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The Secret to Feeling and Looking Better Is…Hormones!

Last updated by Dr. Jamé Heskett on February 9, 2017

What?

Weren’t expecting that answer?

It’s the truth, but not a lot of experts or medical professionals talk about it.

Hormones are a crucial part of your overall health and wellness.

If one hormone is imbalanced, it causes the whole system to get out of whack.

Kind of like what happens when one car wrecks one a crowded freeway. What follows is a 100-car pileup.

You need your body to be in balance, or homeostasis. That’s when everything will work just as it should.

Dieting  –  it isn’t good for your hormones.

Neither is stress.

But if you want to lose weight and age gracefully (and as slowly as possible), your hormones need to function in their ideal state.

If you treat your body well, it will function as it should.

In a previous blog, we covered hormones like cortisol, dopamine, ghrelin, and growth hormone. Here’s a look at some other important hormones:

Insulin. When you eat sugar, your body releases insulin, which then guides the fuel to the liver, where it can be converted into fuel for the muscles. Eat too much and your body will release too much insulin. The extra goes to your fat cells. Not only that, if this goes on too long, your body will become resistant to insulin, which causes it to become ravenous for more sugar. This is a major precursor to diabetes and obesity as well as chronic inflammation. 

Leptin. Produced in the fat cells, leptin alerts your brain to turn off the hunger signal, essentially telling your body when it’s satiated. Eating too much sugar and more food than your body needs in general disrupts this signal. So you won’t know when to stop eating, perpetuating a never-ending cycle of overeating and weight gain.

Melatonin. This is called the “drowsy” hormone, which helps regulate your sleeping and waking cycle. As darkness falls, your melatonin levels increase. As the sun comes up, it decreases. When this hormone is imbalanced, you sleep less and have fewer quality hours. Poor sleep affects eating habits like consuming more food than your body needs and craving low quality food to satisfy the body’s urgent energy needs. Your diet will then lack nutrients, and in turn, your body will crave even more food to make up for it. In fact, if you get less than seven hours of sleep, your metabolic rate will drop down, your body will think it’s in a crisis situation and must conserve energy (fat storage).

Phenylethylamine. This hormone, also known as PEA, is a feel-good hormone (much like dopamine). Low levels of this hormone are associated with depression and ADHD. Physical activity, on the other hand, has been shown to increase PEA. So if you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle, your PEA levels are likely low. Feeling unhappy may lead to depression and weight gain as part of this downward cycle of low “feel-good” hormones perpetuating low activity and so on and so on.

Reproductive hormones. These hormones, like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, are responsible for menopause and PMS symptoms, as well as breast cancer. Studies have shown that regular exercise counters PMS symptoms. While low estrogen levels decrease your body’s ability to use fat for fuel during exercise, you can increase estrogen through strength training. In the last two weeks of your menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone decrease, which directly affects digestion  –  slowing it down. As a result, nutrient absorption also decreases. Exercise, better eating habits and eating more fiber counteract the dangers of these in-flux hormones.

Hormones are critically important to your overall health. Balancing them, or achieving homeostasis, is just one of the goals of The Well Path. They are, in fact, THE secret to looking and feeling great! For more information about The Well Path book or membership site, contact us today!

The Well Path

Topics: Homeostasis