Anita Duwel – the founder of Love the Life You Live! and Aging with Vitality! – is a Canadian blogger, Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach and Workplace Wellness Consultant.
She has made it her mission in life to help others via support, motivation, inspiration, and sharing of experiences and knowledge to live a life of quality and vitality. She is a firm believer that in order to to achieve optimal health, you need to incorporate strategies for body, mind, and spirit. It is having all three working in synergy that will have you feeling your best!
Anita’s post “Those Darn Hormones!” has been adapted slightly to share with you here.
Those Darn Hormones!
Are hormones affecting your energy and weight?
What role do your hormones play?
We’re not just talking about sex hormones here; we’re talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. And, in turn control your energy and weight.
Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” these days. And for good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body!
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers in the body and are produced by the endocrine cells (most of which are found in our glands).
The endocrine system is made up of the different glands (pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, thymus) and organs that are capable of producing hormones (eg. pancreas, heart, intestines, kidneys). These messengers control most of our major bodily functions such as hunger, reproduction, sexual function, sleep, growth, emotions and our moods.
They are a part of our respiratory, circulatory nervous, urinary, digestive, skeletal and immune system!
They tell our bodies what to do so that it can be efficient and work optimally.
For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb the sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).
Having healthy blood sugar, metabolism and appetite is a basis for your optimal energy and weight.
We need to keep our hormones working to the best of their capability!
Common Hormonal Imbalances
Your hormones are critical for controlling blood sugar, metabolism and appetite. Therefore, if they are not working at their best, then they will have an impact on your energy and your weight.
One common problem is that there may be too much or too little of a hormone released to have the desired effect. This is known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (eg. hypothyroid or hyperthyroid).
Another common problem, is that, even if the right amount of hormone is released, the cells they communicate with can start ignoring them. This is known as hormone “resistance” (eg. insulin resistance).
Hormones and Energy
Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. One of the main players of this is your thyroid hormones.
Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you may feel cold, hungry and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight.
Hormones and Weight
Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin controls your blood sugar, and whether that sugar is going to be stored as fat or not. When your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbohydrates.
You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied, even if that’s not true.
And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. And not just any fat – belly fat!
If you have a hard time losing weight, you may have a lower level of the hormone called Adiponectin (turns fat into energy) compared to individuals who are lean. Clinical studies show that people who are lean have 40% more adiponectin than those who are obese.
You can increase your adiponectin by 40% in 100 days! Click here to check out the video on Adiponectin.
What Can You Do?
Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of functions.
Following are a few “hormone stabilizing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:
- Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat.
- Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation or even coloring to reduce your cortisol. (crazy cortisol helps the body to hold onto fat!)
- Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables, fish, legumes, or even an egg.
- Balance your blood sugar with extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds.
- Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water.
Here’s to healthy hormones!
Anita invites you to visit her website http://www.anitaduwel.com/ for more interesting and inspiring articles on living well for today and the longer term. Also check out and ‘like’ her Health SAVVY Facebook Page for additional support or join her Aging With Vitality Facebook Group — you need to be 40 and over to join this one!
Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.