Do you often feel a little out of whack, but you don’t know why? Or, do you find yourself putting on weight or feeling tired for no apparent reason? Maybe you struggle with simply not feeling your best.
If you are struggling with any of these issues, your hormones might be out of balance! Our hormones affect almost everything about how we live, including hunger signals and mood. At different times in our lives, it’s normal for our hormonal balance to be thrown off. There are many external factors that could lead to this such as stress, childbirth, birth control, eating badly, and much more.
Changing your diet (even for just a few weeks) can make a difference in helping to balance your hormones. That’s why I’m sharing some great options for hormone balancing meal plans in this post. Let’s get started discussing how it works and what to do.
A hormone balancing meal plan does exactly what it sounds like. It’s a schedule of meals and snacks that you follow to balance your hormones, maintain equilibrium, and get rid of any unwanted health symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
Anybody experiencing hormone imbalance symptoms can benefit from eating hormone balancing meals. Our hormones have a range of purposes. Each one controls our body in different ways.
Take cortisol for example, this hormone known as the stress hormone. In the past this hormone was beneficial when adrenaline was needed to fight off predators. Now however, having an excess of cortisol can cause chronic stress and inflammation, leading to symptoms such as weight gain and constantly getting sick due to a compromised immune system. Here are some other signs and symptoms that you may be suffering from due to hormone imbalance.
If your weight has rapidly fluctuated without trying, this could point to an underlying issue such as a hormonal imbalance. Many women with a hormone imbalance will put on weight around the belly area.
Are you getting enough hours of sleep, but still constantly feel tired? That’s a giveaway that there’s a hormone imbalance at play. If you feel fatigued, but it’s not because you’re missing crucial hours of sleep, that points to an issue with your hormones.
Your gut is a great indicator of your overall health. When your bowel movements are out of the ordinary, this can be a sign that there’s something amiss with your hormones.
Experiencing diarrhea or constipation or passing stools either much less or much more frequently than usual can point to hormonal balance issues. Before blaming a change in bowel movements on your hormones though, it’s worth considering other potential factors – especially if you suffer from IBS or IBS.
If you’ve noticed that your heart rate has changed dramatically in tempo recently or you’re having periods of extremely slow or fast heartbeats, this can point to issues with your hormones. It’s worth getting it checked by a professional. You do want to ensure that it’s nothing more serious.
If you’re noticing changes to your skin tone, texture, or spots, this is a giveaway that there’s something amiss with your hormones. People with a hormonal imbalance will often start to develop acne-like symptoms.
Rule out any other possible causes such as traveling first. For instance, moving to a place with a different type of water can cause changes to your skin or dry it out.
Our hormones have a significant effect on our mood. If you find yourself having unexplained mood swings or feeling grumpy for no reason, this can point to an imbalance in your hormones. Rule out other factors first, such as a stressful new job or upsetting news.
When we say hormones affect everything we mean everything – including how well you sleep. Sleeping badly or not at all might mean you have a hormone imbalance that’s making it nearly impossible for you to properly rest.
Most of the time, a headache isn’t a cause for concern and can simply point to dehydration or tiredness. However, if you’re experiencing regular headaches or migraines without an obvious reason, a hormonal imbalance could be the culprit.
In summary, if you are experiencing multiple of the above symptoms, there’s a high likelihood that your hormones are out of balance. Consult with a medical professional to rule out any other possible explanations, of course.
If hormone imbalance seems to be behind your symptoms, following a hormone balancing meal plan is a good plan until everything returns to normal. So, let’s discuss what that would entail!
Here’s an example of a hormone balancing meal plan you can use to take back control of your body. You can swap out any ingredients you don’t like or are intolerant to. But, you should follow the overall idea of the plan and at least replicate the macro and micronutrients.
Try to remove foods from your breakfast that trigger hormonal imbalance – this includes dairy, soy, refined carbohydrates, and refined sugar. For example, you’ll want to swap out your scrambled tofu and coffee for a portion of eggs on whole-grain toast and a decaf coffee!
Some healthy options include a portion of scrambled eggs (go easy on the butter), cashew milk yogurt with fruit (berries make a great addition since they’re filled with antioxidants), or sweet potato with a form of healthy protein such as black beans.
Sugar-free bacon is also a great idea to get a protein hit, but you’ll need to ensure the bacon is high quality. Avoid bacon that’s full of hormones or preservatives and definitely opt out for bacon with sugar. Serve up your bacon on whole wheat bread or with eggs.
>>Need more ideas? Check out these anti-inflammatory breakfast ideas<<
For lunch it’s great to opt for lean protein, which will help to balance your blood sugar for the rest of the day. My dairy-free rosemary salmon recipe is ideal for getting in all the goodness that comes from salmon without any of the negative health impacts of dairy. If you want a form of carbohydrate with your salmon, opt for zucchini pasta or wholewheat noodles.
Unfortunately, refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta spike glucose, leaving you crashing down and craving food mid-afternoon and messing with your hormones. Avoid having anything too greasy such as a hamburger and fries as this will leave you fatigued when the afternoon comes around.
Again, when dinnertime comes you should avoid including dairy in your meal. Dairy is one of the biggest culprits for messing with your hormones, so you should eat it as infrequently as possible.
Instead opt for something that’s rich in protein and healthy fats, such as my dairy-free shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles. You can swap out shrimp if you don’t like them for another type of fish that’s high in omega-3.
If you’re in the mood for a dessert after dinner, avoid refined sugar. You could try fruit with cashews or almond yogurt.
The good news is that even on a hormonal imbalance diet plan you can still snack! You just might have to swap some of your typical sugary, salty snacks for something a little healthier.
You can snack on all vegetables apart from corn. If you find yourself in need of a tasty treat, reach for the carrot or celery sticks. You can dip them in hummus for a little extra protein.
When it comes to sweet things, fruit always beats candy and chocolate. Berries are especially high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, so prioritize these. Other healthy snacks include nuts and seeds, dairy-free and soy-free yogurts, and nut butter (apart from peanut butter).
>>Get over 40 hormone balancing snack ideas here<<
Now that you have a good understanding of what a hormone balancing meal plan might look like, be sure to grab my FREE 3-day example meal plan. Just fill in the form below to get it.
Naturally, if you plan on following a hormone balancing meal plan for a while you’ll need more than just the meals outlined above. Here are some foods to include in a hormone balancing diet and center your meals around.
- Eggs. Eggs are an incredible source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. If you start your day with eggs, you’ll be fuller for longer and better manage your blood sugar.
- Fish high in Omega-3. Omega-3 is great for your mind and body. Include plenty of oily fish in your diet to get enough Omega-3 to benefit your health.
- Green veggies. Green and cruciferous vegetables are great for balancing hormones and overall health. Add veggies like broccoli, spinach, and kale to your diet for great results.
- Healthy fats. Fat gets a bad press, but the truth is that not all fat is created equally. The fat you get from olive oil or avocado is much healthier than the fat from a cheeseburger.
- Soy. The soy in the US is often mass-produced to feed cattle, so it’s incredibly low-quality. It can also mess with your hormones. Avoid soy.
- Dairy. Dairy is rife with hormones – but ones for a baby cow, not an adult human. Avoid dairy if you want your hormones to return to their natural ebb and flow.
- Sugar. I’m sure I don’t need to lecture you on the bad health outcomes produced by refined sugar. Long story short, it’s bad for you. Keep sugar to a minimum while you try and balance your hormones.
- Alcohol. Alcohol can mess with your hormones and your mood. While a celebratory glass of wine every now and again is fine, avoid drinking to excess.
When your hormones are out of balance, it can seriously affect your physical and mental well-being. If you’re experiencing strange symptoms or simply not feeling yourself, consider that hormones might be behind it and opt for a hormone balancing meal plan to get yourself back to top health.
Luckily, with my free 3-day hormone balancing meal plan or my 40-day mindful elimination program you can get your hormones back to normal levels without having to compromise on eating tasty food. Within a few weeks, your hormones will be back to normal with no extensive medical procedures required.