You may be considering a hormone balancing diet if you’re struggling with stubborn fat, inexplicable hair loss, unwanted hair growth, rapid weight loss, extreme PMS symptoms, fatigue, or even acne.
We hardly ever think about our hormones, except when something goes wrong.
The number one trigger? The hormone weight loss connection. When people start to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, only to find little to no impact on the scale, they immediately think “hormones.”
And they’re not wrong. At least not necessarily; hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, and they control most of your bodily processes. Hormones help regulate everything from the metabolism and digestion, to sleep, energy levels and mood.
A hormone balancing diet could help bring your body back to harmony.
Naturally, what you eat influences hormones. Your diet can make or break your hormonal balance because too much or too little of certain foods could lead to hormonal resistance or dominance, which essentially disrupts your system.
Classic examples of this diet-induced hormonal imbalance are insulin resistance and estrogen dominance; the former may be the result of overeating sugar and the latter of too many processed foods and xenoestrogens (estrogen-mimicking-cells) - both lead to weight gain and more.
However, one size does not fit all.
When it comes to a hormone balancing, diet you have to be really careful and understand it may take time to find the right mix for you. Each body works differently, what works for you might not work for the next person.
We put together these guidelines to support you in your search for the hormone balancing diet that resets your body back to your healthiest version.
So let’s say you suspect hormonal imbalance or got diagnosed by your doctor. Should you do a hormone reset balance or a hormone balancing diet? Are these different? When should you go for each one?
Because nutrition is directly connected to hormonal balance, clearing out and resetting the gut microbiome is critical. The hormone reset diet is a slow elimination diet that gradually kills harmful gut microbiota, starving the little guys making you hungry for donuts and pasta (in addition to other things) to death.
It’s meant to be followed by a re-introduction period, where you expose yourself to eliminated foods to see how they impact your energy levels, hormone weight loss, and more.
It’s a long-term approach to hormone-supporting nutrition, where you eliminate triggering foods for good (or at least 90% of the time) and focus on creating a customized diet that caters to your particular hormonal needs. A person dealing with Hashimoto’s auto-immune disease will have a different diet than another person with Grave’s disease.
Which to Choose?
If you haven’t explicitly been diagnosed with a hormonal issue, a hormone reset diet is an excellent way to gauge exactly what it is that is harming you and how to correct it - start with that. If you know you have insulin resistance, estrogen intolerance, realize it’s thyroid weight gain, or similar, go for a hormone balancing diet that meets those particular needs.
If you suspect hormonal imbalance, this is not the time to wonder: find an integral or holistic licensed physician that is willing to run all the necessary tests for you to figure out exactly what’s off.
Health can be a journey, not a destination: some hormone-related health issues like endometriosis can take around eight years to get an accurate diagnosis. If you feel something is off with your body, advocate for your needs, and don’t settle until you get the answers you need.
Considering that the gut’s microbiome can generate demand for certain foods when you’ve been eating a diet that’s high in saturated fats, sugar, and empty white carbs, cleansing the gut will help you stop the cravings that keep you in this hormone-disrupting eating habit.
Additionally, the liver and digestive tract system flush out excess hormones (like estrogen) through feces and urine. Having a healthy gut supports both hormonal balance and excess toxic elimination.
If you do a cleanse, make sure to add a probiotic to restore the bacterial flora in your gut.
Whether you try a hormone reset diet, a hormone balancing diet, or both - you’ll have to be patient. The best and most customized results will come from trial and error; you may get frustrated at times, but you will also get to know your body more intimately than ever before.
Learning what foods and external sources are affecting your hormone weight loss journey, will empower you and help you make better choices for your health in the long run.
Exercise is amazing for your body; we were made to move! It helps you break down excess estrogen and release it, reduces insulin and promotes insulin sensitivity (the opposite of that fat-building resistance), it decreases high testosterone levels, and activates muscle building growth hormones.
It also helps to lower cortisol levels, improve sleep and melanin secretion, and more. If sweating is not your cup of tea, just look for a fun activity that moves your body. Working out is an integral part of a hormone balancing protocol.
We have a sympathetic nervous system and a parasympathetic nervous system. We’re supposed to spend most of our lives anchored in the parasympathetic nervous system, but our modern lives leave us wired to the sympathetic nervous system; it is triggered by stress.
When you relax, get good consistent sleep and learn to manage stress the hormones that are affected by these systems naturally go back to their levels (which usually leads to fat loss and better moods - yay!) This also helps mitigate adrenal fatigue caused by high cortisol levels.
Many hormone balancing diets recommend cutting out all cruciferous greens (broccoli, kale, spinach, Swiss chard) because in the raw form they may trigger the thyroid. But if you cut them completely out, you’re also missing out on their good! Reduce their intake if you find yourself triggered, avoid the raw form choosing steamed or sauteed instead, and lowering the frequency.
By now, you know that sugar, fries, and refined carbs are not your friends in large amounts. Instead, choose:
You can get the most out of your custom hormone balancing diet with other endocrine-supporting actions like:
Oxidative stress is the resulting unbalance between antioxidant production and free radicals. Free radicals attack healthy tissue and disrupt it, antioxidants neutralize those free radicals.
Research shows that pituitary-gland disorders consequence to oxidative stress makes antioxidants-rich diets especially helpful for hormonal balance. Adaptogens, on the other hand, reduce stress and help relieve the adrenal fatigue that leads to disrupted hormonal secretion or resistance.
This is an easy way to support your personal hormone balancing diet because antioxidants and adaptogens are available in fruits and roots.
The liver is as essential for hormonal balance as it is for detoxification; one of the liver functions it to eliminate excess hormones. How can you help it? Simple, learn to identify symptoms of unhealthy liver function and ways to detox your liver.
In the meantime:
A great and super easy way to support your liver and get your greens, adaptogens, and antioxidants in your diet is our sunrise to sunset pack, which has all of these things and more!
A hormone balancing diet will depend on your particular needs, getting the help you need from a licensed physician is critical to pin down the issues.
Nutrition is the first step towards hormonal harmony, but there are other things you can do to support your system: exercise, hydration, a balanced diet with five servings of fruits and vegetables, and good sleep go a long way. Try these guidelines and let us know how it went! We’re in this together.
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