When it comes to weight loss, the advice is pretty basic – exercise and lower your calorie intake. However, no matter how much some women exercise or how little they eat, they never seem to be able to drop their extra belly fat, or always end up gaining it back. This can be more than frustrating, and it’s exactly what happened to Sara Gottfried, MD. Unlike other women with weight loss problems, however, she was a doctor and knew there must be another explanation and a better one at that.
When Dr. Gottfried checked her hormone levels, her cortisol was incredibly (and suspiciously) high. Could this be the culprit?
She did an experiment on herself, eating in a way that would reset her hormones and bring them back to normal levels. In just three weeks, she was already seeing results. After losing 25 lbs, she felt inspired to write what became a New York Times best seller, The Hormone Cure and later The Hormone Reset Diet.
According to Dr. Gottfried, there are 7 main hormones that could be out of balance, and hence, sabotaging your weight loss.
The growth hormone
So, what’s the secret to turning off these pesky fat-producers? It isn’t about turning them off, necessarily, as much as it is about bringing them back to normal levels and keeping them in balance. That might sound a bit scary and involved, but actually, resetting your hormones is easier than you think. It doesn’t involve supplements for weight loss or hormone therapy– it just requires a bit of healthy eating.
1.Cut caffeine and use Rhodiola to kill cortisol
Cortisol has made a name for itself as the main stress hormone. It’s released when you’re in a dire situation, which for early humans meant making a quick getaway or staying to fight off a predator. Today, however, physical predators aren’t as common as the one’s in our own heads, which means excess cortisol is left without an outlet, and that often means weight gain, according to Dr. Gottfried. She recommends trying an herbal remedy, Rhodiola, a root that hasbeen shown to lower cortisol levels, and cutting out caffeine, which naturally increases it.
2. Say goodbye to grains to get your thyroid back on track
The power of your thyroid gland is hard to deny. Whether it’s over or underactive, it will have profound effects on your weight and overall health. If your thyroid isn’t working right, it will prevent you from slimming down, even if your tests are borderline, according to Dr. Gottfried. She explains that grains can actually interfere with your thyroid, so cutting them out of your diet might help.
3. Dump dairy to balance growth hormones
Many people grew up looking at ads of celebrities with milk mustaches and thought drinking 3 glasses of milk a day was the way to healthy bones and an essential part of your diet. However, a lot of that has to do with the power of the milk industry, not actual science. Dr. Gottfried explains that although milk might provide calcium it has a dark side – it’schock full of hormones that interfere with your own. Those cows were making milk for growing babies cows, not you.
4. Sugar + insulin don’t mix
Thinking about blood sugar levels and insulin isn’t just for people who have diabetes. Everyone breaks carbohydrates down into sugars so the body can process them, but insulin is what actually allows your body to gain nourishment from blood sugar. The more carbohydrates or sugars you eat, the more insulin your pancreas needs to release to process them. High insulin levels mess with your growth hormone and lead to weight gain says Dr. Gottfried. Go the way of diabetics and eat a high-fiber diet of leafy greens, healthy fats, and slow release carbs.
5. Set estrogen straight by… going vegetarian!
If you’re a meat eater, this might be the biggest adjustment to your healthy diet plan. However, Dr. Gottfried says studies show that meat increase estrogen levels, making weight loss more difficult. Sounds like it’s time to replace your Angus burger with a black bean patty instead.
6. Detox to temper testosterone
Unfortunately, from the air we breathe to the fruits and vegetables we eat, toxins are everywhere. She recommends going on a detox twice a year to get your sex hormones back in balance.
7. Be frugal with fruity fructose to improve leptin levels
Leptin is the key to preventing overindulgence. When it’s working, Dr. Gottfried says this is the hormone that tells you to stop when you’re full. The solution is simple, just stay away from fructose. Unfortunately, it’s not just found in man-made foods. One food traditionally considered healthy, fruit, is high in fructose, so you should only eat fruits free of this sugar, like avocados.
If it seems difficult to make all these changes, don’t worry, they aren’t for the long run. Instead, Dr. Gottfried’s plan is meant to reset hormones within 21 days, so you’ll be able to incorporate some of these things back into your diet. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg; there’s a lot more to keeping hormones healthy in the long run.
Daisy Grace is a Health & Beauty Consultant, who helps women live a life they love, in a body they live. She enjoys writing on different topics related to women’s health issues. She is a long-time native from Oklahoma, USA and writes article on various topics. Daisy’s purpose and passion lies in facilitating health breakthroughs with women who deserve good health, happiness and self-love. She is being also exploring new things related to general health and beauty. Join Daisy on Facebook, Google + & Twitter.