Q: I've heard about survival and thriving hormones. What exactly are they?

A: Hormonal health is an interplay of so many systems to ensure the release of right hormones at the right time. We can categorise hormones into 2 types, basic survival hormones and the thriving hormones. Until your body doesn't feel like its survival is guaranteed, it won’t be able to thrive. So we need to take care of the major hormones first, like balancing your insulin, leptin, cortisol, thyroid etc, then our body is able to allocate energy and nutrients to other hormones, that take care of better hair, skin, fertility etc.

4 basic things you can do to keep your survival hormones in check: 

1. Keep your gut health in check. Gut health and hormonal health go together. Eliminate the pro-inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy and sugar. 

2. Keep at least a four-hour gap between meals. If you do eat every 2 hours, reduce carbs, as that will keep your insulin levels high.

3. Stay in rest and relax mode. Depression, constantly trying to meet deadlines, underlying anxiety and fear, unhealthy relationships put us in a constant state of stress. This stimulates the production of adrenalin which increases our blood sugar levels and fatty acids. The extra adrenalin and other stress hormones prevent your body from doing things like digesting food, repairing, etc. So doing 10 minutes of deep breathing a few times a day is a great way to keep coming back into this phase.

4. Don’t skimp on calories. Eating less is the most torturous thing you can do to your body. Basically the metabolism is compromised, the body wants to store food as fat and not spend it to give energy. This takes a toll on your thyroid health as that’s one way to slow down your metabolism to ensure survival.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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