Sarah Gottfried, hormonal expert and MD at Harvard University, explains how hormonal imbalances prevent you from losing weight. Further - from the first person.
Communicating with patients in my practice and online community, I am constantly confronted with the same comments. Basically they are:
- I follow all the rules, but I can not lose weight.
- I am getting older and my metabolism is slowing down.
- It's genetics. It's getting harder and harder for me to lose weight.
- The latest 5 kg will not go away! Looks like I'll have to put up with it.
- There are foods that are very difficult for me to refuse, although I am well aware of their harm.
- Can you prescribe me some kind of medication for weight loss?
- I have tried everything to lose weight. Maybe I should just accept myself as fat for who I am and throw out things I can't fit into anymore.
- Universal classes and dietary recommendations that suit everyone do not work for me.
I dropped the 2 kilo, and then scored 5. It's just awful!
Do you know such complaints? If yes, then you probably do not know one secret: The reason why you are so unsuccessfully struggling with your weight is a hormonal imbalance.
As a certified gynecologist and just a woman, I perfectly understand the suffering that each of you is experiencing due to weight gain. I used to be fat myself. So I had to apply my medical knowledge on myself to get rid of extra kilos. And now I'm ready to share my knowledge with you.
We have a huge amount of hormones, but there are only female-specific 4, the failure of which makes it impossible to lose weight.
#1 weight loss blocker: estrogen imbalance
Estrogen is a female hormone that gives a woman breasts and hips, and is also responsible for the inter-articular fluid. Men also have this, but in much smaller quantities.
However, for people of both sexes, there is a risk of excess estrogen. Moreover, estrogen continues to be produced in the ovaries even after menopause.
If you have a low testosterone level, then the estrogen concentration is almost certainly above normal.
Estrogen, like other hormones, is responsible for your reaction to food, drink and other supplements. Because of it, it becomes more difficult for women, unlike men, to lose weight with age.
What to do. To lower estrogen levels (and lose weight), I recommend eating about 0,5 kg of vegetables per day. Vegetable fibers will help flush out estrogen so it doesn't circulate in your body like bad karma.
In addition, vegetables will slightly crowd out meat from your diet. This is important for two reasons: first, the massive demand for meat is leading to irreversible climate change; second, the rapid changes in industrial agriculture and cultural development over the past century have outstripped the development of our genes' ability to adapt.
That is, our DNA has not yet adapted to modern meat, and eating red meat can lead to an overabundance of estrogen.
I'm not saying you should cut out meat altogether, but there are strong arguments for limiting your intake. The Paleo diet is beneficial for some (not all) women, but it produces much better results for men.
So far there is no reliable research "for" or "against" meat. Unfortunately, we have no scientific evidence that meat is healthier than vegetable protein, seafood and poultry.
#2 weight loss blocker: excess insulin
It is known that every second American suffers from some form of diabetes, which is accompanied by obesity. When you are overweight or overweight at normal weight, your insulin levels are disrupted and your cells become insensitive to the hormone.
As a result, the glucose regulator is disrupted, blood sugar begins to jump up and down, and fat accumulates.
What to do. There are many ways to get rid of insulin, but my personal recommendation is to drink filtered water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
A study in 2004 showed that eating 2-spoons of apple cider vinegar before a high carbohydrate meal significantly reduced blood glucose levels in people with insulin resistance.
Of course, there are many more ways to eliminate insulin - you know about giving up sugar and artificial sweeteners. Remember: if you have a metabolic disorder, this is the first sign of problems with insulin.
#3 weight loss blocker: excess cortisol
Cortisol is produced in response to stressful situations, but most of us experience stress all the time. I have written about this problem in detail in my books because I believe it is the main reason why women struggle with their bulges. When it comes to hormonal imbalances and weight gain, all roads lead to cortisol.
In theory, most of us know that excess cortisol damages our self-esteem and sense of reality, but theory sometimes diverges from practice. If your body is constantly experiencing the full gamut of stress hormones, it has to accumulate fat reserves. Most likely, they will be on the stomach.
What to do. To lower your cortisol levels, you need to stop caffeine intake. Stay away from coffee for at least a week and you will notice that you sleep better. And in general, they became calmer.
If you give up caffeine altogether - for you an impossible task, first try to replace coffee with green tea. It also has caffeine. Then, if necessary, you can switch to white tea, and then refuse it.
Replace the tea with hot water with lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Eating one or two such cups in the morning will stimulate the gastrointestinal tract, make your stools regular, which, in turn, will help eliminate toxic hormones.
I know many more ways to regulate cortisol levels, but removing caffeine from the diet is definitely the first thing to do.
#4 weight loss blocker: lack of adiponectin
Adiponectin is one of the key hormones that tells your body to burn fat. Encoded by the ADIPOQ gene and secreted by fat cells, it is needed to regulate glucose levels and the breakdown of fatty acids.
Some people have a genetic tendency to produce less of this miraculous hormone. Unfortunately, this leads to the fact that our body accumulates fat.
When it comes to resisting weight loss, our brain plays an important role. There is covert communication between adipose tissue and the central nervous system, and adiponectin is one of the chemical mediators in this chain. It regulates inflammatory and oxidative processes that promote weight gain.
What to do. To even out adiponectin levels, I recommend eating pistachios. And this is fantastic: one product affects the concentration of the hormone in the body as a whole!
A study in which 60 people with metabolic syndrome took part showed that if people with low blood levels of adiponectin were fed pistachios, their levels increased.
Improvements were also seen in waist circumference, fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, LDL (so-called bad cholesterol), and high C-reactive protein sensitivity.
What else increases adiponectin levels? Periodic fasting.
The easiest effective way of such a hunger strike is not eating at night.
For men, the minimum effective fasting time is 16 hours, and for women, 18. This means if the last time you ate at 18: 00, the next meal for men should be at 10: 00, and for women at noon.
In addition to pistachios, you can eat foods with monosaturated fats. For example, avocado and dark chocolate.
Do not forget about physical exercises.
To summarize the above
When I struggled with excess weight every morning, obsessed with the number on the scales in the bathroom, I tried to figure out how to get out of this hormonal chaos. As I gradually mastered the regulation of each of these hormones, such chaos became my meaning.
Now my most cherished desire is that you, too, feel the strength in yourself and be able to listen to your body. And, of course, draw the right conclusions about what kind of food and what kind of lifestyle will bring you the most benefit.
Understanding that stable weight loss is possible only on condition of stable hormonal background has helped many of my patients learn how to control their weight.
About women and their excess weight can talk endlessly. It's about power over yourself and the ability to start all over again.
Amazing changes can happen when you feel energized, empowered, and connected to your body.
You will no longer feel flabby, irritable, short-tempered and nervous, you will no longer feel guilt and hatred for your body. You will finally be able to fully focus on your most cherished dreams and hopes, on your life plans. You will be able to understand what helps you feel active and truly Alive.