Year after year, many people set health goals, particularly related to their weight, only to find themselves in the same place (or further from their goals) by year’s end no matter what diet or exercise routine they tried. There’s a possibility that the problem is something else completely that you’ve never known about.
It is estimated that around 132,000,000 Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year, with about 50% of those having resolutions regarding diet and exercise. Only about 8% of those who initially make resolutions on January 1 have successfully kept them come December 31.
When it comes to reaching a healthy weight, many people are familiar with the quip “Abs are made in the kitchen,” and while diet is a vital part of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, there may be more to the story for those who have tried every diet out there, but still cannot beat the bulge.
A New Suspect: Estrogenics
Estrogenic compounds mimic the hormone estrogen by binding to receptors in our bodies, ultimately causing hormone imbalances, leading to host of health concerns in both men and women. While estrogen is a naturally-occurring hormone that is necessary for both men and women to be healthy, estrogenic compounds often contribute to excesses of estrogen, which have detrimental effects on one’s health.
Some symptoms of high estrogen levels in men include:
- Gynecomastia (Enlarged breast tissue)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Delayed puberty
- Short stature
- Reduced muscle mass
- Chronic fatigue
Some symptoms of high estrogen levels in women include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Mood swings
- Decreased libido
- Trouble sleeping
- Hair loss
While many symptoms can vary greatly between men and women, one of the most common symptoms in all people with high estrogen levels is—you guessed it—weight gain.
Estrogenics are Eve-ry-where
When people learn what estrogenics are—and where to look for them—it is often shocking how prevalent they are in our world, especially considering the impact that they have on our health!
If you’ve never been told to look out for them—and you probably haven’t—you are likely eating them, breathing them in, wearing them, and literally bathing in them every day.
Estrogenics you may be consuming, and where they may be found:
- Phytoestrogens: major sources include soy, flax, lavender, and cannabis.
- Mycoestrogens: grains, corn, and coffee
- Atrazine (pesticide): corn, sugarcane, pineapples, macadamia nuts, and drinking water in some locations
- Red 3 & 40 (food coloring): candies, soft drinks, baked goods, fruit snacks, juices
- Phthalates (plastic additive): any food and drinks packaged in plastic or containers using plastic additives (even if the food is organic)
- BPA & BPS (plastic ingredients): plastic water bottles, plastic food packaging, canned food and beverages
- EE2 (birth control): due to the prevalent use of birth control, some amounts of EE2 can be found in many sources of drinking water, including tap water.
Estrogenics on your skin, in your home, and their possible sources:
- Parabens: shampoo/conditioner, makeup, moisturizers, lotions, and any substance that lists “fragrance” as an ingredient
- Triclosan: soaps, body washes, toothpastes, cosmetics
- Benzophenone-3 & 4-methylbenzylidene camphor: sunscreens
Adding to Your Health by Subtracting Estrogenics
Once you know just how prevalent estrogenic compounds are, the process of removing them from your day-to-day may seem overwhelming. Sometimes just remembering to read ingredient labels—and what ingredients to look for—can be a daunting task. However, once you’ve done the work to find your new favorite estrogenic-free/low estrogenic products, living a lifestyle that promotes healthier hormone levels—and potentially a healthier weight—will be that much easier!