SMART HORMONES: Taking Control of Testosterone and Estrogen
When was the last time you heard the words “testosterone” or “estrogen”? If you’re like most then it’s only been a week at most.
In some places they are marketing buzz words.
Like in the Hormone Replacement Therapy World (A Multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry) these words are used to make men desire feeling more manly and women to recapture their youth.
While in other places they are bad words.
Estrogen causes “man boobs” in guys while testosterone in women causes unwanted hair to grow and skin to break out.
You’ve heard this stuff before, right?
Well, here at Defining Dad Bod we believe testosterone and estrogen have an important role to play in you becoming the best version of yourself.
And (barring important diseases that affect these systems) if we allow them to do their jobs, our body is very capable of balancing our male and female “sex hormones” to help men stay manly and women stay feminine.
Oh, and if we address sex hormones in our lifestyle and nutrition intelligently, we’ll all be more happy, more driven, and more healthy.
Ready to learn how?
What Do Sex Hormones Do?
First a quick blurb on sex hormones.
Don’t worry, I won’t be too high-school sex ed…
Estrogen does an enormous amount of work mainly in the female body. Obviously, it’s largely responsible for the process during adolescence that turns young girls into young women, but thereafter it does everything from protecting the cardiovascular system (heart) and building bone density to indirectly affecting cancer genesis and mood swings.
(Fun fact fat cells actually PRODUCE a form of estrogen called estrone. When produced in excess, it can actually interfere with metabolic processes -- as if we needed another reason to lose body fat!)
Estrogen is also found in men but seems to be less important than testosterone for these functions.
Testosterone on the other hand does an enormous amount of work mainly on the male body. Similar to estrogen in the ladies, testosterone changes young boys into young men. Thereafter it regulates facial hair growth, libido and fertility, muscle mass, risk-taking behavior, and bone density.
Testosterone is also found in women but like estrogen in men – it’s just not as important.
The long and short of estrogen and testosterone is this (again barring medical diseases like PCOS) – in order to be the best man/woman you can be, estrogen and testosterone must be balanced in your body. (Rhyming = intentional)
Unfortunately in our world today most people are not taking control of the lifestyle and nutrition behaviors that cause imbalances in these hormone systems.
This results in men and women who are unstable, unconfident, overweight, and unhealthy.
I don’t want that for you and I know you don’t either.
Balancing Testosterone and Estrogen
It's not as hard as you might think. Discipline and consistency gets you a long way when you know what to do!
No Alcohol 6 out of 7 days/week
There are many external substances that can impact the sex hormone system but before demonizing your skin care products and Tupperware, let’s focus on the most widely consumed and arguably most detrimental – Alcohol
If you are ready to get address your testosterone and estrogen balance then you need to be ready to limit your alcohol intake to only one day per week, if at all.
How much can you drink that day?
Well the “moderate” amount of alcohol that impacts you minimally is contested and complicated differing for men, women, body mass, and genetic heritage.
What I will say here is simply this -- the less alcohol you drink, the less it will interfere with estrogen and testosterone balance.
If you are interested in the science THIS PUBLICATION does a great job summarizing the research on the topic.
The take home message is – for sex hormone balance, the less alcohol the better – so if you’re working to address the hormone pyramid at level 3 keep it to once per week (if at all).
Eliminate Soy and Hydrogenated Oils
Remember earlier when I mentioned that too much estrogen is bad for both men and women?
With that in mind, would you knowingly ADD ESTROGEN to your body through your food?
Yeah, me neither.
There are molecules in some of our food stuffs that can act as estrogen in both the male and female body throwing off your balance and causing all of the unwanted symptoms of high estrogen (feminization of the male physique in men, imbalance of cycle and function of normal estrogen in women).
Two of the main offenders are Soy and Hydorgenated Oils.
How do you know if your food has either in it?
Read the ingredients.
If you addressing level 3 of the hormone pyramid then cut out the food if the label reads any of these things.
- Hydrogenated *oil
- Fully hydrogenated * oil
- Partially hydrogenated * oil
- Cold-pressed, expelled or extruded soy oil*
- Soy (soy albumin, soy cheese, soy fiber, soy flour, soy grits, soy ice cream, soy milk, soy nuts, soy sprouts, soy yogurt)
- Soybean (curd, granules)
- Soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)
- Soy sauce
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Once you start to read labels, you’ll be amazed at how many foods contain these xeno-hormones.
However, don’t be scared. If you’ve addressed level 1 (which you should if you’re reading about level 3!), then you’ve likely cut out most of the processed food-stuffs and likely only have a few adjustments to make!
Strength Train 4 Days/week
Do you even lift?
If not, then level 3 of the hormone pyramid is the right time to get started.
Strength training 4 Days/week (even if it’s only 30 minutes each time) can make a remarkable difference in several aspects of sex hormone balance. Here’s a few to get you excited
- Weight training increases sex hormone production (both estrogen and testosterone)
- Increased metabolism lowers body fat (adipose tissue) which reduces production of estrone (bad estrogen)
- Work done in large muscles (glutes, quads, lats, core complex) boosts testosterone and growth hormone production after only 30 minutes of work
- Weight training increases HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol seems to be correlated with sex hormone balance.
Excited to hit the gym yet?
But what if you don’t know how to do it right…?
There are many resources in the world to help you get started. For starters, you can use the submission form below to ask your questions to be answered on air FOR FREE!
Did you know that Vitamin D is one of the foundations of healthy hormone production?
Low Vitamin D reduces estrogen in women and testosterone in men!
So it follows that a lack of vitamin D can impact mood, libido, bone density, cholesterol, anxiety, and fat accumulation.
Did you also know that 75% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient? (this was as of 2009…its NOT like we're going outside MORE 8 years later!).
This is why Dr. Michael Holick has devoted much of his professional career to understanding Vitamin D and its relationship to disease and dysfunction.
In adults (male and female ages 18+) he recommends the safe dosage of 1,500-2,000 IU of daily supplementation with Vitamin D3 unless sun exposure is sufficient.
How much sun is enough? Ask HIM!
For our part, to address level 3 of the hormone pyramid, either get out in the sun for 20min/day or supplement your diet with 2,000 IU/day of Vitamin D3 when you are unable – You’ll be well on your way to ensuring your body has what it needs to synthesize testosterone and estrogen in the right amounts!
Testosterone and estrogen are an important part of taking control of your metabolism and getting your hormones to work for you rather than against you.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, they’re relatively simple and straightforward to address in a powerful way for powerful results.
After implementing level 1 and level 2 of the hormone pyramid, limiting alcohol, cutting out soy and hydrogenated oils, strength training, and getting enough vitamin D you WILL see significant improvement in your sex hormone balance.
With smart changes and the discipline of consistency you will impact muscle mass, mood, cholesterol, bone density, heart health, and fat loss for the better in a lasting way.
Are you ready to “Bring Sexy Back?”
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Until next time -
Kick Butt. Take Names.
This information is meant to be actionable information to promote health and well-being and not to be used to diagnose or treat medical symptoms or conditions.