In the past several years, we’ve had a number of diets. Some of them include the blood type diet, paleo diet, keto diet, veganism, low carbs diet, and so on. But one diet that is gaining traction is the hormone diet, or a diet that suggests to balance out hormones so that you can lose weight.
The author of the diet is Dr. Natasha Turner, a naturopathic doctor. Her recipes help you balance your hormones, and make sure you put your hormones in a role to burn fat.
Nobody of us wants fat hanging around their waist, and for many people it is often the first place fat goes and stays.
Love handles are not only unattractive but also bad for your health. Dr. Turner believes that love handles are a key indicator of hormonal imbalance.
You might have too much or too little or any hormone like estrogen, testosterone, insulin, cortisol, and so on, and that is the reason your body stores fat.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how hormones can help you lose weight, and what are some of the principles of the hormone diet by Natasha.
Table of Contents
High Insulin Problem
Insulin is one of the hormones that come to mind first. We all know insulin is linked with diabetes, and insulin spikes can cause your blood sugar to go up or down. Insulin is also closely related to obesity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17924864.
The primary function and role of insulin is to process sugar in the bloodstream and carry the sugar into cells where it is used as fuel or stored as fat. The main reason why you might have high insulin levels is a diet high in sugar and carbs.
Nutrient-poor carbohydrates like processed foods, sodas, packaged low-fat foods, sugary drinks, and so on, result in low fiber consumption, low protein, and high levels of insulin.
Lack of exercise, too much stress, consuming too much alcohol and a family history of diabetes will result in insulin resistance, forcing your body to store excess body fat around the abdomen.
According to statistics, one in three people in the United States have insulin resistance, or prediabetes https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance.
How the hormone diet can help you?
When you have high insulin levels, the best thing to do is up your protein consumption. No matter what your recommended daily protein consumption is at the moment, up it to 20-25g of protein per meal, and 15-20g of protein per snack. Men should add an extra 10g of protein per meal and 5g of protein per snack.
Consuming a lot of protein will help you balance blood sugar and insulin levels. This is a metabolic must for people who want to lose control.
Low insulin levels mean good appetite control, and no cravings for unhealthy snacks and processed foods. Protein also stimulates activity of fat-burning hormones.
High cortisol problem
Cortisol is a stress hormone. When we are under stress, our body produces more cortisol https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3602916/.
Persistent high levels of this hormone are deadly and worrisome for your body. Sometimes, your body might be producing excessive amounts of cortisol due to health conditions.
For example, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, and similar, can easily put your body into overdrive when it comes to cortisol production https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16353426.
High levels of this hormone will vastly increase your appetite, your cravings for unhealthy food, but it will also cause loss of muscle mass, libido, and bone density.
In other words, high amounts of stress will make you soft, flabby, and look much older than you actually are.
How the diet can help you?
The solution proposed by the hormone diet is to sleep enough and eat at the right times. These are two important aspects of battling stress and cortisol.
You can also employ some meditation and other stress-relief techniques. You need to sleep between 6.5 and 8 hours per night.
Sleep deprivation will make you wake up at night, or in the morning with high amounts of cortisol, which will fuel your appetite and increase your cravings for sugary foods. And that is even though you’ve eaten already.
You should also watch out for your blood sugar levels. When they are on a rollercoaster ride, your cortisol is high as well.
Consume a high-protein breakfast in the morning, within just one hour of waking up to make sure you start the day right.
Also, as the day goes off, try to avoid gaps of 3-4 hours without eating. Eat frequently, and consume healthy foods, and your cortisol and blood sugar levels will be at optimum levels.
Women have even more challenging and difficult task of battling belly fat. The reason is simple, estrogen. In men, abdominal fat increases due to the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. In women, high estrogen levels always result in abdominal fat.
When your estrogen levels rise, your body’s tendency to accumulate more abdominal fat rises as well https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968225/.
With that, you also increase the risk of prostate cancer, which is closely linked to high estrogen levels.
Women have high estrogen levels during their premenopausal period, which is why at this time, they see increase in abdominal fat, but also fat around the hips. It makes it even harder to lose weight.
High estrogen will also result in low libido, poor motivation, depression, loss of muscle mass, memory loss, and increased belly fat https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/menopause-weight-gain-and-exercise-tips.
What can you do?
You can easily check your estrogen levels with a blood or saliva test. If the results indicate high estrogen levels, you should quickly change your diet.
You can start by consuming products with indole-3-carbinol (cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage), green tea, and turmeric. All of these help your body get rid of excess amounts of estrogen.
They will also help you balance out estrogen to testosterone levels. And these foods also help your goal of losing weight.
Some other options for getting rid of excess estrogen include flax seeds and chia seeds.
Low testosterone levels
Your testosterone levels will decrease as your abdominal fat converts the hormone to estrogen, and when your stress goes up https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4154787/.
When you are under stress, your body produces more cortisol, and less testosterone. It is true that testosterone levels go down as we age, but the problem is men nowadays experience the decline much earlier in life.
It is quite alarming, considering low testosterone is linked with obesity, osteoporosis, depression, and heart diseases.
Some symptoms of low testosterone include loss of muscle tissue, decreased strength, decreased stamina, drive, low motivation, and depression https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296126/.
The hormone diet solution
Zinc supplements and foods high in zinc will help you raise your testosterone levels. Zinc will also help you with weight raining, which is crucial when you want to lose weight. You also need to consume more protein.
Low DHEA levels
DHEA is a hormone that the adrenal glands produce. The hormone is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone, and its main role is to counteract the negative effects of cortisol.
The hormone is also known as the anti-aging hormone. DHEA helps with our body’s ability to lose fat and gain muscle, but also boosts libido https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/DHEA_makes_the_fat_go_away.
What to do?
A simple saliva or blood test can show you whether you have low or high DHEA levels. If you have low DHEA levels, you should consult with a physician.
Supplements and replacements should be taken only when a deficiency has been diagnosed.
Low growth hormone problem
Growth hormone, or omnipotent hormone, is responsible for almost every cell in our body. It has a huge impact on feelings, appearance, and actions.
As we age, the hormone declines, and health care experts often recommend growth hormone supplements. The growth hormone is released during sleep and while we exercise.
How the diet helps?
While you do not have to make many changes in what you eat, you need to make changes in other aspects of your life. The hormone is released when we sleep in total darkness.
This prompts the body to release melatonin, which triggers a critical cool-down in the body. And as the body temperature drops, the growth hormone is released.
One way to make sure your body produces growth hormone is to sleep in total darkness and avoid eating close to bedtime.
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