Weight loss can be super difficult whatever stage you’re at. There are a number of reasons you may struggle to lose weight. Perhaps you have a big appetite, an injury, or a hormonal imbalance stopping you. Making sure your weight loss hormones are switched on will immediately begin to supercharge your results. Bear in mind that at the start of a weight loss journey you will lose weight much more readily than later on. You tend to plateau when you’ve been at it for a while, which is why making sure your hormones are in check is all the more important. Here are 6 easy steps you can follow:
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Step 1[/thrive_custom_font]
Take Control Of Your Breathing
The way we breathe can actually have a huge effect on our weight loss efforts. Many people breathe as if they are stressed, taking short, shallow breaths.
Breathing like a yogi master, taking focused, deep breaths can actually speed up the metabolism, as it changes the level of adrenal weight loss hormones in the body.
It’s also worth remembering that 80% of fat leaves the body through the lungs!1
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Step 2[/thrive_custom_font]
Make Sure You’re Getting High-Quality Sleep
We all need around 6-8 hours of sleep per night. It should be high quality too, for the best results. The hormone ‘leptin’ that controls hunger levels will either make you feel full or ravenous depending on how much sleep you’ve had.
If you haven’t had enough rest, your leptin levels will rise and you’ll want to eat more to compensate. Your body thinks that food will give you the energy you need to function, and the leptin in your body isn’t high enough to say, ‘hey! I’m not actually that hungry!’
Start getting into a good routine with your sleeping pattern!
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Step 3[/thrive_custom_font]
Reduce Certain Thyroid Hormones
We all have a thyroid gland, and weight loss hormones can be produced from here. Thyroid hormones T3 and T4 were measured in overweight children before and after a weight loss program. A small weight loss meant that they reduced T3 and T4 in the long term, not just the short term. This leads to a more effective metabolism even while resting, speeding up weight loss further.
Losing as little as 5 pounds in a healthy way can help you to do this. You can also pamper your thyroid with my signature Tsmoothie which is an amazing way of drinking your nutrients.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Step 4[/thrive_custom_font]
Choose Your First Meal Carefully
Many say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s true, but you don’t necessarily need to eat as soon as you get up. In fact, many hail the magic of intermittent fasting, where they wait a few more hours after sleeping before eating their first meal (usually so they’ve fasted 16 hours in total). This isn’t a fad or dangerous, as you’ll still be making sure you’re eating enough food. You just have a ‘window’ of around 6-8 hours where you eat your meals.
Whether you choose to fast or not, choosing your first meal carefully is important. Choosing a plant-based protein, and healthy sources of fat and carbohydrates is a good idea. Many like to avoid eating too many carbs with their breakfast and save those for after a tough workout. However, the best option for you is usually what fills you up without needing to snack. You shouldn’t still be feeling hungry afterward.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Step 5[/thrive_custom_font]
Build Some Muscle Mass
The more muscle mass a person has, the more efficient the body becomes at burning calories and fat. Not only when exercising, but when doing absolutely nothing!
Resistance training is a must for this, so forget all about being a cardio bunny. Doing a mix of both is fine, but having the main goal to gain muscle will mean you need to do bodyweight exercises and start lifting weights. You can also use resistance bands and machines for accessory work.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Step 6[/thrive_custom_font]
Eat Satisfying Foods To Reduce Cravings And Hunger Pangs
Eating the most satisfying food possible is going to mean you don’t feel like snacking or eating as often. If you fill your diet with junk foods, you’re going to feel hungrier and consume more calories in general.
Making sure you’re getting enough healthy protein is crucial, as it can help regulate body weight and keep your hunger levels under control. Not only that, it will support your muscle mass growth and maintenance, as mentioned earlier.
[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’]However, you should also ensure you eat healthy carbs and fats too, for a well-rounded diet. The more natural the food you eat, the better. The odd treat is OK, but usually, the more you consume the more you want![/content_container]
When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7257
The hormones in a woman’s body can make a huge difference to the way she feels and acts during the day. Some of us have PMS, some menopause, and some of us even suffer from infertility. Today we will consider hormonal imbalances caused in the endocrine system.
Don’t worry though ladies; you don’t need to do anything extreme to feel ‘normal’ again. Natural therapy is one of the best things you can turn to in order to start feeling wonderful again!
To help you to get started, here are 5 herbs that can help you to feel less hormonal:
Vitex has been used in hormone regulation for years. It helps to treat things like endometriosis, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and infertility. It’s a very powerful herb, and can also initiate periods in ladies who haven’t had one for a while.
This herb doesn’t contain hormones but helps to naturally balance them instead.
This herb can strengthen nerves, calm the body, strengthen the blood, stabilize moods, strengthen digestion, soothe your stomach, and balance out your endocrine system all at once. It has so many other benefits too, such as supporting healthy hair, skin, and nails. It can also lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
Oatstraw can be used alone or mixed with other herbs for great results.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Red Raspberry Leaf[/thrive_custom_font]
Red Raspberry leaf tastes nice as a tea, so it’s great if you enjoy tea and hot drinks. It’s packed with nutrients and vitamins and is a rich source of vitamin C.
It strengthens uterine function and can work to increase fertility in women. It can help men with fertility issues too.
You can also expect this herb to decrease heavy blood flow and painful cramps. It can even reduce the pain associated with labor.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Milk Thistle[/thrive_custom_font]
This is one of the best liver cleansing herbs, and we all know a healthy liver is crucial to balance out hormones. Keeping the liver healthy will make sure you have a regular cycle and that your moods are more regular too. As the liver is responsible for filtering out things like toxic chemicals, fungus, and heavy metals it’s important to getting balanced again!
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Maca Root[/thrive_custom_font]
Maca Root can help your endurance, libido, hormone balance, and fertility. It’s great if you’re producing too much or too little of a hormone, as it adapts to the body’s individual needs and balances hormones that way. It’s somewhat of a ‘regulator herb’ and helps to keep your hormones in check whichever way they’re going.
Men can also benefit from taking this herb for libido and endurance purposes. Some say it’s a natural viagra, and it also improves sperm quality! If you and your partner are trying for a baby, maca root could assist you both in different ways.
If you know that your hormones aren’t quite right at the moment, taking one of these herbs could very well help you to regulate your endocrine system and feel amazing. Don’t just stop at these herbs, take a look at other herbs, such as Holy Basil and Chasteberry. Do your research and you’ll find something to help you!
The natural methods are always the best methods to try out before anything else, especially when it comes to things like fertility and evening out your hormones. Herbs are one natural thing that has been used for centuries to get incredible results. The power of Vitex, in particular, is astounding. Let’s take a closer look at it.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]What Is Vitex?[/thrive_custom_font]
Vitex comes from a beautiful plant native to Greece and Italy, the Chaste tree. Berries from this medicinal plant help to stimulate and balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, promoting ovulation and regular cycles, amongst other things. It has been used for centuries and is one of the most popular natural methods in Europe and Western countries.
Vitex doesn’t contain phytohormones like many other plants and herbs. This means it doesn’t have a direct effect on the endocrine system. Instead, you can expect it to have a supportive, gentle and indirect effect on the body and the pituitary gland.
This ‘master gland’ controls many bodily functions, including signaling to the ovaries to produce hormones. This is called the hormonal feedback loop. As Vitex supports the pituitary gland, your hormone balance will improve greatly with continued use.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]What Does Vitex Do?[/thrive_custom_font]
The herb performed well in clinical trials and was shown to increase progesterone and improve PMS symptoms. It can make your cycles more regular and is great for those who are transitioning off hormonal birth control.
The herb also increases the secretion of the luteinizing hormone, which in turn increases progesterone. Higher progesterone means better fertility in women. In a study of 45 women, 86% responded positively. They had normal or at least significantly improved progesterone levels by the end of the study.
Vitex may help to prevent miscarriage when taken during pregnancy. However, you should also use it carefully, and consult a doctor before you start.
The herb can help with milk production after having a baby, so it’s great if you’re struggling to lactate. It can help those with amenorrhea, who have not experienced a period for a while. It may reduce uterine cysts, fibroids, and endometriosis too. There are a plethora of benefits. The great thing about Vitex is the amazing safety record. There are virtually no side effects in the majority of people who take it.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]When Can Vitex Be Used?[/thrive_custom_font]
Vitex can be used by women who are not using hormonal birth control from age 18 onwards.
The herb can be used until menopause, but not continuously for that amount of time.
You must use the herb continuously throughout the month, and it may take anywhere from three-six months to see optimal results as it is considered a slow acting herb. However, it usually starts working within 10 days.
Vitex is best taken on an empty stomach in the morning. A capsule is easier to take than other forms, and taking 900-1000mg per day is recommended. If you take tincture then aim for 60-90 drops per day. Both of these methods offer pretty consistent results as it’s easier to control the dosage, but you can take it in forms like tea.
The taste can be quite bitter which is another reason capsules are handy. If you want to make a tea with it then it’s a good idea to blend it with other herbs to avoid the bitter taste. If you decide to take vitex in a mix of other herbs, make sure you follow the instructions.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Improving Your Cycle[/thrive_custom_font]
If you’re taking to improve your cycle, you should be taking the herb for 6 months continuously. If you haven’t achieved what you want after that time, you should continue taking it. If it has been working but has stopped after this time, take a break from it. Have about a month off and then try again. This method has worked for many women who found the herb lost its effectiveness after 6 continuous months.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Improving PMS[/thrive_custom_font]
If taking for PMS, you will usually notice the results by the time you have your second menstrual cycle. If you want your changes to last, you should consider taking Vitex for at least a year.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Improving Fertility[/thrive_custom_font]
If you’re taking the herb for fertility purposes, starting it around 3 months before you want to get pregnant is best. This gives it plenty of time to optimize your hormone levels. Make sure you supercharge the results of Vitex by cleaning up your diet and getting your body ready for pregnancy too!
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Who Should Avoid Taking Vitex[/thrive_custom_font]
Vitex is very powerful, but it isn’t for everyone. It shouldn’t be taken by those who are on hormonal birth control, although it can be taken soon after coming off it.
If you get a reaction to vitex, stop taking it. Do not use Vitex with other fertility treatments, like IVF.
It can also be difficult to determine if you should take the herb for PCOS. Vitex research suggests that it can worsen some types of PCOS where the LH is high because the herb increases LH. It’s definitely worth consulting a herb specialist or doctor.
Results will depend on a number of factors for the individual, including body, diet, and hormones.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Will Vitex Work For You?[/thrive_custom_font]
Vitex can work for just about anybody, but if you live an unhealthy lifestyle you may not be able to enjoy the full effects of the herb. You will need to make changes to your lifestyle if you feel low on energy, take other medications, and eat lots of processed food.
[thrive_custom_font id=’8′]Are There Any Side Effects?[/thrive_custom_font]
It’s very rare that you will experience side effects with Vitex. However, around 1-2% of people may experience skin rashes, headaches, and nausea. Bear in mind that it’s normal for the menstrual cycle to get slightly longer or shorter when you first start taking Vitex .
There’s a reason Vitex is one of the most world renowned herbs for fertility and hormones. It can help with PMS, low progesterone, lack of ovulation, irregular cycles, acne, and more. Just bear in mind that you must be consistent to get the best results!
Periods are different from person to person. Not only are they different from person to person, they can be different from period to period. Sometimes heavy, sometimes light. Sometimes one day, sometimes seven.
Did you know that symptoms you experience at the different stages of your cycle can tell you a lot about your hormones?
There are a few different indicators when it comes to figuring out what’s going on in your body, but the main one is menstrual blood. Knowing as much as possible about your cycle can help you to take control of your body, improve your health, and feel great as often as possible.
Let’s dive in!
Bright Red Blood, Steady Flow
This is the healthiest type of period. It is bright red in color, comes in steadily, and lasts around 4-5 days. Your blood texture should be thicker than water, but smooth.
The flow can either start heavy and then taper off, or it can start lighter and get heavier as it goes on and then tapering off again.
This is because the cycle starts with estrogen building up the uterine lining in the first half of your cycle, when progesterone holds it in place until it’s time for your monthly bleed. Keeping it at this level is ideal.
Dark Blood, Heavy Flow
Blood can be dark red, purple, or almost black. This means your cycle has too much estrogen.
You may have clots and a clumpy consistency, and you’ll usually be on heavily. Women who experience this type of period are more prone to emotional PMS outbursts, tender breasts, endometriosis, and fibroids. This can be due to excess weight, processed food, too much alcohol, or foods high in soy.
To help get your period healthy again, start eating leafy greens, reduce your alcohol consumption, and minimize soy in your diet.
Light Pink Blood, Light Flow
Light pink blood with a light flow usually means you have too little estrogen in your cycle.
You may experience a regular flow for a day or two followed by very light bleeding. If you can go for more than 6 hours without changing a tampon for the length of your cycle, your cycle is classed as light.
You may also get symptoms such as dry skin, joint pain, and a low sex drive. Periods can become sporadic and unpredictable if nothing is done.
This can happen to those who have a very low body fat, disordered eating, over-exercise, stress a lot, and take the pill. Make sure you eat plenty of healthy fats like avocado and nuts and try replacing a heavy session with yoga or something relaxing and see if this helps your cycle.
Brown Blood, Spotting
This indicates too little progesterone in a cycle. It can be in combination with too little/much estrogen too. As well as spotting, you may get a heavier than average flow. You may find yourself feeling anxious in the second part of your cycle, with PMS, breast tenderness and difficulty getting pregnant.
Stress and high cortisol levels are the biggest culprits, so figure out how you can reduce stress in your life. Walking, meditation and deep breathing can all be a huge help.
As you can see, there are a few things you can do to get your cycle back into a healthy color and pattern, but make sure you wait for a few cycles to see the full effects!