Weight Loss My Way: Happy Hormones

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This is the second part in a two-part series. In yesterday’s post, I discussed my struggle with weight loss…

Discouraged by my doctor’s lack of support, I decided to do my own research. And I finally found something that worked for me when it came to losing weight and feeling better. 

I learned that hormones play a critical role in determining how your body feels and why you may or may experience weight loss—especially if you’re a woman over 35.

Talk about Frustrating!

We hear repeatedly that eating less and moving more is the key to weight loss. Sometimes, it is. But sometimes, it is not. When a woman follows this advice and sees no change, it can make her feel like a failure.

Numerous studies suggest that if a woman’s hormones are imbalanced, it is extremely difficult or even impossible to lose weight. Some women first need to balance their hormone levels to improve metabolism.

Once my hormones were regulated, my body started functioning normally again. It started letting go of the weight—and my frustration.

My Journey

In the beginning, I felt extremely discouraged and confused. I hadn’t changed my eating or exercise patterns, but I had gained a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time. People told me that at my age, it was normal and I just had to accept it.

I wasn’t content with the idea that just because my age had expanded, my waistline had to!

For months, I thought it simply would be a matter of watching what I ate and being more active. Guess what? The scale refused to move for months.

I signed up for an on-line 30 day weight loss challenge. It was great because it provided daily meditations, exercise videos, and weekly nutrition plans. I lost weight and inches with this program. I thought I was on the right track. But when the challenge was over and I ate normally again (reasonably healthily), the weight packed back on. 

Something That Worked

Taking another approach, I researched how hormones affect weight gain, especially after age 35.

I discovered two very helpful books, “The Hormone Reset Diet” by Sara Gottfried, M.D.  and “Happy Hormones Slim Belly” by Jorge Cruise. 

By following the books’ advice, I lost seven pounds in two weeks, and two inches off my waist. All without stressing too much, being hungry or changing my exercise routine. I realized that the foods I eat can affect hormones, either by fixing or creating hormonal imbalances.

In Gottfried’s Hormone Reset plan, a different problem food/toxin is eliminated every three days and replaced with foods that are known to aid your metabolism. At the end of the 21-day program, food groups are reintroduced one at a time to see how your body reacts to them.

If adding back a certain food group causes stomach troubles or weight gain, then you will know that you shouldn’t eat that food often or ever.

It is a great way to get in touch with your body and what it needs.

These books are strongly backed by medical research and feature quizzes, step-by-step instructions and great recipes. I am not affiliated with either of these programs, nor did I receive any compensation from them. However, I learned some surprising facts that empowered me to change how I look and more importantly, how I feel.

Eight Surprising Facts about Hormones

  1. Consuming conventional grain fed meat raises your estrogen level. If your estrogen level is out of balance, it can accelerate fat cell growth, cause bloating, breast tenderness, headache, mood swings and depression.
  2. Alcohol contributes to estrogen imbalance. I used to think, “I’ve eaten healthy today, what’s the harm in having a glass of wine with dinner?” But if your hormone levels are wrong, that one glass adds to the problem.
  3. Insulin is another necessary hormone that helps determine your metabolism rate. Higher levels of insulin create inflammation and make your blood sugar swing from high to low, causing you to feel hungry soon after eating. The liver converts the glucose from food into fat instead of using it to fuel your muscles and to perform necessary bodily functions.
  4. About 60 percent of adults have a limited ability to absorb fructose, found in fruit, honey, high fructose corn syrup and cola. Fructose disturbs your leptin hormone level, a hormone that dulls your appetite, regulates hunger, and determines how fast fat is burned.
  5. Coffee elevates cortisol which is one of the body’s key fat storage hormones.
  6. Nearly every person who struggles with weight has an issue with grains, especially those containing gluten. Gluten related issues include anxiety/depression, chronic fatigue, unexplained infertility, eczema and acne, and weight gain, difficulty losing weight.
  7. Dairy is one of the top foods that contribute to inflammation, a state that causes you to gain weight and become resistant to losing it.
  8. Makeup, shampoos, deodorant, lotions, etc. can contain parabens and phthalates which are fake estrogens that can disrupt your hormonal balance

Weight Loss Looks Good on Me

All of the above tips are paraphrased from my research and they have proven true for me. Since completing the Hormone Reset Diet, I continue to lose inches. I am fitting into clothes that I had feared I would never again wear.

I hope the knowledge I have gained through my personal challenge might encourage you to do your own research and find solutions that work for you! 

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Adrienne is a Colorado native and would not want to live anywhere else! She spends her days juggling the many demands of three sons, and her school-age daughter. When she is not busy deciphering the perplexing young boy brain, or trying to please her diva daughter, you will most likely find her nose in a book, or writing. She loves encouraging her fellow parents in their journey. Recently she has begun a new career as a Real Estate Broker with Colorado Home Finder Realty and is definitely enjoying the roller coaster ride. She also loves finding great happy hour places with her husband, Shawn, and acting young and sometimes crazy with friends! She does not spend enough time outdoors (unless forced to) and comes up with any excuse to put off cleaning her chaotic house. She is very grateful for her completely imperfect life.

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