Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Estrogen and Progesterone
Metabolic Hormones #3 and #4: Estrogen and Progesterone
Estrogen performs an incredible number of roles, especially in women’s bodies.
In addition to directing a woman’s entire development, from child into adult, estrogen also has a major impact on blood fats, digestive enzymes, water and salt balance, bone density, heart function, and memory, among many other functions.
Men and women both produce estrogen and progesterone normally, but our environment also puts a tremendous amount of estrogen on our bodies.
Xenoestrogens are man-made estrogens like pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy, environmental toxins (pesticides, plastics, dioxins), and food additives.
Phytoestrogens are plant sources of estrogen, like soy and flaxseed, and have a milder effect on your body.
Where Estrogen and Progesterone Are Produced in Women: Ovaries, adrenals, fat tissue, and placenta.
Estrogens are actually created throughout your body.
They can either bind with receptors on the outside of cells, like other hormones, or go directly to receptors in the nucleus, where your DNA lives.
These dual powers are part of what makes estrogen so influential.
Women actually have many different kinds of estrogen, but the 3 main forms are estradiol, estrone, and estriol.
Before she hits menopause, the highest amount of naturally produced estrogen in a woman’s body is the estradiol from her ovaries.
Estradiol gives women breasts and hips, smooths the skin, protects the brain, heart, and bones, and regulates the menstrual cycle.
Estrone is an estrogen produced in fat cells and adrenal glands and has fewer positive things to do in your body.
The third most common estrogen, estriol, isn’t nearly as prevalent as the first two.
The placenta produces estriol during pregnancy.
Estrogen’s buddy, progesterone, comes from your ovaries, where it’s released when the follicle bursts and releases your egg every month.
Progesterone plays a big part in protecting pregnancy and promoting breast-feeding.
Where Estrogen and Progesterone Are Produced in Men: The testes and adrenals.
Men have a small amount of natural estradiol, produced in the testes and adrenals.
When estrogen is at a normal level, it helps protect a man’s brain, heart, and bones, as well as maintain a healthy libido.
How Estrogen and Progesterone Impact Women’s Metabolism: Estradiol is the estrogen of youth; in proper levels, it primarily helps women’s bodies stay lean.
Estradiol lowers insulin and blood pressure levels, raises HDL, and lowers LDL.
Estradiol helps regulate hunger by creating the same satisfied feeling that comes from serotonin.
Similarly, it helps keep your moods stable and your energy high, so you’re more motivated to exercise.
Estradiol puts fat on your hips and butt, but remember – this fat actually helps your insulin response.
As you prepare to go through menopause, your ovaries start to shut down and your production of estradiol decreases.
Then estrone becomes your main estrogen, which really sucks.
Estrone immediately shifts fat from your butt and hips to your belly.
As you lose more of your ovarian estrogen, your body becomes desperate to hang onto other estrogen-making areas of the body, including fat, making it harder for you to lose the belly fat.
And the more fat you have, the more estrone you’ll produce.
Most women tend to gain several pounds during this transition, ramping up what becomes a vicious cycle: more estrone, more fat on the belly; more fat on the belly, more estrone.
Another of estrogen’s vicious cycles has to do with insulin.
Insulin increases circulating levels of estrogen, and estrone causes insulin resistance.
Progesterone helps to balance estrogen.
For example, when progesterone drops right before your period, that imbalance may be what triggers cravings to eat.
Progesterone also drops at menopause, even more dramatically than estrogen.
When your progesterone production falls off, you also start to lose the fat-burning effects of your metabolically positive hormones.
How Estrogen and Progesterone Impact Men’s Metabolism: When estrogen is in balance with men’s testosterone, it has little negative impact on metabolism.
But when estrogen is out of balance with other hormones, men can lose their muscle-building, fat-burning advantage.
That’s when they tend to develop man-boobs and love handles.
How Estrogen and Progesterone Get Out of Whack: People used to think all of women’s hormone balance problems stemmed from declining levels of estrogen.
But increasingly, women in Western cultures tend to have too much estrogen rather than too little.
For the past 50 years, doctors have noticed girls’ puberty changes have been happening earlier and earlier.
Rates of breast cancer have jumped 40% in the past 35 years.
And many signs – including decreasing sperm counts and increasing prostate cancer rates – indicate men are facing the same issue of excessive estrogen.
A large part of this hormonal disruption comes from the overwhelming explosion of xenoestrogens in our environment.
We’ll get into this problem in much greater detail later, as it’s one of the most troubling problems with our country’s addiction to toxic chemicals.
Other factors can also increase unhealthy levels of estrogen, like stress, a lack of quality fats or proteins, and too many refined grains, sugars, and processed foods.
We’ll talk about all of these factors, because estrogen overload is one of the most critical crises in our biochemistry today.
We’ll help you correct your estrogen/progesterone balance by addressing many of these issues.
You’ll start by identifying and removing as many extra estrogens from your diet and your environment as possible.
You’ll also restore the whole foods, especially healthful fats, that help your body build the right hormones, while you rebalance the stress that can hamper proper hormone production.
We’ll talk about testosterone and DHEA in the next post.
Come join me on my weight loss journey! I’d love to have you along!
Have an awesome day!
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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!
Dick and Lenay
email: Lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657