mass attack articleAre you riding a hormonal roller coaster?

We all go through puberty and from the moment it hits, our lives change forever. However unlike our male counterparts, we women are destined to go through further very distinct changes.

Through puberty, pregnancy & menopause, each life stage poses different challenges which can result in poor eating or not enough physical activity. Hormones highlight important influences & ‘markers’ that if left undiagnosed, can leave you swinging from happiness to havoc.

One of the most obvious markers for women is the redistribution of weight and weight gain. How many times have you heard women say they could eat anything until they hit 30, but now they only have to look at food to put on weight? It is true that our metabolism begins to slow down in our mid 20’s, but when the scales suddenly tip in the wrong direction, what do you do?

So how can you keep on track? The key is identifying each life stage and its challenges – and knowing what to do about them.

Swinging singles

Living away from home for the first time brings the freedom to make your own choices. It’s also a time to party hard, resulting in excess alcohol consumption and the resulting calorie laden “feel better breakfast” the next day.

It also marks the beginning of the fight up the career ladder – often working long hours – skipping breakfast, eating on the run & crashing on the couch at the end of the day rather than exercising.

During this time it is not unusual for reproductive conditions such as Poly Cystic Ovarian Disorder and Endometriosis begin to surface. The next few years can prove to be a hormonal roller coastal ride.

Cosy Coupledom

The comfort of a secure relationship and “nesting” can contribute towards weight gain. Suddenly exercise on a Sunday morning is less inviting! New relationships may herald the commencement of oestrogen based contraceptives. These can lead to weight gain around the hips and thighs.

The other major challenge is accommodating to your partner’s tastes when buying & cooking food.

The pitter patter of tiny feet

It’s perfectly normal to gain weight during pregnancy. The main reason for excessive weight gain during this time is hormonal fluctuations causing tiredness, tearfulness & cravings – a wonderful recipe for weight gain!

Post birth, the main challenge is ‘keeping up with baby’ and staying on top of everyday demands. Many women are guilty of neglecting their own needs during this time and there is always the risk of turning to take away instead of preparing healthy home meals.

Thyroid imbalances such as Hashimotto’s & Lupus often surface after baby is born. If left undiagnosed, this can leave you extremely tired & gaining weight at a rapid rate.

Life begins at forty

At this stage of life, many women find their careers are more demanding. They may work longer hours, attend more functions and business lunches and juggling family commitments also means more stress. Often there’s less time for shopping and preparing healthy meals. It can also put a dent in your exercise routine.

Each life stage brings its own joys and complications, none of which are unusual or abnormal. However, you don’t have to suffer any of the symptoms mentioned above at any stage. Lifestyle and dietary changes can dramatically improve the quality of your life, and where this fall short, there are many natural remedies that can be extremely helpful.

Narelle Stegehuis, CEO of MassAttack, is a practicing Naturopath specializing in the treatment of conditions such as PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis & Thyroid imbalance. Uniquely her services are offered online. She is both an accomplished writer and recent recipient of the Australian Naturopathic Excellence Award. Narelle can be contacted at

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