Tips on Exercise and Nutrition for Hormone Balance and Regulation
When you Google nutrition for hormone balance or exercise for hormone balance, you’re going to be flooded with information and advertisements.
Marketing aside, this mass of information on fitness and hormones should alert you to something — your overall health and your hormone levels are strongly connected.
In other words, if you’re having trouble with your hormone balance, the first place to look when you need to start feeling better is your general physical health.
The Cycle of Hormones and Tissue Development
Here’s the first — your hormone levels are not just numbers. Hormone imbalances occur when the ratio of, for example, testosterone to estrogen, are out of sync. That poor biochemical combination results in your symptoms.
Consider the following facts about testosterone and estrogen:
- Testosterone produces more lean muscle tissue
- High estrogen levels result in greater fat tissue production
Now that you have that critical information, consider two more facts:
- Lean muscle contributes to still greater increases in testosterone production
- Fat tissue is actually an estrogen-producing organ — more fat means more estrogen
You can probably see the unhealthy snowball effect that can develop — being out of shape can lead to a hormone imbalance.
Getting your hormonal system (called your endocrine system) working the way it’s supposed to is an important aspect of naturally improving a mild hormone imbalance.
At some point, you have to interrupt the cycle to stop producing excess fat, produce more muscle, and get your hormone production working for you instead of against you.
Let’s discuss ways to develop some healthy, positive momentum that contributes to feeling better.
Get More Exercise for a Hormone Balance That’s More Natural
If you have a mild hormone imbalance, you’ll probably need to produce some muscle and burn some fat as part of your plan to counteract the imbalance. That means increased activity and exercise — exercise and hormone regulation go hand in hand, after all.
The first thing to consider is getting a balanced, achievable exercise plan you can stick to — overzealous exercise plans usually get dropped quickly, but reasonable plans have sticking power.
There are many different approaches to exercise, but, for hormone balance seekers, we have a few that we recommend.
Exercise for Hormone Balance — Weight Lifting
When hoping to build lean muscle and aid your testosterone production, there’s probably no better activity than heavy weight lifting.
Even if you’re not really a “gym rat,” or if you’re a little turned off by the gym subculture, the following benefits will probably appeal to you if you’re suffering from mild symptoms of low testosterone (or other hormone imbalances):
- Increased muscle mass
- Burned fat
- Increased energy
- Increased bone density
- Better mood
All of these benefits either directly improve your endocrine system’s function through physical change, or they could counter some of the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance (like low mood and mild fatigue).
When you’re suffering from a mild hormone imbalance, there’s nothing that seems to help quite as much as regular exercise. A hormone balance that’s healthy and natural generally requires you to exercise your body — you can’t get away from it!
High Intensity Exercise for a Hormone Balance That’s Healthy
High intensity interval training (HIIT), sometimes simply called interval training, is characterized by the repetition of short 2-3 minute bursts of activity followed by rest. The intent is to create oxygen debt that your body will work hard to recover from.
This recovery deficit will keep your metabolism higher than normal for a few hours after the workout is complete, making HIIT a highly efficient calorie-and-fat-burning way to work out.
(This Men’s Fitness article is useful for understanding what a HIIT workout for beginners could look like, but consult with your doctor before diving into anything!)
You Need Better Nutrition for a Hormone Balance That Sticks
You can exercise until your arms and legs won’t budge, but you won’t develop new muscle if you’re not getting proper nutrition.
Or, if you’re needing to burn adipose tissue (fat) to reduce estrogen naturally, you’ll have a lot of trouble if your caloric intake is through the roof.
Your nutrition has to match your goals and activity levels to make successful changes to your body.
Nutrition for Hormones — Balance Requires Reduced Sugar Intake
We harp on this one often — high sugar intake, especially processed sugar, is bad for your health, and that includes your hormonal balance.
Watch out, especially, for sodas. People are often unaware of how many they’re drinking and how much sugar enters their system over the course of the day.
You’ll probably also need to cut down on alcohol consumption because alcohol contains a lot of sugar. Every alcoholic drink you take is a fairly large portion of your daily caloric allowance.
Minimal intake is probably best when dealing with sugar of all kinds.
Nutrition for Hormones — Balance Means More Lean Meat
Lean chicken, turkey, and fish are good sources of protein — and they all have less fat than beef.
If you’re going to build testosterone-enhancing muscle through exercise, you have to fuel your body appropriately and supply the necessary building materials — you need lean protein to recover and build new muscle tissue.
Maintain Balanced Nutrition for Balanced Hormones
Don’t get lost in the quest for more and more protein while ignoring the nutrients your body needs.
There are other health consequences when you aren’t taking in sufficient vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables.
And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
The Answer Isn’t Always Exercise and Nutrition — A Hormone Balance Might Not Be Possible If You Have a More Serious Issue
You may see improvement in your condition through better exercise and nutrition. For a hormone balance to be achieved naturally, these are the foundation, but if there’s a deeper issue, exercise and nutrition is not likely to be enough.
It simply might not be enough to focus on exercise and nutrition — for a hormone balance to be stable in the presence of hypogonadism (clinically low hormone levels), you’ll likely need treatment.
Click the button below to schedule a free consultation with our expert medical providers — learn more about your treatment options.