How To Improve Thyroid & Hormone Health

tips on improving thyroid hormone health

Are you wondering how to improve your hormone health?

Hormones are forever a hot topic and discussion point in the fitness and wellness space. But unfortunately there’s also a lot of bad information, gimmicks, “hormone balancing” supplements” (please dont buy these), special ~hormone balancing diets and workouts~, and lord knows what else.

It’s a jungle out there, to say the least. Keep reading for more practical tips on improving your health (:

 

Audit Your Nutrition, Exercise, & Lifestyle Habits First

Listen. I know the basics aren’t sexy or flashy, but they DO work. 

Before going down the “hormone rabbit hole” and spending eleventy billion dollars on testing and expensive supplements (that might even do more harm than good), your time and energy might be better spent by first ensuring you’re consistently hitting basic foundational habits that support good health and wellbeing. 

If you’re not eating fruits and vegetables every day, maybe start there. Stuck behind a desk all day for work? Maybe focus on incorporating more walks so you can better support your digestion, heart health, etc. If you’re only able to survive off copious amounts of coffee, maybe work on drinking more water, less coffee, and getting more sleep at night.

If your hormones, thyroid, or menstrual cycle aren’t doing super great right now, it might also be helpful to “zoom out” and assess the various ways your body may be under an abundance of stress or if there’s anything we might be doing (consciously or unknowingly) that might be contributing to additional stress on your body.

 

Stress Can Come in Many Forms:

  • How much food we are or are not eating
  • The types of food that we’re eating 
  • How much, how often, and how hard we’re working out
  • What type of exercise we’re doing (if any)
  • How often we frequent alcoholic beverages
  • Blood sugar regulation and meal timing
  • Are we using hormonal contraceptives that might impact or change hormone levels?
  • What is our day-to-day life stress like (personal, work, relationships, etc)?
  • Digestion, gut health, sleep habits, caffeine

… and so on.

 

Our Body Really Likes Being Well-Fed

Our body likes to be fed and consistently nourished, so it has the building blocks to make and produce hormones.

If we’re super active and love working out, something as little as 1200 or 1600 calories a day probably isn’t going to cut it. And the more active we are, the more food and carbs we likely need to eat to support our activity (:

One of the most helpful things you can do to support your hormones is to eat at maintenance calories

 

Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat 

Dietary fat is necessary for making hormones.

It can be common to see hormone and/or period problems in women if we’re consistently eating lower fat. For example: if someone was only averaging 30-40 grams of fat per day, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that same person doesn’t have a period, has irregular periods, or experiences a lot of symptoms and discomfort. 

High quality dietary fats are super important to our hormone health and wellbeing. 

Current research supports getting a minimum of 20-25% of daily calories from sources of healthy fats. These could be from sources like olive oil, salmon, avocado, high quality red meat, full fat dairy, nuts, seeds, etc. See this post for more ideas. 

 

On the Nutrition & Lifestyle Front, Could You Also…
  • Aim for a few handfuls of fruits and veggies every day
  • Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day + drink lots of water
  • Aim for mostly balanced meals that contain a protein, carb, fat (for example: bison, avocado, sweet potato)
  • Eat at regular intervals throughout the day so we’re better supporting blood sugar regulation
  • Eat undistracted without technology, put fork down between bites, throughly chew each bite of food 
  • Aim for ~7,000-8,000 steps per day so we’re spending time outside in nature, supporting our digestion, and also supporting our mood and mental health
  • Prioritize as much sleep as night as possible

 

Recovery Is the Secret Sauce 

We also want to strike a cadence with exercise habits so that whatever activity and movement we love doing (lifting, running, biking, etc) we’re able to actually RECOVER from that endeavor. Exercise is a stressor. That’s kinda the point. So we want to try and make it work WITH us, rather than there’s definitely ways we can kinda make it work “against us.”

Recovery is key and can generally be thought of as the secret sauce to most goals and positive adaptations, such as muscle gain, fat loss, improved body comp, or improved health and hormone levels.

If we’re consistently beating our body down but not giving it a chance to properly recover via things like adequate calories and carbs, regular rest days, good workout programming, etc – fitness and the way we approach activity, movement, and exercise can be another place where we can make a few simple changes and see a massive return on investment.

 

On the Exercise Front:
  • Are you getting at least 1-2 rest days per week?
  • Are you following an evidence-based training program that’s backed by science?
  • Or are you doing mostly random classes, random workouts, or hopping between programs?
  • Are you following a lifting program with Progressive Overload? 
  • Have you tried reducing how many days a week and how long you’re working out? 

 

Where To Go From Here

You can always check out my e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Nutrition, Muscle Gain, & Fat Loss if you want to get more details about supporting your nutrition and fitness goals (:

And we’re always posting workout and nutrition tips on our Paragon Training Methods Instagram page. Follow along for free workouts and more tips to help you look and feel your best!

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