On February 2, I set out on a 30-Day Detox Challenge designed by our good friend, Dr. Sara Gottfried! I initially joined this group as part of my research to see how we could improve our NutriBullet Cleanses, however, it quickly became my personal quest to balance my hormones, gain some energy and potentially lose my muffin top. I am learning a wealth of information and feel amazing; I highly recommend checking it out!
Since hormones play such a huge roll in weight loss, I thought I’d share with you the top five hormones worthy of balance to aid in your weight loss goals, along with a few tips on how to get them to behave. Be sure to click the provided links to find out more.
For a more personalized approach, check out Dr. Sara Gottfried’s book, “The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally with the Gottried Protocol."
Leptin is a hormone secreted by your adipose, or fat cells, to help regulate appetite and hunger. This little guy says, “Stop, I’m full!” To keep it in check:
- Avoid added sugars and limit high sugar fruits.
- Choose gluten-free grains.
- Eat within 30 minutes of waking and stop eating at least 3-4 hours before going to bed.
- Keep it in check by getting 7-8 hours of consistent, uninterrupted sleep - and I’m not talking about just on weekends!
2. Reproductive Hormones (Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone)
When you hear about hormones, these three come to mind most often. It’s important for both men and women to pay attention to these for various reasons beside fertility. Balanced reproductive hormones can help with weight management, mood and possibly reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Ramp up your meals with cruciferous veggies rich in indole-3-carbinol, shown to help reduce bad estrogens.
- Dietary fiber and lignins (found in flax seeds, the bran portion of grains, beans, and seeds) reduce the ongoing circulation of estrogen in the body by binding estrogens and eliminating them. Aim for 35-45 grams of fiber per day.
- Avoid xenoestrogens, synthetic or natural compounds that mimic estrogen. Chief among these endocrine disrupters are pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, toxic beauty products and cleaning supplies, and bisphenol A (BPA) plastics and cans.
- Avoid alcohol and reduce or eliminate red meat and dairy.
Want to avoid a beer belly? Keep your cortisol levels in check. Cortisol increases blood sugar and suppresses the immune system. In addition to alcohol, stress is huge contributor to the influx of cortisol.
- Omega-3s (1000-4000 mg/day) have been shown to help lower cortisol. Omega-3 rich foods include wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds.
- Rhodiola, an adaptogenic root, has shown promise in helping lower cortisol levels by reducing anxiety.
- Intense exercise increases cortisol so take it easy if your cortisol levels are high.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Manage stress: Remove caffeine from your diet, find calm/relaxing relief with yoga, get a massage, and practice deep breathing and meditation.
This pancreatic hormone helps usher blood sugar into our cells to be used for fuel. Too much or too little is not a good thing. Some helpful tips to regulate insulin include:
- Boost up the quantity of your physical activity. Exercise has a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity so get off the couch and get moving.
- Keep your sugar intake at bay. If possible avoid added sugars and pay attention to the amount of natural sugars in your Blasts. Click here for some low carb, low sugar options.
- Some people may benefit from going gluten-free. All should avoid highly processed, refined grains and flour-based foods.
Your thyroid is an endocrine gland that makes hormones that help regulate several activities in your body, including energy production and metabolism. Diseases of the thyroid are often to blame for weight management issues. According to Dr. Gottried’s protocol, take these three actions:
- If gluten sensitive, avoid gluten-containing foods and opt for gluten-free grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, rice and teff.
- Replace toxic make-up, beauty products and cleaning supplies to be replaced with natural alternatives. The average woman’s daily beauty routine exposes her to about 515 different synthetic chemicals that may pose health risk. Here is a resource showcasing the biggest red flags.
- If your thyroid hormones are low, limit RAW brassica foods like broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. Eat them cooked. Also, remove soy as this is a highly goitrogenic food.
This may sound overwhelming, but don’t let it get to you. Simply start with a few changes and work your way toward incorporating more into your life. Be sure to find hormone-friendly substitutions for any foods you choose to omit. Confused on what might be a good alternative? Ask us in the comments below!