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Low Testosterone: How to Tell if it's a Problem for You

testosterone


Testosterone:
most people think it's only important for men since it's a "male hormone". But it is actually just as important for women’s health as it is for men’s health.

While men may produce around ten times more testosterone than women, testosterone is still vital to maintaining good health in women. Optimum testosterone is key to maintaining a balanced mood, good bone mineral density, supple skin and ability to handle stress.

If you’re a woman with lower than ideal levels of testosterone, you may be at risk for decreased sex drive, difficulty gaining muscle tissue, obesity, osteoporosis, memory problems and heart disease just to name a few.

So, how do you know if you’re low in testosterone? Well, any of the following symptoms may be telling you to work on upping your testosterone levels.

  • Thinning hair
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Difficulty maintaining or gaining muscle
  • Loss of bone density
  • Poor memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Painful intercourse
  • Low libido
  • Dry skin
  • Poor tolerance for exercise
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fat gain around the abdomen
  • Loss of motivation



So what can you do to combat low testosterone? Here are 3 ways to help give your testosterone levels a boost!

1) Avoid Environmental Toxins:

that means making sure you’re drinking from a BPA free bottle, switching from plastic to glass tupperware, and using beauty products that are free of parabens and other harmful chemicals.

2) Resistance Training:

Weight training has been known to stimulates testosterone production in both men and women. But don’t worry, you won’t turn into the hulk! Training with weights is key to getting that sought-after toned look, and that slight boost in testosterone will help combat that list of symptoms I mentioned earlier.

3) Don’t Restrict Calories:

A big calorie deficit can lower testosterone levels. This is partly due to the fact healthy fats are required for the body to produce testosterone in the first place. Instead, make sure you are eating the right number of calories for your activity levels, and be sure to get a good balance of protein, fat and carbs at each meal.


 

And there you have it! Try incorporating these 3 tips into your health regime, and you might be surprised at the changes that start to take place. If you are looking for customized nutrition to address how many calories you need for your activity levels and help balancing your hormones, contact Maya, our in house nutritionist for a free 10 minute consultation to discuss how she can help you with your goals.


Spring Clean your Body with these Recipes!

 

Here is the recap from the segment I did on CP24 this morning where we talked about why it's beneficial to Spring Clean our bodies, basically after a long winter we've built up toxins in our body that has left us feeling lethargic, with a sluggish digestive system, and not-so-glowy skin, all signs that our diet needs an adjustment as we transition into the warmer months and give our liver (the detoxification powerhouse!) a lot of love this Spring.

What you need to focus on are foods rich in antioxidants, protein and fibre. Not to mention constantly staying hydrated to help flush out toxins and get your digestion, liver and skin feeling brand new again!


Top foods I spoke about:


Cruciferous vegetables:
these vegetables contain sulfur, a molecule that transports toxins out of the body! Enjoy 1-2 cups a day.


popular picks: Kale, arugula, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli.


Citrus fruits:
 High in antioxidants such as vitamin C, which is needed in the detoxification process in the liver. Antioxidants are like our body guards, protecting us against the bad guys, otherwise known as free radicals. Enjoy 1 serving a day.


popular picks: lemon, grapefruit, limes, oranges.


Avocados and walnuts: 
These healthy fat sources are particularly high in glutathione, AKA: the Master of all antioxidants! Enjoy 1 serving a day of avocado, or a handful of walnuts.


Fibrous foods:
 We need fibre because it acts like a broom, sweeping our intestines from impurities and eliminating them via our bowels, and we can't cleanse successfully if the "doors aren't open". Aim between 25-30 g of fibre per day.


popular picks: apples, beans, freshly ground flax seeds.


Bitter foods:
We didn't have enough time to fit this into the segment but I want you to always remember that "the liver loves bitter!". Bitter foods stimulate the production of bile in the liver, which is necessary to get rid of all kinds of waste products to help your liver cleanse effectively. Enjoy 1-2 cups a day.


popular picks: radicchio, dandelion leaves, arugula, endive, cauliflower, artichokes, broccoli


Below are the recipes I shared on the segment:

 

1. Warm lemon water (serves 1)

8 oz of warm or room temperature water with a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy first thing in the morning on an empty stomach at least 20 minutes before eating breakfast to help gently cleanse your body and prepare your digestive system for breakfast.

2. Green Machine Smoothie (serves 1)

4oz coconut water
4oz water (or a few ice cubes)
Juice from ½ lemon
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
½ frozen banana  
1 cup kale
1 cup baby spinach
1 TB flax seeds


Place all ingredients in the order it appears, and blend until smooth. Enjoy fresh!

3. Red Crusher (serves 1)

1/2 cup almond milk
½ cup orange juice
Juice from ½ lemon
½ frozen banana
small handful peeled and chopped beets
½ cup cranberries
1 cup baby spinach
1 tablespoon hemp seeds


Place all ingredients in the order it appears, and blend until smooth. Enjoy fresh!

4. Fiesta Citrus Salad (serves 2)

3 large handfuls of arugula
1 grapefruit, cut into chunks
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1/4 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
handful of chopped cilantro or mint
5 walnuts, chopped
juice of 2 limes
1.5 tb olive oil
salt to taste


Assemble everything into the bowl, gently mix in olive oil, lime and salt and you're ready to enjoy!

5. Chicken Cabbage Tacos (serves 2)

6 red cabbage leaves to use as a taco shell (or use romaine leaves or collard greens)
2 pieces of chicken breast (about 4-6 oz each)
1/2 cup of black beans
1/2 cup chopped apples (I used gala)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 avocado, smashed into a paste
sprouts
juice of 2 limes


Assemble everything into the cabbage leaf and top with smashed avocado, sprouts and a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt.

 

RSVP here for my Free Workshop Next Sunday on how to Kickstart Your Body For Spring!

spring-kickstart-workshop-web

 

 


4 Hormones that Could be Making You Store Fat

hormone-imbalance

There are a number of reasons you might not be losing that stubborn weight. From not exercising enough to exercising too much, or eating all the healthy foods but at the wrong times of the day, or not within the appropriate amount to positively support your body, it's easy to see how it can get confusing.

 

To get a better understanding of what's going on, we need to take a deeper dive into the body to investigate 4 specific hormones responsible in sending messages to our organs and triggering key functions that can be helping or hurting our fat loss goals. The foods we eat, the stress we endure at the gym, the downtown city air we are breathing in and more can cause these important chemicals to get out of balance and create unwanted responses that are not just causing stubborn fat loss, but they begin to cause many symptoms we may already be experiencing such as sleep disturbances, increased appetite, or that 3pm slump, to name a few. 

 

There four hormones are what might be hindering your weight-loss efforts. These little guys are like silent saboteurs, throwing all your hard weight-loss work in the garbage! But don’t worry, together we can figure out which ones might be sabotaging you, and how to fix them so they work WITH you instead of against. Now let's dive in!

 

1. INSULIN: We talked a bit about insulin in this recent blog post. Insulin is the hormone that tells your body to store the foods you eat as fat. Insulin is triggered by sugar, and if you eat too much sugar (that includes carbohydrates!) your insulin starts working overtime. Now what happens when someone works overtime too much? They get tired! That’s what happens when you eat too much sugar and your insulin has to work too hard. It gets tired and can stop working properly, making you store even more fat! 


How to fix it:

  • Avoid sugar. That includes simple carbohydrates like bread, pasta, white potatoes, or anything with refined sugar or excess fructose content like pop, candy and baked goods.
  • Increase your protein intake. Especially when you eat carbs. That means when you have that apple (yes fruit is sugar too!) eat it with some almonds or a boiled egg.

 

2. ESTROGEN: It’s very common for women to have estrogen imbalance. Our estrogen levels fluctuate every single month naturally with our menstrual cycles. But did you know that there are synthetic estrogens in our environment that can be absorbed into our bodies, taking our natural estrogen cycles for a ride? Those extra estrogens can cause weight gain, cellulite, acne, infertility, PMS and all kinds of really serious problems. Men! You too can be affected by the estrogen that is present in the environment, and exposure to chemicals as well.

 
How to fix it:

  • Avoid plastic that contains the chemical BPA. BPA has been linked to increasing levels of estrogen in the human body. If you do eat or drink from plastic, make sure it’s BPA free.
  • Avoid or limit soy products - read labels! Soy can be hidden in all kinds of places!
  • Limit alcohol as this can affect the liver’s ability to metabolise estrogen
  • Increase your fibre intake (approx. 25 to 30 grams per day)

 

3. LEPTIN: Leptin is the awesome hormone that tells you when you’re full. If your body isn’t producing enough leptin, you might not be able to tell when you’re actually full, which can lead to overeating. Normally, leptin is released when you ingest food and signals your brain that you’re not hungry anymore. However, certain things can throw your leptin out of whack.

 
How to fix it:

  • Make sure you get good quality sleep.
  • Eat slowly and mindfully. Leptin takes time to signal your brain that you’re no longer hungry. It actually takes between 15-20 minutes for leptin to do its job. So if you inhale your food, you’ll already be on your third serving before you finally realize you’re no longer hungry.
  • Chew your food. This will not only help with digestion, but it’ll also give leptin more time to do it’s job.
  • Avoid MSG at all costs. 

 

4. CORTISOL: Cortisol is the Big Daddy of stress hormones. Cortisol is produced when your body feels under threat. Cortisol helps us survive in dangerous situations by telling us to be aware, run or fight for our lives. The problem is that these days, everything coming at us is stressful. Our jobs are stressful, our marriages are stressful, our families stress us out, driving makes us crazy, and even watching movies can be stressful! All that stress in our daily lives is raising our cortisol levels well beyond what our bodies can handle. That’s not good! Elevated cortisol levels can actually slow your metabolism which, needless to say, is not good for weight-loss!

How to fix it:

  • Introduce calming practices to your daily routine like yoga, meditation or deep belly breathing
  • Get more sleep, make your room pitch black and cool temperature (around 15-20C) for deep sleep
  • Get out in nature as much as you can
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Listen to relaxing music when you feel your stress levels rising
  • Ask for support from family and friends

 

If you believe any of these hormones are out of whack, send me an email and let me help you work on solutions to this.


Need more nutrition support? Join our Fit & Healthy Nutrition Facebook Group for daily motivation and nutrition tips! Or email me maya@fitfactoryfitness.com to set up your FREE 10 minute nutritional consultation. 

Find more recipes and nutrition info here: www.mayaeid.com

instagram: @maya_nutrition

 


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