Hormone imbalances are extremely common. Women who go to the doctor for issues with their menstrual cycle, acne, or other issues are automatically thrown on "the Pill" without further investigation. However, “the Pill” is only masking your symptoms.
Regulating your blood sugar is one of the most important things you can do to hack your hormones and treat common symptoms of hormone imbalance, including water retention, fibrocystic, painful periods, fibroids, carrying too much weight around the hips, and acne.
Having balanced blood sugar is not only foundational to hormones but also to our neurotransmitters - those chemicals that our brain produces that make us feel happy, sad, energized, or calm and tired. If your blood sugar is all over the place then we might not be making the right amounts of serotonin and GABA to keep up happy and calm. Add hormone imbalance into the picture and you can see how mood swings can become really common.
Remember that insulin is the hormone that is produced by the pancreas to help bring blood sugar into your cells. Chronically elevated insulin can lead to higher levels of estrogen. Estrogen dominance is so common and can show up as weight gain around the hips and thighs, water retention, mood swings, and painful periods.
Blood sugar issues can come from a lot of different sources, one of the most obvious ones is under-eating. Ladies, we need to be eating healthy amounts of hormone loving fat and protein to make sure that our blood sugar is stable. If we are skipping meals all of the time and then reaching for carbohydrate-laden, low-calorie foods then we are setting ourselves up for swings in blood sugar that could be messing with our hormones.
When we think of insulin resistance we usually think of people that are overweight. But this is not always the case! Skinny fat is so common, especially in women. Skinny fat is when you have a normal body weight but your body composition is higher in fat than in muscle. Having more muscle helps you shuttle blood sugars into your cells even without the help of insulin which can be really protective in preventing insulin resistance.
So, if balancing your blood sugar is the solution, how do you do it?
Consume enough protein - this only needs to be 0.5- 0.8 g / pound of bodyweight if your activity level is at a moderate amount.
Aim for 9 cups of vegetables per day! Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar and slows the absorption of sugars across the intestinal lining so blood sugar rises slowly.
Avoid processed foods and refined sugars. No one needs soda or added sugar! Not even kids (especially not kids!)
Eat enough fat! Healthy fats like olive oil, fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds - these all help stabilize our blood sugar and prevent spikes that can mess with our mood and hormones.
Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water per day. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated can help curb cravings and prevent you from reaching for high sugar snacks.