Ever wonder what happened to our bodies after the age of 30 or 35? Well you will be surprised to know that our bodies are not just 5 or 10 years older but our hormones, how we react to emotions and even how we digest our foods are not the same, all of these factors affect how we feel about ourselves, how our clothes fit and the amount of energy we have throughout the day.
Hormones are powerhouses and when it comes to weight loss. If they’re off, your metabolism suffers. Every woman is unique and what unlocks one woman’s metabolism, may not work for another woman. As a community of women, this is an incredible opportunity to support and cheer each other on. It’s easy to compare ourselves against each other and how well other women are doing, but when it comes to metabolism – it holds no weight.
Our metabolism is 100% made up of our hormones. Every woman’s hormone make up is unique. Your friend might have a greater proportion of estrogen than you and that will influence her weight gain and fat-loss. You may have greater levels of cortisol naturally which definitely has influence on lean muscle gain and fat-loss. Our hormones are simply messengers. That’s it.
Hormones are messengers communicating specific messages to our body to behave a certain way. The two biggest hormones that have a influence on gaining weight and losing stored fat are insulin and cortisol. Both are used together and when balanced, fat-loss happens quickly.
Think about a tug-a-war, on one side is insulin and the other is cortisol and when our two hormones aren’t balanced, one dominates the message that is being communicated to our body and wins over the other, in this game we want to a tie. Cortisol hormones tell your body to store fat and burn fat. Insulin hormones tell your body to store fat, store muscle, and to release body fat. The best thing we can do is to listen to our body and respond to how our body communicates and i'm going to give you tips on how to balance your hormones and not feel like the best years in your life were in your 30's as i believe the older we become the more wisdom, love and information we gain, so lets get education, shall we!
Tips to Balance Your Hormones
EAT WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY
On a scale of 1-10, your hunger should never get above a ‘5’. Even if you have to eat a snack before a lunch date, don’t allow your hunger to get too high. When you do this, your metabolism will slow and you will more likely binge eat when you do finally eat.
Slim Tip. Drinking water with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne pepper speeds up metabolism, allows you to get fuller faster and aids in liver cleansing.
KEEP YOUR ENERGY LEVELS UP
Similar to car if you forget to fill up the tank with gas then the car will slow down and eventually leave you stranded. This is similar to your metabolism. Keep your metabolisms energy up by eating enough carbs or reducing your carbs at your meals. Your energy levels should remain above ‘5’.
Slim Tip. if your goal is to lose fat then make sure most of your carbs come from leafy greens and one serving of grains or starch per day (1/2 cup). If your goal is to lose fat and build muscle and your exercise, make sure to have 2 servings of grains or starch per day, best before and after strength workout.
KEEP YOUR CRAVINGS LOW
Most women think that having cravings are normal – but it’s a sign that your hormones aren’t balanced. Craving sweets, salty things, or even alcohol, are a sign that you may not have eaten enough carbs the last time you ate or your cortisol levels are a bit too high. Do your best to keep them at a level ‘2’ or below. Understanding your metabolism doesn’t have to be complex or frustrating. Start to listen to your body and begin to see changes in your energy levels, how well your sleep is, and even begin losing weight!
Slim Tip. Fat cravings and salt cravings are also a sign that your hormones are not balance. Make sure you are taking a good fish oil mostly of Omega 3, Calcium- Magnesium and a good multivitamin to avoid nutrient deficiencies that are causing cravings
CARE FOR YOUR LIVER
We all know that the liver filters our blood that naturally detoxifies of our bodies, but did you know it also regulates hormones. Yes that is right it regulates he balance of sex hormones thyroid hormones, cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It transforms or removes any excess from the body. So when the liver is sluggish due to mostly poor diet, stress or lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking alcohol caring for it is vital. Taking a herb combination of liver support supplement is most ideal and works very well, this will allow your liver to work more productively and allowing your hormones to balance out.
Slim Tip. Taking liver supplements before each and every meal will help you with good digestion and detoxification, also adding on probiotics to your regime balances out the hormones that produce in our guts, the same hormones that balance out cravings for sweets
EXERCISE FOR YOUR AGE AND GOAL
Moving your body when your in your 40's is not the same as 10 years ago, you will naturally lose muscle and stamina. Exercising in shorter duration's at the highest intensity you can do is the best way to increase energy, balance out hormones and build muscle. Exercise balance out insulin levels and when you exercise within a good duration you will achieve a nice balance of cortisol to help with fat burning not fat storing.
Slim Tip. Tabata, HIIT workouts are the best result producing workouts for ladies over 40 with stubborn belly fat to lose. I teach these classes in group setting to many women who struggle with stubborn fat, and have seen great results, called Ignite 30-60
If you’re a busy mom, and you’ve found time to make fitness a priority, chances are that your kids have noticed, and may have even had their curiosity piqued about your method of getting in shape, whether it’s weightlifting, running, or yoga. Now your kid wants to workout... what do you do?!
When you exercise with your kids It’s mainly an opportunity to introduce a little fitness and give them a chance to have fun with exercise. In the meantime, try to help them with good form with certain exercises, because learning to do it right is just as important as doing it at all Anyway, here are some of the things we do at home. They’re hard enough that I feel I’m getting some good exercise, but simple enough that the kids can mostly keep up.
1. Planking Put your elbows on the floor, raise up on the tips of your toes, and keep your back straight and your abs tight in a line. Hold that position as long as you can. 30 seconds is pretty good if your kids can hold it that long.
2. Squats Put your feet a shoulders’ width apart and do deep knee bends as if you’re sitting down on an invisible box. Put your arms out. Make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes.
3. Push-ups Keep your abs tight and your back straight; you can do this with a straight or bent knee.
4. Crunches Sit-ups, but not all the way from floor to knee. Just curl your chest toward your knees. (These are called “curl-ups” at my kids’ school.)
5. Lunges Take a step. Touch your back knee to the floor, and make sure your front knee doesn’t extend past the toes.
6. Side leg raises Just like Jane Fonda used to do! Keep your legs straight.
7. Burpees These are pretty tough for me, and a whole sequence of them will really get your heart racing. Squat, then put your hands to the ground. Kick your legs straight back behind you, landing on your toes. Then do a push-up, bring your legs back underneath you, and jump straight up off the floor. That’s one burpee.
8. Mountain Climbers Start in a push-up position, then alternate bringing one foot at a time forward toward your armpit and then extend it back out. It almost looks like a stationary bear crawl.
9. Butterfly Kicks Lie on your back. Keeping your abs tight, raise your feet just barely off the floor and flutter-kick them. This one makes my girls giggle, which then makes their abs loosey-goosey, which makes it hard for them to do the exercise. But it’s fun all the same.
10. V-ups This one’s like a sit-up, but in the shape of a V. Lie back, extend your arms out above your head on the floor, then lift your legs and raise your torso and hands until you make a V. Reach toward your feet, then back down again.
Let’s face it, everyone is busy and whether you’re a mom or not, work, friends, and family, are all pulling you in many different directions. Sometimes staying healthy and fit or trying to lose weight is hard with so many other obligations in life.
I may not have many children but being a mother of 1, business owner, cooking specialist, maintaining a blog, chauffeur to my child numerous activities, house cleaner, cook, shall I go on? You get the point and I’m sure you could list more than even I! But I have learned that if I want to maintain my weight loss I’ve achieved, stay fit and lead a happy, healthy life with my family, I need to be a priority. Because if Momma is sick, nothing runs smoothly. If momma is grumpy, everyone else will be as well. May not be the case in your home, but that is how it happens in my house anyway!
I’ve learned a few strategies that have helped me maintain my weight loss as well as keep me emotionally happy doing all the multiple things I’m involved in. You know, so you’re not feeling like last on your TO DO list that never ends.
Each day it is a choice. But with each day is a new beginning. Forget what happened or didn’t happen yesterday and focus on the here and now. The moment at hand. You’ll be happier by not beating yourself up each day and discover, with daily choices, you are creating healthy habits that will become a part of your life. Persistence and consistency is the key even if you fall a few times.
1. EAT CLEAN
Choosing to eat clean means to eat food as close to its natural state as possible. Fresh produce, lean meats, natural sugars, natural sugar free alternatives and staying away from processed, packaged foods and artificial ingredients keeps your body functioning well and your immune system healthy to fight off sicknesses and diseases. Healthy clean foods don’t have to be tasteless or boring you just need to be creative or just copy my recipes.
2. MENU PLAN
Menu planning is key to sticking with eating clean and making healthy choices on crazy days of numerous personal training sessions, group fitness classes, and being just the women of the house. Knowing what you’ve got in your freezer and fridge and being able to have quick meals for busy nights is the only way to avoid ordering through a drive through window. I plan most of my meals a week ahead and use my diet journal app to make sure i eat what i promised myself.
3. MAKE HEALTHY SNACKS AHEAD
Have you heard of HANGER??? It’s when you are so hunger you get angry. Have you ever been like that? This happens to me when i'm training back to back without a break for more than 5 hours. When hunger strikes if you don’t have some healthy choices on hand you will surely eat whatever you can find in your cupboard. I’ve done this and it’s miserable because it’s often foods high in carbs that call your name. Then the guilt sets in. Who wants that feeling? Not me! I prepare healthy food and snacks on the weekend for the week ahead, and if i'm really timed pressed a quick protein shake will do the job. Having a healthy snack on is the only way for me to avoid overeating on foods high in carbs.
4. EXERCISE DAILY
Exercise is proven to relieve stress. Don’t we all have at least some stress in life? exercise keeps those happy hormones up and running all day long. I exercise 5 -6 days a week of short duration burst of tabata or HIIT. Try to find at least 20-30 minutes of your day to move in some way and make it a priority. I can guarantee you it will feel so good not only physically but mentally. You will feel the difference in your emotions. And after some time of this becoming a habit on the days when you can’t exercise, you will actually miss it!
5. ONCE A MONTH MOM’S NIGHT OUT
Once a month try to spend you time with those you love, friends or just by yourself. Why is this strategies important? Because you are more than just a mother and you need to reconnect with those friends that are also in the same place in life with children. It is like a healthy therapy session! Friends encourage us and support us, we need each other! If momma is happy then you will be more productive and motivated to stay on track of healthy living.
6. DATE NIGHT
Reconnecting with your spouse is just as important to mental health, talk about the support you need, your new goals. Remember that before our kids came around our spouse was our best friend and all our attention us about you and him, being in love is important for healthy living.
7. TIME OUT EACH DAY
My favorite part of the day is when i have at least 20 minute of TIME OUT for myself. I get my cup of coffee and I sit on my couch and I read a magazine or make a phone call to a friend or browse Face Book. You get the picture. A simple strategy that keeps me sane from all the hustle and bustle of my busy life. Even if you can do it every day, strive to try to have at least 10 minutes to yourself on most days.
8. CUT THE SUGAR
I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t do this is very important step in life about 12 years ago when my daughter turned 1. Cutting out white refined and processed sugars and flours has been the biggest factor for losing my weight and being able to maintain it. Here’s my personal story of who is Veronica Vargas if you’ve never read it. Sugar makes you crave it more and more. When you crave it, you eat more and more unhealthy foods that can cause sickness and just an overall tired, sluggish feeling. When you eat too much, of course weight gain happens, it’s inevitable. When you gain weight, who’s happy about that? No one. I cut the sugar, cravings stopped.
9. SLEEP MORE
Last but not least you need more sleep! 5-6 hours of sleep a night is just not enough. Did you know when you are tired your body tries to wake itself up the next day by eating more calories? Yes! So when you don’t get enough rest your body overcompensates by causing you to be hungrier. Not helpful if trying to lose weight or trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Not helpful if trying to get up early to get in exercise either. Viscous cycle right? Try your best to get to sleep earlier or at least 7-8 hours a night as opposed to 5 or 6. Your body with thank you the next day!
I hope these simple strategies will help you reach your healthy living goals!
Veronica Vargas Mother of 1 and business owner of Bodies By V.V. guides busy moms and women towards eating and moving towards a healthy lifestyle. The Blog that gets right to the point!
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