Last week I wrote about the impact that the lunar cycle can have on us ladies and our menstrual cycles and as such how it can affect our hormones.
Another conversation I have with my clients is how our fluctuating hormones can affect our weight.
This week is a saucy one my friends… we’re gonna chat about
Sex… and Hormones.
You might think that these two don’t really belong together and what the heck do they have to do with my weight.
But, maybe they are a Yin & Yang duo.
Let’s dive into it, shall we?
Say Sex and I think – good times, happy positive emotions and salty, sweaty fun… hmmm…maybe LOVE should’ve been my first response!
Say hormones and I think – PMS.
Let’s start with estrogen, the predominant female hormone.
As a woman, balancing estrogen levels has a huge impact on our lives. Primarily on our ability to burn fat, our skin’s appearance, on our mental clarity, calmness and of course our fertility.
In short, our estrogen production (aka the sex hormone) plays an integral role in the overall health of our bodies.
There are many types of estrogen that flow through our bodies and it is imperative to balance them.
It is also important to remember that our bodies are completely geared for survival. This means that every month females produce estrogen without fail. Whether you like it or not.
One of the biological functions of estrogen is to ensure there is enough fat stored in the body to live and support life. It signals to the body to lay extra fat in certain areas. This is why it is a general trait of women who produce a lot of estrogen to have broader hips, bigger boobs, and extra curves.
When there is too much estrogen, fluid retention is prevalent. This makes us FEEL fat when in reality it is simply stored fluid in our bodies, causing us to feel heavy or bloated.
Now let’s talk about progesterone.
It too plays an important role in our bodies. Progesterone has a variety of important functions. It is crucial in the production of sex hormones and plays a vital role in brain function.
It works as a natural anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and diuretic. Another role it plays is to turn fat into energy. Without this hormone your body will predominately use glucose as your fuel instead of fat. Which may also lead to breaking down your muscles and nobody wants that!
The relationship between stress, our sex hormones and our weight are insanely powerful.
According to Dr. Libby, a holistic medicinal practitioner in Auckland NZ, in the lead-up to your period, your tummy will bloat and become quite sensitive. This is likely related to estrogen dominance in the second half of the cycle.
When we experience an imbalance in these sex hormones, the result could be poor digestion, stress, an unsupported liver, and nutrient deficiency.
So, what is the take away from all of this information.
You could very well be doing everything “right” in the traditional sense to maintain your weight and yet still experience a sense of failure or inability to achieve to your desired goals (be them weight, sexual appetite and/or mental and emotional clarity).
Dr. Libby advises working with a health professional who can establish your specific sex hormone imbalance picture. Once you have accurately identified the state of your hormones, there are many ways in which we can properly fuel our bodies to ensure that what we do on a day to day basis is in fact nurturing our bodies for optimal alignment and positively impacting our weight maintenance journey.
You’ve likely heard before that food is medicine and this is no cliché.
Ensuring you put the proper fuel into your engine is crucial for long lasting health and weight management.
Dr. Libby advocates beginning with the health of our liver as it plays a central role in all metabolic processes in the body.
Ensuring you consume food daily like, dark leafy greens and vegetables from the brassica family (including broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts and cauliflower). These foods contain specific nutrients our liver needs to transform harmful substances prior to elimination, all the while breaking down fats and producing energy for our bodies. Energy that will aid in your motivation to get physical! 😉
A slightly more obvious move in the right direction is reducing your consumption of liver-loaders (alcohol, trans fats, refined sugars and artificial substances).
Estrogen and Progesterone are not the only weight loss influencing hormones our body produces and although genetics can write the first chapter of our hormone health story, lifestyle choices will optimize and your health trajectory.
So, the moral of the story here is this – understanding your hormone health is crucial for it will:
- Grant you access to your desired (and I feel compelled to include, realistic) weight goals.
- Regulate your menstrual cycles and lessen the associated symptoms of said cycle… not to mention make it easier to track ovulation periods leading to less stress or fear unplanned pregnancies.
- Increase your sexual pleasures, the health of your skin and metabolic systems.
- Grant you a calm, clear mind by reducing anxiety, and depression.
Feeling sexy, vital and balanced from your cells to your soul is not a make belief realm of impossibility. You can successfully maintain your ideal weight for the long term, inject energy into your day to day, maximize your sex drive all in a natural safe manner.
It begins with awareness and finishes with the right actions.
I am not a doctor, so although this is rooted in science and implementing the tips I’ve shared cannot hurt you – it is crucial that for an accurate understanding of your personal health picture you consult a health care professional.
Do this and watch the quality of your mind, body and soul sync up as your live your best life.
With love to inspire + nourish + entertain