Estrogen: Your key to leaner legs
Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter
Whenever I have a consult with a female client, leaner legs is always right up there as one of their main goals. I couldn’t even begin to count how many women I’ve spoken to over the years, who have told me that they’ve spent hundreds if not thousands of pounds on the latest products or treatments to help them lose fat on the legs or for the removal of cellulite. They may see success in the short term but it inevitably it always comes back.
Just like so many treatments nowadays, the external symptom (cellulite) is treated and not the actual underlying cause. So in this article I’m going to explore the causes and then give you some top tips to help you achieve the lean and cellulite free legs that you want. .
The Estrogen connection
Estrogen is known as the sex hormone and is produced in the ovaries. It is essential for female health, it regulates the menstrual cycle and is essential for the development of tissue. Too much however can lead to estrogen dominance which causes poor health and promotes large amounts of excess fat gain (especially in the lower body). Now you may of heard of the term estrogen dominance before but did you know that the main cause of it was not from the estrogen you produce yourself, but from the very food you eat, the medications you use, the contraceptive pill and today’s polluted environment. Women with estrogen dominance also have an inability to handle carbohydrate foods and have poor insulin management, as a result they store fat in the lower body alot easier than someone who is not.
This excess estrogen is affecting the health of many women, breast cancer is sadly on the increase and teenage girls are starting their periods younger and younger. It’s very rare that I speak to a woman who doesn’t have some form of PMS (and think it’s normal) or knows a friend who has/had PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome).
On a day to day basis you are permanently exposed to so many more chemicals than say when your great grandparents were alive. The chemicals have molecules within them that are referred to as endocrine disruptors. It is these which are making their way into your bloodstream and altering your natural hormone levels, causing poor health and unwanted body fat gain.
Chemicals to especially watch out for are bisphenol A, phthalates and parabens.
Most conventional foods nowadays are estrogenic as they contain many pesticides and herbicides. All over the world women are getting fatter as a result of excess estrogen. The industrial chemicals found in processed foods and packaging are called xenoestrogens and they interfere with the bodys natural hormonal processes.
Xenoestrogens have the ability the bind to estrogen receptors in the fatty tissue. The extra estrogen increases the size of the tissue which then produces more estrogen, this induces more fat gain. This is where your cellulite comes from?
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Household cleaning equipment
The good news is that you can do something about it. So here’s the bit you’ve been waiting for, my top tips to help you protect yourself against these harmful toxins and start your journey to having leaner and cellulite free legs.
How do you modulate your estrogen levels?
Exercising regularly, being leaner and stronger dramatically decreases estrogen levels in the body. When you sweat you increase your body's detoxification.
Fix your gut
If you have imbalanced gut bacteria (dysbiosis) your body increases an enzyme called beta-glururonidase. This enzyme reverses liver detoxification and puts the estrogen back into your system. This is a very important point if you are currently following a fat loss program and you have a poor gut, take steps to fix it before you go any further. A good probiotic will do the job in most cases.
Use a Multivitamin supplement.
Unfortunately the quality of our food today is not what it used to be and with the depleted soil quality levels, you can bet your bottom dollar you won’t be getting the required number of nutrients to function optimally. Supplementing with a good multi vitamin will help keep your nutrient levels optimal and will also support you liver as it does its work to detoxify you every day.
Minimise the intake of chemically loaded conventional food.
Eating organically where possible is a large step towards your fight again excess estrogen. Choose wild organic fish and grass fed meat. These are far superior to the farmed fish and antibiotic riddled meat that is available. Most people buy their meat based on how cheap it is. Put a new price on your life and go organic and wild.
Check what chemicals are in the products you use
If you head over to www.ewg.org you will be able to input the brands of creams, make ups, home cleaning products and deodorants you use. You will be able to see what chemicals are contained in them and then search for safer alternatives to use. This is a great way to minimise your chemical and toxic exposure.
Take a regular Omega 3 fish oil supplement.
Omega 3 fish oil has been found to be highly beneficial in modulating estrogen metabolism.
Support your liver
The liver is where estrogen metabolism occurs and it must have all the help it needs to function optimally. When it’s overloaded with chemicals or xenestrogens it fails to detoxify properly. This leads to a rebound and the chemicals go back into circulation in the body. There are many nutrients and herbs that support the detoxification process. You need to make sure you have optimal amino acids in the form of lean protein, folic acid, antioxidants such as zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and copper. Herbs such as milk thistle and dandelion root are also known to be great liver detoxifiers.
The most important anti-estrogenic vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage. The estrogen inhibiting and modulating effects of cruciferous indoles (Indoles show a substantial capacity to shift estrogen metabolism) make them top on the list.
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