Having looked at testosterone, the “male” sex hormone, today we’ll be discussing oestrogen, the “female” sex hormone. Like testosterone, oestrogen is present in men and women, simply in different amounts. And like testosterone, oestrogen is essential for both sexes.
It is known as the female sex hormone because oestrogen is responsible for turning girls into women by stimulating the growth of breasts, increasing fat mass, and starting ovulation and menstruation. However, oestrogen acts all over the body and can have many diverse effects. For example, it can increase serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter, and increase factors that help blood to clot properly. Oestrogen also regulates certain functions of the male reproductive system important for the maturation of sperm. What’s more, testosterone needs oestrogen to increase sex drive in both men and women: Without oestrogen, testosterone actually decreases sexual desire.
The difference is that in men, oestrogen remains at a fairly constant low level. However, in women, oestrogen levels fluctuate in line with their menstrual cycle. Oestrogen levels rise rapidly after menstruation, to a sharp peak just before ovulation, then drop quickly, reaching their lowest point just before the start of the next cycle. This means most women experience higher energy levels and better moods in the week following their period, when oestrogen levels are high. They then have low energy and low moods the week before their period starts, when oestrogen is at its lowest level.
What many people don’t realize is that oestrogen also has an important role in appetite and weight gain. High levels of oestrogen suppress appetite, while low levels can lead to binge eating. You would think this means high levels would be good for fat loss, but oestrogen is also responsible for a woman’s ability to store more body fat. If oestrogen levels get so high they overpower progesterone (the second female sex hormone) it then becomes impossible to lose weight. Likewise, if a man has unusually high levels of oestrogen, he will find it much harder to lose body fat.
Once again, a healthy diet is your friend. In this case, fibre is the key to keeping oestrogen under control. Fibre binds to oestrogen and moves it out through the bowels, managing the amount in circulation. Yet another reason why high fibre diets help with fat loss!
The Score for 14 March:
|Calories burned through exercise:||528|
What I ate:
|07:45||Centrum Multivitamin, Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg|
|Soft boiled eggs, 2 large||115g||150||14.49||0.00||0.00||0.00||10.35||2.88||0.00|
|Free From pure oats||50g||171||6.40||30.30||0.60||4.30||2.70||0.50||0.00|
|made with boiling water||250mL||0||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|topped with sultanas||25g||74||0.68||17.35||17.35||0.50||0.10||0.03||0.00|
|and ground flaxseed||10g||45||2.21||0.30||0.18||2.37||4.00||0.45||0.00|
|10:00||Fresh ginger tea with a splash of lemon juice and 1 tsp honey||250mL||25||0.00||6.25||6.25||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|12:30||Homemade carrot and lentil soup||350g||217||8.93||26.68||9.45||4.69||7.53||1.47||0.00|
|Tesco free from seeded sandwich thins||58g||145||4.52||18.73||0.64||6.26||4.41||0.35||0.00|
|15:00||Natures Path Mesa Sunrise cereal||50g||195||5.00||40.00||6.50||5.00||1.65||0.25||0.00|
|with skimmed milk||200mL||69||6.80||10.00||10.00||0.00||0.20||0.10||0.00|
|topped with sliced nectarine||87g||39||1.22||7.83||7.83||1.04||0.09||0.00||0.00|
|16:00||Medicine Ball session|
|18:45||Salad with spinach,||30g||8||0.84||0.48||0.45||0.63||0.24||0.03||0.00|
|Merchant Gourmet red and white quinoa,||100g||185||6.10||28.60||1.50||4.00||4.20||0.50||0.00|
|Steamed sweet potato,||150g||131||1.63||28.66||12.48||3.11||0.45||0.15||0.00|
|Baked chicken breast,||100g||135||31.90||0.00||0.00||0.00||1.90||0.60||0.00|
|and Tesco French Dressing||1 tbsp||13||0.10||2.20||1.70||0.10||0.40||0.05||0.00|
|Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa chocolate bar, 4 squares||40g||226||3.80||13.60||11.60||0.00||16.40||9.60||0.00|
|21:15||Twinings camomile and spiced apple tea||250mL||0||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
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