Optimal Weight Part 5: Hormones
Have you begun a diet plan with a friend and they lost weight and you didn’t? The reason is probably in your genes! As a woman physician who struggles with this very issue, it has been my life crusade to share my knowledge and personal experience of the often-overlooked successful Multistep Approach to Optimal Weight. Your unique DNA sequences determine what percent of each macronutrient (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) that you are built genetically to metabolize efficiently. This DNA information regarding your brain neurotransmitters, your proper food balance and
custom exercise recipe begin your personalized program. The DNA combined with your thyroid function, blood sugar, gut health, food allergies/sensitivities, hormone levels and vitamins amino acid balance form an interconnected wheel and each component should be addressed in order to achieve lifetime optimal weight balance.
Are you gaining weight even though your food intake hasn’t changed and you are exercising?! After the age of 40, weight loss is not just “eat less, exercise more,” which only applies when hormones are perfectly regulated. There are many hormone cascades in your body and the symphony these hormones play create proper functioning metabolism, weight loss and fat burning, as well as improved strength, libido, energy, memory, mood.
Thyroid hormones (T3, T4), testosterone, progesterone, estradiol,estriol, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol and SHBG must be at their sweet spot in harmony for the body’s orchestra to optimally function. By testing your hormone levels, physicians can see where your individual hormones may be too high or too low and treat all accordingly.
Belly fat, sugar cravings and lousy sleep, for example, can be due to decreased estradiol, estriol and increased cortisol. Try yoga, meditation, massage, exercise, as well as tai chi and HeartMath. Also, high quality Omega fish oil ( high DHA/EPA), and Phosphatidyl Serine, and Relora (magnolia and phellodendron) have been proven beneficial.
Low thyroid hormones, (T3 or T4) can cause weight gain and is managed with thyroid hormones. Decreasing stress and gluten will help. In addition eliminate plastic drinkware and containers as now BPF (BPA’s replacement) has also been shown to cause hormone disruption in humans. Increase Vitamin D, B6,B9, B12, and selenium and add more brazil nuts and turkey to your diet.
Low estrogens stimulates appetite and leads to belly fat. Researchers at Yale found that estradiol uses the same pathway as leptin- the hunger button hormone. Natural estrogen balancers are flax seed, dried fruit, beans and peas, as well as exercise and orgasm. Estradiol/ Estriol Hormone replacement may be warranted.
Low testosterone can make your muscle mushy and slows metabolism and less responsive to resistance training. Natural testosterone balancers: decrease sugar, and increase egg yolks, tuna, shellfish, oysters, and beef. Zinc, Vitamin D, and DHEA supplements can also boost testosterone.
Stay tuned for Part 6 Vitamins and Amino Acids.