular schedule to function properly. People who keep a consistent sleep schedule have more energy and feel better than people who do not. You’d be amazed at all the problems you can sort out just by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. Keep the same schedule (even on weekends) and you’ll be happier and healthier in no time.
Intense workouts that get your heartrate up can actually do wonders for balancing your hormones. To stay in balance and stress-free, practice short workouts (less than 45 minutes) with intense bursts of energy. High intensity interval training is perfect for this, because it is fast and incredibly effective. Yoga is another type of exercise that works great for lowering your cortisol levels and controlling stress.
Everyone has their own personal ways of dealing with stress. For some people it is exercise; for others it is playing video games. Maybe unwinding with a few friends after work is what you need to avoid stress. Whatever it is that works for you, make sure to do it on a regular basis. Do what you can to avoid and mitigate stress so your hormones and moods stay in control.
10. Get Up and Move
This is a little like exercise, but it’s more basic than that. Many of us live a very sedentary lifestyle. We go to work where we sit down for most of the day, and then we come home and sit down. When we spend most of our time not moving, our bodies and minds become sluggish and unresponsive. Simply standing up and moving around is an excellent way to keep all your systems going and to boost your health and your mood. Try to stand up and move at least once an hour. Take a lap around the office, take a short dance break (dance like nobody’s watching), or do some basic stretches. You’ll start to see the difference within weeks.
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