Your Hormones, Your Health


Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? A hormone imbalance could be to blame. Hormones are chemical “messengers” that impact the way your cells and organs function. It’s normal for your levels to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause them to go up or down, too.

Irregular Periods


Most women’s periods come every 21 to 35 days. If yours doesn’t arrive around the same time every month, or you skip some months, it might mean that you have too much or too little of certain hormones (estrogen and progesterone). If you’re in your 40s or early 50s — the reason can be perimenopause — the time before menopause. But irregular periods can be a symptom of health problems like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Talk to your doctor.
Sleep Problems



If you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, or if the sleep you get isn’t good, your hormones could be at play. Progesterone, a hormone released by your ovaries, helps you catch Zzz’s. If your levels are lower than usual, that can make it hard to fall and stay asleep. Low estrogen can trigger hot flashes and night sweats, both of which can make it tough to get the rest you need.

Chronic Acne


A breakout before or during your period is normal. But acne that won’t clear up can be a symptom of hormone problems. An excess of androgens (“male” hormones that both men and women have) can cause your oil glands to overwork. Androgens also affect the skin cells in and around your hair follicles. Both of those things can clog your pores and cause acne.

Memory Fog


Experts aren’t sure exactly how hormones impact your brain. What they do know is that changes in estrogen and progesterone can make your head feel “foggy” and make it harder for you to remember things. Some experts think estrogen might impact brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Attention and memory problems are especially common during perimenopause and menopause. But they can also be a symptom of other hormone-related conditions, like thyroid disease. Let your doctor know if you’re having trouble thinking clearly.

Belly Problems


Your gut is lined with tiny cells called receptors that respond to estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are higher or lower than usual, you might notice changes in how you’re digesting food. That’s why diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, and nausea can crop up or get worse before and during your period. If you’re having digestive woes as well as issues like acne and fatigue, your hormone levels might be off.

Ongoing Fatigue



Are you tired all the time? Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of a hormone imbalance. Excess progesterone can make you sleepy. And if your thyroid — the butterfly-shaped gland in your neck — makes too little thyroid hormone, it can sap your energy. A simple blood test called a thyroid panel can tell you if your levels are too low. If they are, you can get treated for that.
chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But other hormones, that travel the same paths as neurotransmitters, also play a part in how you feel.

Mood Swings and Depression


Researchers think drops in hormones or fast changes in their levels can cause moodiness and the blues. Estrogen affects key brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But other hormones, that travel the same paths as neurotransmitters, also play a part in how you feel.

Appetite and Weight Gain



When you’re feeling blue or irritated, as you can be when your estrogen levels dip, you may want to eat more. That might be why drops in the hormone are linked to weight gain. The estrogen dip can also impact your body’s levels of leptin, a hunger-revving hormone.

Headaches


Lots of things can trigger these. But for some women, drops in estrogen bring them on. That’s why it’s common for headaches to strike right before or during your period, when estrogen is on the decline. Regular headaches or ones that often surface around the same time each month can be a clue that your levels of this hormone might be shifting.
Caginal Dryness


It’s normal to have this occasionally. But if you often notice that you’re dry or irritated down there, low estrogen may be the reason. The hormone helps vaginal tissue stay moist and comfortable. If your estrogen drops because of an imbalance, it can reduce vaginal fluids and cause tightness.

Loss of Libido


Most people think of testosterone as a male hormone, but women’s bodies make it, too. If your testosterone levels are lower than usual, you might have less of an interest in sex than you usually do.
Breast Changes


A drop in estrogen can make your breast tissue less dense. And an increase in the hormone can thicken this tissue, even causing new lumps or cysts. Talk to your doctor if you notice breast changes, even if you don’t have any other symptoms that concern you.

Your Hormones, Your Health

Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? A hormone imbalance could be to blame. Hormones are chemical “messengers” that impact the way your cells and organs function. It’s normal for your levels to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause them to go up or down, too.
 

Workshop – Female Fatloss Essentials

Female Fatloss Essentials

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Saturday 29/11/14 10:00-11:30
Or
Tuesday 2/12/14 20:00-21:30

Understand why girls lose fat and store fat differently to boys!
Why calorie controlled diets don’t work!
How certain foods will set you up for fat gain – even when you think you’re being good!

FEES
£10 per person.
Free if you train with me!

VENUE
Fatloss Solutions
Hayden Hill Studio
Old Gloucester Road
CHELTENHAM
GL51 0SW

Book your Spot(s) on Facebook or
Text to 07831 680086

Jax x

Help For Menopausal Mood Swings And Depression

Another reason to supplement Vit D ?
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Menopausal mood swings are no joke – ask those living with a menopausal woman – and if you are also suffering symptoms of oestrogen dominance then it may seem like you are trapped by your moods. Hormone balance is important here, bioidentical natural progesterone is a natural mood enhancer that also helps sleep. When in combination with the right balance of natural oestrogen then that has shown to be effective for women with severe mood swings and depression.

However, as well as getting your hormones balanced, there is one thing you can do right away and it is look at whether you have a lack of vitamin D as that also can affect mood swings.
Over the last year it seemed as if you couldn’t open a newspaper without some new benefit of vitamin D being hailed – in fact it has been described as a wonder vitamin. We know we need it for strong bones and maintaining muscle mass, but it also is being studied for diabetes, heart disease, various cancers and immune response.

Twenty minutes of sun exposure a day is recommended to get optimal minimum amounts of vitamin D but in northern climes like the UK we are unlikely to get the amount that we need, though this year seems to be the exception! Figures from the USA indicate that less than 10% of the population get the recommended daily amount and they are mostly outdoor workers who get the benefit of any sunshine that is going.

Women and Mood
At the The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in June, 2014 it was reported that a substantial new benefit of vitamin D has been discovered. Women with moderate to severe depression had substantial improvement in their symptoms of depression after they received treatment for their vitamin D deficiency according to a new benefit of vitamin D has been discovered. Women with moderate to severe depression had substantial improvement in their symptoms of depression after they received treatment for their vitamin D deficiency according to a new study.
This came from a very small study of women aged 42-66 who had previously been diagnosed with clinical depression. The women did not change their antidepressant medications, or other environmental factors that relate to depression, and over 8-12 weeks were given oral vitamin D. This gave them normal levels after treatment and all the women reported significant improvement in their depression.

How to help yourself
Other studies have suggested that vitamin D has an effect on mood and depression and given the amount of research being done on other additional benefits of vitamin D, it may be worth considering.
Other factors that affect mood are lack of sleep at menopause due to hot flashes and night sweats and increased stress levels. Tackling both of these can help as will eliminating or reducing stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco as these can make a real difference to mood stability.

Many women report improvements in both mood swings and sleep when helped with bioidentical natural progesterone, and if you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency it would make sense to consider supplementation to maximize the effect of the natural hormone.

Vitamin D is not readily available from food but varieties of oily fish have the most followed by much smaller amounts in liver, all types of milk, yoghurt and cheese. Many brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and breakfast cereals are often fortified with vitamin D but this is not a source to rely on if you are deficient.

Nutritionist Patrck Holford recommends that those who live in the northern hemisphere, have decreased bone mass (osteoporosis) or a cancer risk, have a 25mg capsule a day or one drop of an oral vitamin D supplement.

The Cons of Carbs

em>The Cons of Carbs

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1. Carbs spike insulin levels and elevate blood sugar. It’s almost impossible to burn body fat in the presence of high insulin levels (hence – the catch 22 above)
2. Consuming too many carbs over lengthy periods of time can lead to a lot of fat spillover which leads to excess fat storage. Think obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
3. Carbs (especially processed carbs) are the most abused nutrient from both a health and fat loss perspective.
4. Excess carb intake creates a lot of water retention, which leads to a soft look so it makes you look and feel bloated.
5. Processed carbs hide nasty fillers and chemicals that can potentially lead to severe health challenges. We call these obesity additives.

Now you can see why people think you can just cut out carbs to lose weight.

Obviously there’s a lot more to it because we need carbs to stay healthy and keep our metabolism happy and burning fat.

Additionally, low carb diets really only work for 5 to 7 days at a time
before your Fatloss hormones -thyroid and leptin levels – react negatively and slow your metabolic rate and suppress fat burning.

More next time on how to put things together for successful Fatloss.

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results

Jax

Menstrual Phase Training PT 3

Oral contraceptive pills.
How do they effect fitness & Fatloss?

Progestin only OCPs show a greater tendency to cause weight gain in studies.

Traditional biphasic OCPs show less of an effect illustrating increased metabolic rate along with increased energy intake.

HRT in menopausal women indeed seems to result in weight gain, but does seem to spare the belly fat accumulation that can occur in menopausal women. This may be due to reduced amounts of estrogen and progesterone and their anti-cortisol impact. Remember cortisol encourages belly fat.

As stated previously, much of the impact of female reproductive hormones is a mute point if background insulin levels are too high. Their influence seems to be exerted only under low carbohydrate intake and consistent training states.

So, to take full advantage of this kind of phase training plan you need to ideally control your blood sugar level and be able to train consistently.

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results.

Jax

Menstrual Cycle Phase Training PT 2

Part 2
The Follicular Phase

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The follicular phase is shown to be a more anabolic time overall allowing women to engage in more cardio based exercise with less chance of losing muscle as well as derive enhanced lean tissue gains from weight training.

Follicular phase (Days 1-14)

Diet.
30:40:30 macronutrient intake (carbs:protein:fat).
This is more of a standard ratio of foods.
A far cry from the high carb diet of most western diet, though.

Training Schedule.
Strength & Conditioning.
3 times weekly full body traditional weight training
(squat, bench press, back row, shoulder press) you’ll get this with me on Metabolic Rest based training days.
4 sets of 10 using a 8-12 rep max. Remembering to go heavy and fail for best results rather than light and never cause any changes.

Cardio
5 days per week steady state moderate intensity cardio (40-60 minutes).
If you know me well, you might be shocked at this. But, studies suggest this is the right time to use cardio. I would add that I don’t endorse running – too repetitive, too much impact – use a bike or better still a rower even better a swimming pool! (Spin class is too intense, we’re talking lightly puffing, warm and a bit sweaty – look at the jogging, skipping elite athletes and competitive body builders do – fasting cardio – that’s before breakfast)

After 30 years of teaching Aerobics, Step, Spin I know that I don’t need to add Cardio into my mix – but then I’m in a different hormonal phase now.
I do however adjust by nutrient mix.

More soon when we’ll look at how HRT and the contraceptive pill effects your fat loss efforts.

Eat Clean, Train Smart, Expect Results.

Jax

Soy Danger #1 – Belly Fat

Soy Danger #1:
Hidden Toxins That Make You Store MORE Belly Fat

With more people thinking about dietary protein sources and women considering hormones and health I thought I could answer some questions you may gave about soy and why I do NOT think it’s a healthy option!

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EVERY living organism in nature has some sort of defense mechanism.

While animals use obvious weapons like claws and teeth to survive, certain plants like soy use special toxins that are linked to several health problems, which can potentially screw up your hormones.

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Here are 6 examples…

Natural toxins: Impair your digestive system.

Phytates: Prevent you from absorbing certain minerals.

Enzyme inhibitors: Hinder protein digestion.

Goitrogens: Interfere with your thyroid function and metabolism.

Phytoestrogens (Isoflavones): Genistein and daidzein, which mimic the fat storing hormone estrogen. They’re also shown to increase your risks of hypothyroidism by 3 fold. (1)

Haemaggluttin: Causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits oxygen uptake and growth.

Now you can probably see why Asians have been using a process called “fermentation” for years now. It gets rid of most of the anti-nutrients, allergens and hormone-disrupting compounds found in raw soy beans.

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[Question: What about fermented and unfermented soy?

Answer: Foods made with fermented soy are thought to be healthier than those made with unfermented soy. Examples of foods made with fermented soy are miso, tempeh, and naturally brewed soy sauce.

Tofu and soy milk are examples of foods made with unfermented soy, although sometimes, tofu, once it’s made, is fermented to produce fermented tofu dishes in East Asian cooking – mostly Chinese.]

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Go to the Alpro web site and they proudly describe their process for soy milk – simply grinding beans and adding water. NO fermentation there!

But everywhere, no one seems to care! And companies carelessly put hormone-disrupting raw soy in soymilk, soybean oil, soy patties and tofu – which increases fat storage, drains your energy, and HARMS your body.

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21325465
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/bt-corn_b_2442072.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18194211
http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/ap42/ch09/bgdocs/b9s11-1.pdf

Think about it……

Eat Clean. Stay Active. Feel Great

Jax