DR. NATASHA TURNER ND'S BLOG

A Guide To Customizing Your Weight-Loss Solution

Posted February 26, 2016

 

Weight-Loss-2

Weight loss is a delicate process, dependent upon healthy hormonal balance. I believe the key to successful weight loss is to identify your current state of hormonal imbalance through proper assessment, which then allows the formulation of a strategic formula for weight loss success. Let’s consider five formulations for some of the main hormones that influence body composition:

Insulin:

A signal in the body which allows glucose from the food consumed to enter our cells to be used as fuel. These sugars, if not used or burned off, will be stored as fat.  In this sense, insulin tells our body to store fat. When insulin levels are too high, weight tends to accumulate in the “love handles” area around the waist.  This poses a serious long-term health risk as excess weight around the middle is associated with increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.  A fasting insulin and glucose test is a good test to have completed by your doctor if you suspect you may have abnormally high insulin levels causing weight gain. High triglycerides, cholesterol and/or blood pressure may also accompany this picture of imbalance.

 

Your weight loss solution:

  • Complete a mixture of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise, like circuit training, such as the program outlined in The Hormone Diet.
  • Take CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), 1500mg twice per day. This supplement improves the body’s response to insulin, thereby lowering insulin levels.
  • Have a whey protein shake for breakfast most days of the week.
  • Balance your protein, fat and carbohydrates for three meals and two snacks each day and consider a fiber supplement like Metafibre from Metagenics, to improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Increase cinnamon in your diet, it’s great for insulin response.
  • Drink 2-4 cups of green tea each day to improve fat burning and glucose regulation in the body.

Thyroid hormone:

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the metabolism of every single cell in the body. If thyroid levels are low, metabolism will be slower and there will be a tendency to gain weight and body fat—sometimes even with proper diet and exercise. TSH, Free T3, Free T4 and thyroid antibodies are the tests that should be completed by your doctor to determine a deficiency of thyroid hormone.

Your weight loss solution:

  • Tyrosine 1000–2000mg per day may increase the level of thyroid hormone, as it is necessary for the production of the hormone in the body.
  • Selenium 200mcg per day is essential for thyroid hormone action in the body. Other antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and vitamin A are also important for healthy thyroid function.
  • Ashwaganda 750 mg 1-2x per day also helps to improve thyroid hormone levels as well as balance stress hormones. High levels of cortisol inhibit the function of thyroid hormone in the body.

 Sex hormones

Estrogen and progesterone: Estrogen naturally causes water retention and increased body fat, especially around the hips and thighs, whereas progesterone has the opposite effect.

Women suffering from PMS, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast, abnormal pap smears, ovarian cysts, stress, anxiety or depression may have abnormally high estrogen levels compared to levels of progesterone.  It is essential that abnormal levels of estrogen are addressed early, as menopausal changes may be problematic and also contributes to an increased risk of breast cancer and other hormonally related cancers.

Your weight loss solution:

  • Indol 3 carbinol—200mg twice per day with meals. This product assists with healthy hormonal balance by reducing the amount of harmful estrogen metabolites in the body.
  • Calcium d-glucarate—500mg twice per day. This product is essential for the proper breakdown and elimination of hormones in the liver.
  • Clear Detox – Hormonal Health. This is my own formula to assist with liver detoxification and the removal of excess hormonal waste, particularly toxic estrogen, which can lead to weight gain or prevent weight loss. Take 1 pack on rising, before breakfast and before lunch.
  • Consider a natural progesterone cream to boost progesterone levels. This should be used in the second half of the menstrual cycle only (from ovulation at day 14 to the first day of bleeding on day 28). See your MD or ND to properly diagnose a deficiency of progesterone and for the prescription of the cream.
  • Ensure adequate fiber intake, replace healthy bacteria levels by taking acidophilus supplements, consume 2 -3 tbsp of ground flaxseeds each day and aim for one serving of soy each day as well. All of these are crucial for healthy estrogen levels in the body as the bacteria and fiber in the bowel are involved in the process of estrogen metabolism and soy is a source of phytoestrogens.

Testosterone:

In men and women declining levels of testosterone can contribute to decreased muscle mass, decreased bone mass, increased body fat, decreased energy and motivation, as well as a low libido. A free and total testosterone blood test is what you should have completed by your doctor to properly diagnose a deficiency of testosterone.

 

Your weight loss solution:

  • To increase testosterone, be sure to include weight training in your exercise program and get sufficient sleep.
  • If a deficiency is diagnosed by your doctor, compounded testosterone cream can be prescribed to you. Always go for follow-up testing in one month to ensure you’re not getting too much testosterone.
  • An herb which may raise testosterone is Tribulus Terresteris, I recommend a testosterone-boosting supplement such as my Clear Testosterone Formula.
  • Chrysin may prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, thereby regulating levels of both hormones. Ground flaxseeds (2–3 tbsp per day) may also support this process. Both of these compounds are referred to as natural aromatase inhibitors because of their ability to block this metabolic pathway and are potent protectors against breast cancer. Chrysin can also help reduce the side effects associated with getting too much testosterone.

Cortisol:

Cortisol is the hormone responsible for helping us deal with long-term stress, as compared to adrenaline which is involved in the immediate response to stress.  An elevated cortisol level destroys muscle fibers, suppresses immunity, affects memory and concentration, can weaken bone mineral density and contributes to cancer. It can cause increased body fat, particularly around the abdomen, by adversely affecting blood sugar and insulin levels. High levels of cortisol are also very detrimental because it leads to other hormonal imbalances. There are several ways you can diagnose an excess of stress hormone with your doctor. Tests can be completed through the saliva, blood or urine. Do not leave your stress unattended, it is the most harmful factor in your life.

Your weight loss solution:

  • Relora—250 mg taken 2–3 times per day will reduce your cortisol and increase DHEA which counteracts the negative affects of high cortisol levels.
  • Milk protein hydrolysate—such as product called Nusera by Metagenics.  Research is an all natural dietary supplement to address the symptoms of stress safely and without side effects. It works quickly and is effective at only 1-2 pills per day. Milk protein hydrolysate blocks the release of stress hormones by reducing the hormonal signal from the pituitary gland to the adrenals, which causes the adrenals to produce stress hormones.
  • Phosphatidylserine—this product negates the bad effects of stress hormone on the muscles and the brain cells. Taken before bed, 100mg of this product may be calming and improve your sleep too!
  • Incorporate yoga and/or pilates into your workout regime to lower cortisol while still working to increase muscle strength.

Serotonin:

Our “happy hormone,” serotonin controls appetite and cravings. If levels are low, cravings for carbohydrates tend to be stronger.  To achieve the optimal hormonal balance for weight loss, a number of factors must be considered, such as proper diet, sleep, supplements, exercise and mental attitude.

Your weight loss solution:

  • 5 HTP—This is a precursor to serotonin, which means when you take it, your body will make it into serotonin. This product is often used to assist with carbohydrate cravings, binge eating, anxiety, depression and insomnia all of which are symptoms commonly associated with low levels of serotonin. The typical dose is 50–200mg per day.

If you are not reaching your weight loss goals, don’t get frustrated or give up.  Weight loss is difficult to achieve without support or proper guidance.  Remember, you are where you are right now because of the choices you have made yesterday.  I encourage you to do something different today to create a new tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “A Guide To Customizing Your Weight-Loss Solution

  1. Absolutely one of the most helpful articles i have read in the past few years!
    Thank you for breaking down the way you did and providing useful treatments with explanations.
    Extremely helpful, my gratitude!

    1. Thank you so much Allison! It is so wonderful to get such positive feedback 🙂 We wish you perfect balance!

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