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What to Eat for Balanced Hormones And Quicker Weight Loss

What to Eat for Balanced Hormones And Quicker Weight Loss

Millions of people around the world struggle every day to achieve weight loss goals – an achievement which can sometimes feel almost impossible. One of the reasons why it is so hard to lose weight and keep it off is that those extra pounds aren’t just a matter of eating too much and not exercising enough. Hormones – especially insulin, cortisol, and estrogen – help control whether or not your body burns fats or stores it. Keeping hormones in balance can make it much easier to lose those extra pounds.

That being said, diet does play an important role in balancing the hormones so that they do not cause yo to put on extra weight. Ideally, a hormone-balance diet should be based on a combination of clean proteins, vegetables and fruits and foods containing healthy fats. Fats are especially important because they are the building blocks of hormones: without enough healthy fats in the diet, your body simply does not have enough raw material to produce enough of these hormones to keep them in balance. With the right diet, however, it is possible to help balance hormones naturally.

Below is a list of the best foods to eat if you are trying to keep your hormones balanced in order to lose weight.

1. Avocadoes

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    Avocadoes work on two levels to help balance the hormones. On one level, they are chock-full of monounsaturated, healthy fats to help the body produce the hormones that It needs to maintain its health. On another level, they also contain a plant sterol which helps the body to lower estrogen levels and this makes it a great choice for women with high estrogen levels – such as those who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

    Avocadoes can be cut into salads, made into guacamole for Mexican dishes, or even blended into a smoothie.

    2. Butter

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      Especially if you can get organic butter from pastured cows, this can actually be quite good for you, as well as lending a rich taste to many of your meals. Butter is vitamin-rich, giving you a good dose of vitamins A, D, and K and, even more importantly, is a rich source of short ‒ and medium chain fatty acids that also help support optimal hormone production.

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      While you don’t want tons of butter in your diet, smearing a small amount onto whole wheat toast or English muffins or using it in a lemon-butter sauce for fish is an excellent way to add it to your diet.

      3. Cruciferous Vegetables

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        Members of the crucifer family, which include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage, have become nutritional rock stars – and with good reason. They are loaded with vitamins, mineral, and antioxidants and are also incredibly rich in fiber. This fiber breaks down slowly in the body and helps to regulate blood sugar – and this, in turn, can keep your insulin levels from getting too high and signaling your body to pack on the pounds.

        These awesome veggies can be eaten raw in salads, chopped, and sauted as stir-fries or mixed in with whole grain pasta dishes for a healthy, Mediterranean style meal.

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        4. Nuts and Seeds

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          Walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds….anything in the nut and seed family is going to provide you with good quality, plant-based protein as well as healthy fats. Walnuts are particularly good for balancing the hormones because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat which is needed for hormone production. Because these nuts and seeds are also high fiber, they can also control blood sugar levels, which in turn keeps insulin in check.

          Nuts and seeds can be added to pilafs and other rice dishes, sprinkled onto a stir-fry or eaten “as is” for an afternoon snack.

          5. Berries

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            Berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for general health and immunity, but they, like the cruciferous veggies, are also rich in fiber. They are also low in sugar and low on the glycemic index which means that they break down slowly in the body and help to keep blood sugar – and insulin – levels steady.

            Berries can be added to the morning bowl of oatmeal, blended into a smoothie, or layered with yogurt for a delicious (and healthy) parfait.

            6. Fatty Fish

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              Tuna, mackerel, salmon, or other fatty fish are another excellent choice if the goal is to keep the hormones balanced. This is because, like walnuts, these fish are also rich in the omega three fatty acids that your body needs for proper hormone balance.

              This fish can be baked, pan seared, or blackened and are great for dinner entrees as well as chopped and added to a lunchtime salad.

              In short, these foods will not only improve your general health, they will help you to balance out your hormones naturally. This will not only help you feel better, but it will generally make it easier for your body to shed those extra pounds and achieve your weight loss goals which will have you both feeling and looking great!

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              Brian Wu

              Health Writer, Author

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              Last Updated on September 28, 2020

              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

              At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

              Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

              One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

              When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

              So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

              Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

              This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

              Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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              When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

              Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

              One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

              Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

              An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

              When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

              Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

              Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

              We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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              By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

              Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

              While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

              I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

              You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

              Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

              When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

              Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

              Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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              Con #2: Less Human Interaction

              One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

              Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

              Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

              This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

              While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

              Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

              Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

              This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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              For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

              Con #4: Unique Distractions

              Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

              For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

              To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

              Final Thoughts

              Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

              We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

              More About Working From Home

              Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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