The impact of diet on hormonal health is a popular topic in this community. Remember, all of your hormones work closely together – insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone – if one of them becomes unbalanced, it throws the others out of whack.
Maintaining the appropriate blood sugar level by making correct diet choices can play a huge role in avoiding increased belly fat caused by two hormone imbalance – one insulin-related, the other cortisol-related. Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD, Dr. Alicia Stanton, offers a wealth of knowledge on this topic in her new book Hormone Harmony.
A hormone imbalance that has become all-to prevalent in America right now is insulin resistance. This occurs when a constant supply of sugar in the bloodstream causes a prolonged high demand for insulin, whose job is to move sugar from the blood to your cells where it can be used for energy. Eventually, your body stops listening to the insulin and begins to convert our blood sugar into fat for storage.
The first place the body stores fat is around the organs on our abdomen and initially remains not readily visible. However, as this process continues, the fat storage increases in the tissue between the muscles and skin in our abdomen creating belly fat, making our pants feel tighter.
Here are some tips from Dr. Stanton on how to maintain a healthy weight, avoid unwanted belly fat, and take control of your hot flashes.
“You can break this cycle by eating a diet which focuses on lean proteins (chicken, fish, turkey, lean beef, nuts, beans) and complex carbohydrates (vegetables and high fiber fruits) every two to three hours. This keeps your blood sugar stable, which, in turn, reduces your demand for insulin and cortisol. Over time this reduction in insulin and cortisol reduces the amount of belly fat present, which reduces excess estrogen conversion and estrogen dominance. Also, the reduced cortisol demand increases the amount of progesterone available to balance the estrogen, which reduces hot flushes. The good news is that you have a great deal of control over how you feel by monitoring what you eat.”