Hormones travel through our blood delivering messages to different parts of our bodies. They are important in metabolic processes, our growth and development, and our moods.

An imbalance of hormones can cause any one or more of these processes to malfunction. Metabolism is particularly important because it is the process involved in breaking down the food we consume and extracting energy from it.

However, in a world of growing fast food industries, there is a minimum amount of energy coming from the food we eat. The foods we should concentrate on eating are: almonds, which are rich in polyunsaturated fats; natural yogurt, which has many pro-biotics that improve healthy digestive function; and green tea, which not only helps to increase metabolism, but also fights cancer risk because of antioxidants.

Water is also very important for a healthy metabolism. German researchers suggest that 90 minutes after drinking cold water, your average metabolic rate will boost by 24%. There are many other foods as well that can be easily found on MyFit.ca.

The research also shows that we should be eating approximately every 3 to 4 hours that we are awake. Instead, if we don’t eat that often, the food is stored as fat because most people aren’t exercising often enough. The real cause of fat build-up and lack of energy is due mainly to our diets.

According to a recent article published by Douglas Rob on Health Habits (twitter name @Healthhabits) called “Hormones, Problem Areas and Your Body-Fat Map”, each section of our body is controlled by a specific hormone.

In the attached body maps for both males and females, the images depict each section that most people have trouble with body fat. The images also demonstrate the hormones that are responsible for fat build-up in those areas.

But there is hope. We can reverse the effects of the hormones on our body weight by eating or staying away from certain foods, as well as daily exercise, stress management, etc.

For example, men gain this excess, unwanted weight in their belly due to high estrogen, low testosterone, high insulin, high cortisol, and/or low growth hormone.

The causes of high estrogen levels in men are chronic, unmanaged stress, poor dieting, lack of exercise and sleep, and excessive alcohol consumption.

To reduce the effects of high estrogen in men, they must practice stress management techniques, increase the hours of sleep they get each night, improve their diets, and exercise more.

High estrogen is an inhibitor of testosterone production. If a man has high estrogen levels, he most likely also has low testosterone levels.

For women, they gain excess weight in their hips and butt due to high estrogen and low progesterone levels. Low progesterone is also caused by unmanaged stress, as well as hypothyroidism.

Low progesterone levels are generally easy to control with stress management, as long as the low levels are not due to some underlying condition such as hypothyroism. In such a case, a doctor must be consulted.

By managing what we eat, we can avoid dangerous hormone levels, which cause unwanted weight gain in certain parts of our body. Our diets have a direct effect on our hormone levels and keeping them at a normal level are vital to healthier living.