Weight loss is a delicate process, dependant upon healthy hormonal balance. Let’s consider the three main hormone types that influence body composition and some handy tips that you can apply today to get back in balance. Find out your hormone type by taking this quiz.
The Hungry Hormone Type: Insulin and Cortisol Imbalance
Although insulin plays an essential role in healthy body function, an excess of it will certainly make you fat. Too much insulin not only encourages your body to store unused glucose as fat, but also blocks the use of stored fat as an energy source. For these reasons, an abnormally high insulin level makes losing fat, especially around the abdomen, next to impossible.
Another hormone responsible for unwanted belly fat is cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for helping us deal with long-term stress, as compared to adrenalin, which is involved in the immediate response to stress. An elevated cortisol level destroys muscle fibers, suppresses immunity, affects memory and concentration, can weaken bone mineral density and contributes to cancer. It can cause increased body fat, particularly around the abdomen, by adversely affecting blood sugar and insulin levels. High levels of cortisol are also very detrimental because it leads to other hormonal imbalances. Together, these two hormones will have you battling an insatiable appetite and craving carbs late at night.
Your Hormone-Balancing Solution
Phosphatidylserine: This product negates the bad effects of stress hormone on the muscles and the brain cells. Taken before bed, 100 mg of this product may be calming and improve your sleep too. White beans, cabbage, barley, rice and carrots are also rich in phosphatidylserine.
Incorporate yoga into your workout regimen to lower cortisol while still working to increase muscle strength. One -two times per week will improve stress-related conditions such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and cardiac disease.
Holy basil has been found to reduce cortisol and help the body adapt to stress. It also improves blood sugar balance and the activity of insulin in the body. Take 2 gel caps a day for at least a month.
Balance your protein, fat and carbohydrates for three meals and two snacks each day and consider a non-pysllium fiber supplement to improve insulin sensitivity.
Drink 2 to 4 cups of green tea each day to improve fat burning and glucose regulation in the body. As an added bonus, enjoying it with a meal can lower the blood sugar spike brought on by starchy carbs.
Increase cinnamon in your diet. Just one-quarter to one-half teaspoon a day can improve insulin response and reduce blood sugar levels in 40 days.
Have blueberries in your smoothie daily. This has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by 22% in six weeks.