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Normally, our hormones function in a way that keeps our bodies mostly in synch. When everything is balanced, we feel good and everything is operating as normal.
Sometimes, though, you can tell when something is a bit “off”. Perhaps you got hormones out of whack and that’s what’s causing the issues.
While there are many possible reasons as to why your hormones might have been disrupted, there are also ways to help get your body back on track. You need to regulate those hormones!
But how can you do that? Do you need complicated medical procedures? Will balancing your hormones be expensive?
If you’re struggling with a hormone imbalance and you want to try to readjust at home, you’re in the right place. Keep reading for a few ways that you can balance your hormones safely.
1. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is almost always the first answer to problems with your health. This is no exception.
When you exercise, you’re supporting insulin, testosterone, and estrogen.
Insulin is important. It helps to keep your body energized after you eat energy-boosting foods. That said, there can be too much of a good thing.
If you have too much insulin, you’re at risk for several conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and insulin resistance.
Exercise is a great way to regulate insulin. It keeps your insulin at a manageable level and helps you build insulin sensitivity.
In this case, insulin sensitivity might sound like a bad thing, but it’s not! It prevents insulin resistance and allows your body to function as it should.
Exercise’s influence on estrogen shouldn’t be forgotten. Estrogen, when unbalanced, can completely throw off your weight. It has an effect on your thyroid, which can trigger extreme weight gain or loss.
For more on the thyroid, check out Umbrella Labs.
2. Try Not to Stress
Did you know that too much stress can be bad for your hormones?
With most people having a busy and somewhat stressful lifestyle, it’s no wonder that more and more people are having their hormones knocked out of whack.
You can’t avoid stress completely, but you can learn to manage it.
Learning positive coping mechanisms for high-stress times is a huge help. Not only will it help your hormones, but it will also help your entire quality of life.
When you’re stressed, your body is elevating the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. While this isn’t a big deal during appropriately stressful times (such as doing an extreme sport or being faced with a dangerous animal), when you’re chronically stressed, those hormones don’t regulate.
You’ll feel like you’re being chased by a bear all the time, no bear necessary.
This can lead to other health issues such as high blood pressure and obesity.
Seeing a counselor about stress management is a great first step, but if you’d rather give it a try on your own, see if you can find peace through meditation and mindful activities.
3. Adjust Your Diet
Have you been eating too many sweets? Are you neglecting fats?
You might be messing up your hormones.
This is where you’re messing up your insulin levels. Sugar increases your insulin levels. While this is fine when done sparingly, consistently eating too much sugar is going to do some damage when it results in the insulin resistance that we mentioned earlier.
This also includes the sugar in fruits and natural products. You can (and should) eat fruits, but don’t overdo it.
On the other hand (and perhaps to your surprise), eating fats is a great way to stave off insulin resistance.
This doesn’t mean that you should go grab every fatty food that you can get your hands on, but healthy fats like nuts and avocados are an important part of every diet.
Many people avoid fats with the worry that they’ll gain fat by eating them. As long as you eat things in moderation, this shouldn’t be a concern.
4. Get More Protein
While you’re avoiding sugars and getting in the right amount of fats, let’s talk about protein.
The average omnivorous American gets more than enough protein in a day. Older adults and vegetarians, however, need to pay more attention to their protein intake.
The American diet is high protein by nature with its obsession with dairy and meat. Those who aren’t consuming those things, or who are consuming less of those things for health reasons (as many older adults are) need to replace these sources with other options.
Protein lowers the levels of ghrelin (a hormone that can trigger hunger) and it allows you to feel more full.
5. Make Sure Your Calories Are Right
Insulin will be the primary offender here once again.
A diet that is too high in calories can help contribute to insulin resistance. As we’ve mentioned before, this leads to negative health effects.
Don’t go and cut your calories too low, though.
While it might seem confusing, reducing your calories to an unsustainable level will also throw off your hormones.
Every person needs a different number of calories per day depending on their age, weight, and general activity level.
For the average person who is relatively sedentary, going to or below about 1200 calories will trigger cortisol, or the stress hormone.
This makes sense if you think about it. The body isn’t made to diet. It’s made to consume the amount of food that it needs to survive. When it’s not getting adequate nutrition, the body is under stress.
Check in with a nutritionist to find the right amount of calories for you.
6. Make Sure That You’re Sleeping
Not getting enough sleep can throw off nearly all of your hormones. This one is important.
If you’re not sleeping enough, insulin, leptin, cortisol, and more will all be impacted. While it’s normal to have a night or two once in a while with less sleep than you’d like, keeping this “no sleep” schedule up will wreak havoc on your body.
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Are Your Hormones Out of Whack? Let’s Fix That
A hormonal imbalance can make you feel terrible all around. You might be stressed out, lethargic, and hungry for no discernible reason.
You don’t have to get expensive treatments to fix these problems. Taking care of your health and diet is the first step to getting your hormones in balance again.
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