Focus On Diet Quality
Overall, diets that are high in a variety of whole foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals promote healthy hormone levels.
Hormones such as insulin, cortisol and sex hormones can be negatively affected by a lower-quality diet, such as one that has lots of refined carbohydrates along with hydrogenated and saturated fats from fried foods, fatty meats and highly processed foods.
To reduce elevated insulin levels, eating better-quality carbohydrate sources and less carbohydrates overall may help.
Higher-quality carbohydrates tend to be lower on the glycemic index, minimally processed and higher in fiber. Examples include whole grains such as 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat, rolled or steel-cut oats and barley, pulses such as lentils and chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and berries.
There is also some evidence that low-carb diets can help lower elevated insulin levels.
Eating too much or not enough is also not desirable from a hormone perspective: Overeating can cause insulin levels to rise, while undereating or chronic dieting negatively affects levels of cortisol and sex hormones.
Hormone Balance For Weight Loss: Fact Or Fiction
Originally appeared in the spring 2019 issue of the American Fitness Magazine.
A quick online search for weight loss strategies reveals a plethora of hormone-balancing diets, supplements and medications. The premise behind these products is that hormonestiny chemical messengers that regulate physiological processesget out of balance, causing weight gain or foiling attempts to lose weight.
That seems like a reasonable claim, but is it true? What should you say when clients ask about hormones and weight management? In this article, well provide answers on the links between body weight and five of the most talked about hormone imbalances: those relating to insulin, cortisol, the thyroid hormones, testosterone and estrogen. Ill review the science and outline nutrition and exercise strategies to help your clients overcome weight loss plateaus and succeed at long-term weight loss.
The hormone issues discussed below often fade away with proper diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. Supplements and specialized diets typically address the symptoms of hormone imbalances, not the causes. Your clients may get better results if they understand the difference between the two.
Lets dive in!
Hormones And Weight Gain: How To Fix The Hormones That Control Your Weight
Did you know that your weight is directly related to your hormones? This is a fact many of us forget as we travel along the often slow and frustrating road to weight loss. To maintain a weight thats healthy for our unique bodily makeup, a delicate balance of hormones is required. If certain hormones are off-kilter, weight gain often results.
In order to lose weight and keep it off we must understand the intricate inner workings of our many hormones. Once we understand the relationship between hormones and weight gain, we can take the proper steps to balance these hormones and lose weight in a sustainable, healthy way.
Targeting Specific Fat Areas
Sometimes people have fat deposits that are more problematic than others. Stubborn areas might seem to always remain chubby because of biological misfortunes. There are certain types of supplements and food that you can use to target individual fat areas. And here is what Dr. Turner recommends:
We all have ab muscles, its the fat on the stomach that keeps them from showing. Studies have suggested that too much cortisol could be a major factor behind the accumulation of stomach fat. Holy basil is an Indian herb that helps maintain healthy cortisol levels and is commonly taken in capsule form. Foods for reducing cortisol include spinach, citrus, nuts, beans and barley.
Fat on the back and upper trunk is less common than stomach fat but equally as challenging to take on. Its also a likely indication that you have high insulin levels. Foods containing conjugated linoleic acid such as milk, yogurt, cheese and beef will help. You should also lean toward whole-grain options and green vegetables.
Some people like big butts, but everyone has a limit. If you have excess body fat on your bottom, it could be due to high levels of estrogen. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are high in estrogen-blocking phytochemicals.
Fat Storage Hormone #: Cortisol Overwhelm
You make cortisol in response to stress, but most of us run around stressed all the time. All those stress hormones wreak havoc over time, and make you store fatespecially in your belly. High cortisol is also linked to depression, food addiction, and sugar cravings, so that you overeat the wrong foods like cookies and processed foods. Whats the net result? You get fat.
To reset your cortisol, you need to hit the pause button on your caffeine intake. Slowly wean off of caffeine over three days, and notice how your sleep and stress levels improve! Theres many more targeted suggestions in my new book, but kick the caffeine first.
My mission is to help people who struggle with weight issues from hormone imbalance. Understanding that permanent weight loss occurs as a result of hormone balance has helped so many of my patients and online community finally get their weight under control and break through weight loss resistance When you follow the right program, guided by a trusted mentor and armed with the best knowledge, its possible to lose the weight thats burdened you for so longand keep it off forever.
Dr. Sara Gottfried MD is a board-certified gynecologist and New York Timesbestselling author of The Hormone Cure. Her new book, The Hormone Reset Diet: Heal Your Metabolism to Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 21 Days hit bookstores on March 17, 2015. Grab your free copy here.
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Fat Storage Hormone #: Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen is the female hormone that gives women breasts and hips, and it keeps joints lubricated. Men have it to but at far lower levels. But both men and women are at risk of estrogen overload, which is having toomuch estrogen in the bodyeven in menopause.
Heres one action you can take today to lower your estrogen levels and help you lose weight: Eat a pound of vegetables per day.The fiber from the vegetables will help excrete estrogen so it doesnt keep circulating in your body like bad karma. Aim for 35-45 grams of fiber per day for women, and 40-50 grams per day for men, but slowly increase in 5-gram increments each day to get to the goal without gas or bloating.
Pros Of The Hormone Reset Diet
Despite its many drawbacks, there are few benefits of the Hormone Reset Diet.
- Focuses on whole foods: The Hormone Reset Diet focuses on whole foods, plenty of vegetables, and lean proteins, which are all parts of a healthy diet. However, many other healthy whole foods are eliminated, and there is no room in the diet for processed foods or added sugars.
- Reduces sugar: Although avoiding starchy grains and fruit is not necessary to reduce your sugar intake, the Hormone Reset Diet does require you to avoid added sugars. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most adults consume too much added sugars.
- Encourages healthy food choices: The foods allowed on the Hormone Reset Diet are all healthy choices. The focus on vegetables can help people consume the recommended amount of nutritious produce. As well, beans and legumes have been shown to aid in weight loss and have many other health benefits.
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You’re Consuming Too Much Sugar
I think of leptin as the hormone that says, “Darling, put down the fork.” Under normal circumstances, it’s released from your fat cells and travels in the blood to your brain, where it signals that you’re full. But leptin’s noble cause has been impeded by our consumption of a type of sugar called fructose, which is found in fruit and processed foods alike.
When you eat small amounts of fructose, you’re OK. But if you eat more than the recommended five daily servings of fruit plus processed foods with added sugaryour liver can’t deal with the fructose fast enough to use it as fuel. Instead, your body starts converting it into fats, sending them off into the bloodstream as triglycerides and depositing them in the liver and elsewhere in your belly.
As more fructose is converted to fat, your levels of leptin increase . And when you have too much of any hormone circulating in your system, your body becomes resistant to its message. With leptin, that means your brain starts to miss the signal that you’re full. You continue to eat, and you keep gaining weight.
If you eat more than the recommended five daily servings of fruit, plus processed foods with added sugar, your liver can’t deal with the fructose fast enough to use it as fuel.
Are Your Hormones Making You Fat Meet The Woman Who Has The Solution
Reset your hormones and shed pounds, says integrative physician Sara Goffried.
Have you ever felt like your body is resisting your weight-loss efforts? You count calories, pound the pavements and reduce your afternoon snack to six Brazil nuts and still the pounds won’t shift.
That was Dr Sara Gottfried’s story. Despite her best efforts, the Harvard-trained integrative physician just couldn’t lose the weight she had gained after having children.
“My defining moment came in my mid-30s,” she explains. “I had an extra 25lbs of baby weight I couldn’t shake and my old diet tricks no longer worked.”
Her work-life balance was compounding the issue. “I was seeing 40 patients per day and I felt I couldn’t get to know my patients and really listen to them the way I wanted.
“Like many women, I was burning the candle at both ends – I had two kids, a husband who travelled a lot and I was a working mother, trying to be all things to all people.”
When the fatigue became unmanageable, she visited her GP. He told her weight loss was a matter of simple mathematics.
“Eat less and exercise more,” he said, before suggesting an antidepressant and birth control pill.
“It took me 21 days to turn the ship around, but when I did, I felt like myself again – happy, free and curious about the world instead of angry and resentful. I realised hormones dictate what your body does with food and that realisation changed everything.”
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All About The Hormone Reboot Diet
Are you looking for ways to lose weight and actually keep it off for good? Good news, now you can with the Hormone Reboot Diet! In this blog, well tell you all about the Hormone Reboot Diet.
You might be wondering, What is the Hormone Reboot Diet?
The Hormone Reboot Diet makes your hormones more efficient and speeds up your metabolism at the same time. If its done correctly, itll help you shed pounds and feel better than you ever have in years!
How Hormones Affect Weight Loss
Hormones obviously have a lot of control over our bodies. Unfortunately, they also have the power to inhibit our weight loss once they get thrown off course.
Hormones control everything that leads to weight loss: the amount of muscle you gain, how energetic you feel, and your metabolism, for example.
If youre not losing weight, you could have a hormonal imbalance thats affecting one or more of these body processes.
Take, for example, insulin. Tis hormone is one of the most important for keeping your metabolism on track.
If your body has an insulin imbalance, which happens to those with diabetes, your body can lose energy, gain weight, have trouble breaking down food, and raise blood sugar.
You may notice that when you become stressed, you have a more difficult time losing weight. Why?
Stress can inhibit effective weight loss hormones and signal not-so-healthy hormones to start working.
Your hormones could even trigger unhealthy snacking habits and a lack of energy that keeps you from working out.
Other hormonal balances, which several factors can cause, may also to blame. A Rutgers study showed that when certain hormones were depressed in lab mice, they ate foods high in fat and bigger portions than usual .
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Three Hormones That Block Your Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, can you relate to any of the following?
- I follow all the rules, but I still cant lose the weight.
- Im just getting old and my metabolism is slow. Its genetic. Theres nothing I can do about my hormones and weight loss.
- Dont you have a weight loss pill you can give me?
- Ive tried everything to lose weight. Maybe I need to accept myself as fat, and give up my skinny clothes.
- Nutrition strategies that work for others dont seem to apply to me.
- I lose 5 pounds, and then I regain 7. Its so frustrating!
These are comments that I hear frequently from my patients and online community, and most of them dont know an important secret: the reason youre weight loss resistant is that your hormones are out of whack.
When it comes to women and weight, there are seven hormones that make losing weight very challenging if not impossiblewhen they are out of balance. In this article, I want to show you the top three hormones that are the most likely culprits when it comes to your difficulty with weight loss, and how you can begin to reset them.
What You Need To Know About Leptin Resistance
When your body becomes resistant to leptin, leptin levels become too high. In fact, overweight individuals who get their leptin levels tested typically find their leptin levels to be as high as four times the normal level. Whats more, its really difficult to balance leptin levels once theyve become resistant.
With leptin resistance, communication between the brain and leptin is impaired, so that your brain doesnt understand that its full, and tells your body to keep eating. Its as if your brain thinks youre starving when in reality, youre just leptin resistant.
To reverse leptin resistance or prevent it from happening to you in the first place, lets talk food, drink, and supplements. Everything in your body impacted by what you put into it, and leptins no different. Sugar, in particular, can cause leptin levels in your body to skyrocket, so youll want to eat less sugar. Other ways to prevent or reduce leptin resistance include:
Dieting, stress and anxiety are just a few of the contributing factors to hormones gone bad, but Dr. Sara Gottfried, a gynecologist and author of The Hormone Reset Diet, says you can reset your hormones to improve your overall health and lose stubborn pounds
Instead of turning to prescribed hormone replacement therapy, Gottfrieds 21-day reset diet claims to naturally correct your hormonal imbalances with the help of a fork.
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How To Get Cortisol Under Control
Tips for maintaining healthy, balanced cortisol levels include the following:
- Consider what relaxes you. Is it meditation? A walk in the park? A bubble bath? Engaging in a creative project? Find what relieves stress for you, and integrate it into your daily routine.
- Exercise regularly, and give yoga a try if its not already part of your workout regimen. The synchronized breathwork that accompanies a nice, flowing vinyasa routine calms the nervous system and reduces cortisol all while giving your body and mind a thorough workout.
- Listen to your favorite music. A 2011 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that patients who listened to instrumental music during surgery had lower cortisol levels than a control group.
- Get enough sleep at night. Have you ever noticed how easily stressed and anxious you become on days when youre sleep deprived? This happens because during a night of deep, restorative sleep, your body is working to balance all hormones, including cortisol. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine explored how sleep deprivation impacted helicopter pilots on a 7-day emergency medical duty. Findings suggested it was sleep deprivation not the act of emergency medical care that elevated adrenaline and cortisol levels.
A Neat Way To Burn Calories
Many trainers get too focused on the calories clients burn during their training session and forget about how much they move the rest of the day . This other energy expenditure is called non-exercise activity thermogenesis , and it actually makes up the bulk of calories burned in a days activity.
If your clients are sedentary, ensuring theyre getting enough movement during the day should be a top priority. The suggestion for 10,000 steps is a great place to start. In the short term, apps or fitness trackers can be very effective tools for showing clients how inactive they truly are.
It can take 812 weeks to build new movement habits. Walking to work, taking the stairs, parking as far away from the entrance as possible , or doing a daily or nightly walk with friends or loved ones are all great ways to add more movement into the day.
If you want more context on NEAT, read this resourcenext!
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Does It Allow For Dietary Restrictions Or Preferences
Vegetarians and vegans: The diet includes protein sources that would work for you.
Gluten-free: You give up gluten for the first 2 weeks of this diet. After that, gluten isn’t completely off-limits. Turner does advise readers to avoid some processed carbs, like white flour and white rice, and to steer clear of any foods that they felt they had a bad reaction to after the detox phase.