5 tips to balance your hormones

Your Hormones Do Matter: Learn about Hormone Imbalance

JJ Smith
Written by JJ Smith, certified weight management specialist (NESTA) and nutritionist (ANA)

Posted November 30th, 2020 under Belly Fat, Hormones and Weight Gain

Get 5 tips on how to balance your hormones naturally

Some days, it feels like you’re fighting your body. You’re eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and keeping an eye on your stress – but still you feel a bit off. You’re not alone.

Two words: hormone imbalance. A little secret no one wants to talk about. So many women are struggling with fluctuating hormones and the ups and downs this brings. I know this because you are emailing and messaging me – asking me what you can do to balance your hormones and put an end to hormone imbalance symptoms.

Trust me, I’ve been right where you are. One day, my jeans didn’t feel right and I was sluggish, I hadn’t changed anything in my routine. After lots of research and learning, I unlocked the cause – at the age of 48, my hormones were changing, and my body was struggling to adjust.

And now, I want to share with you what I’ve learned about how to get rid of belly fat and get your curves back. No one should struggle alone with the symptoms of a hormone imbalance or feel like there’s no way to get rid of hormonal belly fat and weight gain. Remember to subscribe to my mailing list where I share tips and advice on how to live your healthiest and sexiest life possible.

What is Hormone Imbalance?

A hormone imbalance occurs when there is too little or too much of a hormone circulating in your blood. All it takes is a small change in a hormone level to trigger a range of side effects and symptoms.

Both men and women are impacted by hormonal imbalances. A hormone imbalance can cause a range of issues including itchy skin, weight gain, low energy levels, trouble sleeping, and fluctuating moods.

It’s easy to overlook the critical role hormones play in your body. These five hormones are essential to how you look and feel inside and out:

  1. Insulin: is secreted by the pancreas and processes the glucose and sugar in the foods you eat for energy. When your insulin level spikes or is consistently too high, your body immediately converts sugar and glucose to fat.
  2. Thyroid hormones: help regulate your metabolism, weight, energy levels, internal body temperature, and the health of your skin and hair.
  3. Estrogen: along with being responsible for reproduction, menstruation, and menopause, your estrogen levels impact your body fat levels.
  4. Testosterone: is thought of as the male sex hormone, though in women this hormone helps you build strong muscles and bones.
  5. Cortisol: known as the stress hormone, cortisol is released when your body senses stress, causing your heart rate and blood pressure to rise.

There are over 50 different hormones circulating in your bloodstream, helping you to think, move, sleep, and recover.

Every hormone, organ, and internal process is connected, so when one hormone is out of balance, you feel the impacts. Depending on the hormone, this can be weight gain, a skin outbreak, trouble losing belly fat, the loss of muscle mass, or sugar craving you just can’t ignore.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Hormone Imbalance

So many of us go about our days, assuming it’s normal to feel sluggish, tired, sore, and just not quite right. Newsflash – you should not feel like this!

Your hormones should not be causing havoc in your body. One major problem with our understanding of hormones is how easy it is to overlook hormone imbalance symptoms and signs.

Because hormones are integral to every aspect of health and well-being, I can’t include every single sign and symptom of a hormone imbalance here. Instead, I’ve listed 10 hormone imbalance symptoms I overlooked for too long.

  1. Unexplained weight gain and belly fat.
  2. Irregular and disrupted sleep or night sweats.
  3. Low energy levels and fatigue.
  4. Low mood, mood swings, or depression.
  5. Changes in body temperature, including hot and cold flashes.
  6. Brittle hair and dry skin.
  7. Increased appetite.
  8. No or low interest in sex.
  9. Heavy, missed, or irregular periods.
  10. Unexplained muscle aches and soreness or loss of muscle strength.

It’s important you do not ignore these symptoms or other unexplained changes in how you look and feel. Read this Healthline article for a detailed list of hormone imbalance symptoms. Please be sure to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any hormone imbalance signs and symptoms – they can be a warning of serious health problems and conditions.

The Connection Between Hormone Imbalance, Weight Gain, and Belly Fat

Have you read or heard about the hormonal belly? Health experts use the term hormonal belly to explain the connection between hormone imbalance, weight gain, and belly fat.

You’re not imagining things! Hormonal belly is real. This definition of hormonal belly by Medical News Today reinforces what I know about hormones and belly fat. “Hormones help regulate many bodily functions, including metabolism, stress, hunger, and sex drive. If a person has a deficiency in certain hormones, it may result in weight gain around the abdomen, which is known as a hormonal belly.”

Now, I don’t want to get too science-heavy here, but it’s useful to know which hormones are connected to belly fat and weight gain.

  • Thyroid hormones: when your thyroid is underactive, your thyroid gland does not generate enough thyroid hormone. This causes changes in your metabolism and a slowdown in your body functions – contributing to unexplained weight gain around your belly.
  • Cortisol: the levels of this fight or flight hormone are directly connected to stress. The more stressed you are, the higher your cortisol levels. And high cortisol levels tell your body to be ready for a fight or survival, triggering the creation and storage of body fat. Typically, this extra body fat is stored around your belly, on your face, and in your breasts.
  • Leptin: this hormone is released by your fat cells and is responsible for telling your brain when you’re full and to stop eating or drinking. The Society for Endocrinology explains the connection between leptin and weight gain, “Leptin does not affect food intake from meal to meal but, instead, acts to alter food intake and control energy expenditure over the long term. Leptin has a more profound effect when we lose weight and levels of the hormone fall. This stimulates a huge appetite and increased food intake. The hormone helps us to maintain our normal weight and unfortunately for dieters, makes it hard to lose those extra pounds!” This helps explain why people who lose weight while dieting often gain back those lost pounds and more once the diet is over.
  • Estrogen hormones: during perimenopause your estrogen levels fluctuate and when you reach menopause, your body stops producing estrogen. This has a direct impact on your metabolism and muscle mass. In fact, your estrogen levels are directly connected to where you store body fat. And to top it off, after menopause your body stores more fat in your cells and is slow to use this fat as an energy source.

Now, I don’t want you to feel helpless or feel like there is nothing you can do about a hormone imbalance and weight gain. The great news is, you can restore your hormone balance naturally and get back to feeling your slim, trim, and sexy self.

How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally

To balance your hormones naturally and get back to feeling great inside and out, remember these 5 tips:

  1. Eat a well-rounded balanced diet. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fat in your daily meals. Your organs, cells, and hormones rely on you to provide enough vitamins, minerals, and energy to keep your body functioning and healthy. Read about the top liver superfoods and easy ways to incorporate coffee, oatmeal, grapefruit, berries, and nuts into your meals.
  2. Move your body and get sweating. Find an activity you enjoy and make it part of your daily routine. Exercise and movement help lower your stress levels, benefit your mental health, kickstart your metabolism, and help you build lean calorie-burning muscle mass. As an extra bonus, sweating helps you detox naturally, eliminating toxins and chemicals.
  3. Put your feet up and get some rest. Your body needs you to rest and sleep at least eight hours a night. When you sleep, your body recovers from the stress of the day, repairing cell damage, strengthening your immune system, and topping up your energy levels.
  4. Master your stress levels. There is a direct connection between your stress and cortisol levels. An increase in your cortisol level can trigger emotional eating, disrupted sleep, and mood changes. Know your stress triggers and get comfortable saying “no” to invitations and obligations.
  5. Support your liver. Your liver is essential to your complete health. Along with cleansing your body of toxins, your liver is your energy source, helps create protein and lean muscle mass, metabolizes carbohydrates and fat, and regulates your hormones. When your liver is overloaded, it cannot perform these critical functions, causing you to gain belly fat, trigger a hormone imbalance, and slow your fat-burning rate. Take a natural liver supplement like Liver Focus to enhance your ability to burn fat and support the natural detoxification process.
  6. Be mindful and make sure you’re monitoring your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar regulation is important balancing your hormones. Try a blood sugar regulation supplement like my Blood Sugar Focus. Blood Sugar Focus balances key hormones, namely insulin, that causes stubborn belly fat. By lowering insulin levels, BSF targets dangerous visceral (belly) fat around the waistline that is driven by the hormone insulin.

Resetting your hormones and getting rid of a hormonal belly is not easy but it can be done. Do your best to make slow and consistent changes in your daily habits, try specific programs designed to help you balance your hormones for weight loss and your body will respond the way you want. Be patient and do not expect instant miracles.

Join the JJ Smith Facebook Community page to connect and chat with people who like you, are taking charge of their hormones, losing belly fat, and getting back into their skinny jeans.