A common error that many individuals make when looking to lose weight is to avoid fat at all costs and choosing processed non-fat or low-fat products (“enriched “with added sugar for taste) instead of natural fats. While this tactic may help shed some unwanted fat, low-fat diets may actually be the culprit behind imbalanced hormone levels, weight gain, and the aging process. Indeed, this low-fat diet may be reducing your optimal levels of the important hormones that regulate appetite, metabolism, and body weight.
For example, estrogen and progesterone (the female sex hormones) and testosterone (the male sex hormone) are vital hormones responsible for the regulation of several body functions, including weight maintenance. As we age, the production of the sex hormones decreases and in turn so does one’s libido, fertility, metabolism, and muscle mass…thus leading to excessive weight gain. Luckily, there are foods and factors that help balance and maintain these hormone levels, and ultimately promote weight maintenance.
Foods and factors that balance estrogen and progesterone include eating adequate amounts of natural fats (Omega-3s including EPA and DHA, and Omega-6), dairy products, fruits, fiber-rich vegetables, organic animal products, and green tea. You can find these estrogen-boosting healthy fats in foods such as flaxseed (and its oil), olive oil and other plant oils (canola and sunflower oil), avocados, fatty fish (salmon), and almonds and nuts (and their butters – almond butter and peanut butter). Testosterone is best balance by eating adequate amounts of natural fat, protein, and foods high in zinc – such as shellfish, meats, and nuts. In short, a balanced diet with natural fats, lean protein, and adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables combined with regular physical activity promotes optimal levels of hormones and aids in delaying the aging process and preventing excessive weight gain.
Luckily, Tampa Bay is known for its fresh, colorful fruits (i.e. the “Florida Orange” and ripe avocados), specialty health-food markets geared towards healthy food sources for weight loss and improved health (i.e. FitLifeFoods and Village Health Market), and various hormone replacement therapy and weight loss services (i.e. Tampa Rejuvenation and Dr. Rubin’s Bodylogicmd) to help you achieve optimal hormonal production and a healthy body weight. All you have to do is hop in your car and head down the street to your local food store or pick up the phone and call one of the hormone replacement therapy and weight loss facilities near you.