Despite what many women have long been told, combined with the never-ending amount of food & weight loss shaming in our culture, the number on the scale isn’t always a simple reflection of the number of calories we consume vs. the number we burn. In fact, stress brought on by lack of sleep, depleting diets and over exercising including excessive cardio can be detrimental to your hormones and actually inhibit fat loss.
Find out why the key to losing what may be unwanted belly fat, and gaining energy, clarity, and a better mood lies with your HORMONES with women’s health and fertility expert Georgia Marrion – watch the video below
Hormones and motherhood
“I really struggled with weight loss after the birth of my two daughters, who are 3 years apart. At age thirty-eight, I went to my doctor, who basically told me that weight loss is just a case of calories in and calories out—that I really need to focus on “just eating less and exercising more.” At first, I was dumbfounded as of course I had tried this SO MANY TIMES…and yes that “simple solution”- did not work
I also became quite infuriated, as I considered that millions of women are made to feel bad by the common misconception – that all then need is more self-control around food and discipline around exercise when it comes to weight loss.
Which I soon discovered is totally incorrect!
I left his office and that week I went to a nutritionist / naturopath who suggested I have my hormones tested. I just knew in my gut something was off, so I was glad that she was making this happen. When the results came back, I was stunned to find that my cortisol, the main stress hormone, was three times what it should be. I also discovered that cortisol causes belly fat deposits, bad PMS and was a big contributor to a short fuse (yep hello cranky Mummy). My insulin was also too high, which made my blood sugar high (insulin wasn’t doing its main job, which is driving glucose into cells). My leptin was blocked too, this was what was causing me to be ravenous and constantly craving cake, coffee and sugar. My thyroid was also borderline slow, resulting in thinning hair and fluid retention. So, the solution was to fix my hormones (instead of counting calories) and when I did I had so much more energy, clarity and weight-loss also happened without deprivation.”
Why your hormones can go haywire
As discussed in the video above with Nutritionist and Women’s Health Specialist Georgia Marrion above there are many reasons why female hormones (especially post pregnancy and as we head into menopause) become unbalanced.
How hormones can become imbalanced :
Nutrient Deficiencies it is important to get tested and not just “guess” what you may be deficient in so suitable supplements can be professionally recommended. However, for example many women find they are low in vitamin c which can contribute to overwhelm and anxiety
Excess Toxins : toxins are everywhere but many can be found in common everyday products such as beauty and household cleaning products. These contain Bisphenol A which can interfere with estrogen, insulin and thyroid health. Learn more here
Stress as women and mother’s we are constantly on “high alert” (which is why you always you’re your baby cry), and it also means we spend very little time dropping into our para-sympathetic nervous system. When this happens, the body produces too much cortisol and the expense of other hormones.
Age & Life Changes Women’s hormone levels change throughout their lifetime, common life events, such as menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause can throw your hormones off balance, as can medications like birth control pills.
Poor Sleep …Yep I know Mama; we are all dreaming of it ! Only 3 percent of the population does well on less than 7 hours of sleep. Sleeping 7 to 8.5 hours every night keeps cortisol in check. Alcohol and coffee also raises estrogen and cortisol levels, robs you of deep sleep. Alcohol also lowers metabolism by more than 70 percent, why not try no alcohol for two weeks give the liver break and see if you sleep better
Excessive Exercise While exercise is an essential part of balancing hormones, it can also throw them further out of whack if not managed properly. Unless your hormones and adrenals are 99% balanced ongoing depleting workouts – including high impact cardio, CrossFit and running place an incredible amount of stress on the body that results in cortisol sky rocketing…and when this happens the body moves in to “flight for fight” response and does not burn fat. When I personally did less high energy workouts and combined this more intelligently with yoga and functional Pilates – I lost my baby weight. The hardest thing to shift was my mindset but today I have a leaner body that what I did prior to 3 children. Learn more here.
My advice to all women is to stop exercising so hard with an obsessive desire to “feel the burn” or “work up a sweat” and stop thinking that if you DON’T do this your workout is not worthwhile. Adding a guided mediation or stretch session and more adaptive total body workouts (where there are intervals of rest and activity) will give you so many more benefits and your adrenals long term will thank you! Dahlas Fletcher Mama of 3
Why balanced hormones are important
When your hormones are in balance, neither too high nor too low, you look and feel your best. But when they are imbalanced, you feel miserable, with a range of symptoms that include fatigue, sugar cravings, weight loss resistance, bloating, belly fat, trouble sleeping, anxiety or irritability, and constant stress.
The calorie in / calorie out hypothesis is outdated for women’s health. Hormones matter more than calories, and this is not just about achieving fat loss, addressing hormones first can also slow down the ageing process and give an incredible improvement in total wellbeing.
Start this journey now. Join Georgia and I in my online BFABMETHOD, suitable for any trimester and stage of motherhood.
Any questions reach out to me in my Facebook Community called #BFABSQUAD – join here
Dahlas Fletcher is one of Australia’s most respected and successful certified and experienced Pregnancy and Female Fitness Trainers. Her goal is to help you be the happiest, most fabulous version of yourself, inside and out.