Healthy EatingHave you ever made a last minute change of clothes in the morning because you’re unhappy with your profile? Women come in all shapes and sizes and whilst there is no doubt your body shape is influenced by your genetic make up it can also be affected by your hormones.

If you tend to hold weight around your hips and bum your body could be misreading your natural oestrogen levels. Oestrogen is the hormone that defines you most as a woman and with over 300 roles in the body she’s the ultimate multi tasker – just like you!

Yet, disrupted oestrogen levels affect over 70% of women over the age of 35 and one of the key visual indicators is that you tend to hold weight around your hips and bum. Other signs include:
  • Bloating, puffiness or water retention
  • Swollen ankles
  • Mood swings, irritability, weepiness
  • PMT
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Brain fog
Modern day living constantly interrupts the action of your natural hormones and common oestrogen disruptors include:
  • HRT & oral contraceptives
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
  • Tap water
  • Excess alcohol
  • Weight gain – oestrogen isn’t just produced in your ovaries it’s made in your fat cells too.

However, the biggest problem comes from xeno oestrogens. These are environmental chemicals that mimic oestrogen and they interrupt the action of your natural hormones. You’re exposed to several 100 each day and they can be found in cleaning products, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, cosmetics, food preservatives, food packaging and various kinds of plastics. One of the most common and most damaging is Bisphenol-A (BPA) used in the lining of many plastic containers.

And btw xeno oestrogens aren’t just wreaking havoc in women’s lives they’re the reason for the moobs on your men too.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help manage your oestrogen levels.

How to manage your oestrogen levels:
  • Switch to organic foods that haven’t been exposed to pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. If you can’t go organic wash all your veg very carefully.
  • Avoid caffeine which is known to disrupt oestrogen levels in some women.
  • Use natural cosmetics and skincare.
  • Don’t heat food in plastic containers in the oven or the microwave.
  • Drink from a glass or be sure to use a BPA friendly water bottle.
  • Exercise in the right way. Include resistance training in your exercise routine, ideally HIIT circuits.

These are just a few of the ways that you can help manage your oestrogen levels and target those saddlebags. If you think hormone imbalance is affecting your body shape, moods and energy levels discover the key five actions you can take to give you back control at www.juliedennis.net/WATC

About the author

Julie Dennis is a weight loss specialist for women over 40 and through menopause. She is WATC's new fitness and health blogger. Follow Julie’s blog or visit: www.juliedennis.net.

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