Dietitian Melissa Meier explains why balancing your hormones can help you lose weight, feel your best and be happy. Plus, she shares a 7-day hormone reset meal plan.
Whether you’re struggling with acne, can’t lose weight or you’re just OTT tired, a quick Google search will spit out a diet that’ll promise to “reset your hormones”. And while that quick fix sounds mighty appealing, I’ve got some words of warming…
From growth to digestion to reproduction, your hormonal system plays many important roles by sending messages to your body’s cells through your bloodstream. In conjunction with your immune and nervous systems, your hormones help your body to cope with many different stressors.
Hormones get the blame for a bevy of ailments, although sometimes, it’s not entirely their fault. To get you up to speed, here’s some of the most common hormones people like to talk about:
- The female sex hormone, oestrogen, regulates mood and is important for bone health and cholesterol management. Oestrogen also plays a significant role in body fat distribution, with lower oestrogen levels (which naturally occurs after menopause) linked to belly fat.
- Another female hormone, progesterone, which has a role in fertility.
- The male sex hormone, testosterone, which is important for developing sperm.
- The stress hormone, cortisol, is ramped up when you’re under pressure. A certain level is needed at all times to keep things in balance.
- Insulin, which is secreted from the pancreas after you eat carbohydrate to help control blood sugar levels.
- Thyroxine, which is released by the thyroid gland and is important for metabolism, brain development and digestion.
Can diet help with hormones?
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but if you’re experiencing a legit hormone issue (like diabetes, thyroid problems or menstruation abnormalities), your diet mightn’t fix it alone. You’ll probably have to head to the GP (or even an endocrinologist) for medications to help fix the problem.
But if you’re simply looking to support your hormonal health, a healthy diet (along with enough sleep and exercise, of course), can certainly help. The best part? It doesn’t involve expensive superfoods, supplements or exotic potions – at the end of the day, it simply comes down to balance.
Happy hormone meal plan
To give you a helping hand, here’s a healthy meal plan that will support happy hormones to help you lose weight, bust belly fat, improve your energy and help you feel your best.
- Natural muesli with plain natural yoghurt and berries
- Wholegrain toast with natural peanut butter, banana and cinnamon
- Poached eggs on wholegrain toast with avocado and tomato
- Chickpea salad with mixed leaves, tomato, cucumber and feta cheese, dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Wholegrain wrap filled with skinless BBQ chicken, salad and a slice of cheese
- Tuna toastie made with mustard and a slice of cheese, served with veggie sticks and hummus
- Monday: homemade roast veggie frittata with dressed leafy greens
- Tuesday: BBQ’d chicken thighs served with roasted sweet potato and dressed leafy greens
- Wednesday: pan-fried fillet of fish with sautéed peas and roasted veggies
- Thursday: spaghetti bolognese made with extra veggies (like zucchini, mushroom and capsicum) and wholemeal pasta, served with leafy greens
- Friday: homemade burgers made of a lentil patty, halloumi and salad served on a small grainy roll
- Saturday: baked salmon with mashed potato, steamed broccoli and steamed carrots
- Sunday: veggie-packed tofu stir fry served with long grain brown rice
- Plain natural yoghurt
- Fresh fruit
- A handful of unsalted nuts
- Plain, air-popped popcorn
- Veggie sticks and hummus
- Wholegrain crackers and hummus
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.