I have always had a struggle with my weight. I have tried juice diets, the Atkin’s diet, shake diets, keto, low carb, no carb, diet clubs – you name it, I’ve given it a go. I have lost weight before but struggled to keep it off. I exercise on a regular basis and I’m reasonably active. I’m a doctor and have trained in functional medicine, integrative medicine and hormones, so I am fairly educated on what is good for health and what isn’t.
Yet until I started doing a deep dive into my own hormones, I didn’t realise what the problem was and why I couldn’t lose weight. As a hormone doctor, I’ve helped thousands of women feel energised, less stressed, feel happier, healthier and lose weight. After years of helping others, I decided to introduce the same principles to myself, with remarkable results. The old saying ‘physician, heal thy self first’ has never been so apt.
Here’s what I did:
Step 1: I checked my hormones at day 21 of my cycle.
I had high oestrogen and poor oestrogen metabolism, which means I don’t break down my oestrogens well and with the high levels, if left untreated this could increase my risk for breast cancer. High levels of oestrogen also cause weight gain, especially around the middle. I also had low levels of testosterone. Testosterone is thought of as a male hormone, however women do need some to boost energy, fat burning and metabolism.
I boosted my oestrogen metabolism by adding in the supplement’s Calcium D-glucarate, DIM and Resveratrol. I already took B vitamins which also help with the process. I also added more green vegetables, raw vegetables and flaxseeds into my diet during days 7-14 of the cycle, when the oestrogen is at the highest to cause ovulation, as this helps the metabolism too. I started using a low dose of testosterone cream daily to boost my levels. I noticed this helped my energy and stamina for working out and I ached less after too!
Step 2: Checking my stress hormones.
I checked my cortisol throughout the day on a urine test. Cortisol is a stress hormone made by our adrenal glands. We need stress hormones but too much physical, emotional, environmental or psychological stress causes imbalances in their functioning.
My cortisol was quite raised at night and in the morning. I am not surprised as I have a tendency to be highly strung. I introduced a daily meditation, prayer and gratitude practice to manage my stress. I started some regular yoga and walks in nature. I added in Ashwagandha and Rhodiola supplements. These are both adaptogens which help the balance the stress hormones on a molecular level by regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands.
Step 3: Checking for insulin resistance.
My blood sugars were normal but my HbA1c, which is the measure of sugar in the red blood cells over 8 weeks, was at the top end of normal and my insulin level was on the high end too. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas and it regulates our blood sugar. My blood sugar was normal, but a lot of insulin was needed to keep it normal. The more insulin in the system, the more inflammation there is in the system and the harder it is to lose weight.
I added in certain supplements and medication to regulate my insulin production. I also lowered sugary foods and foods with a high glycaemic index such as starchy carbohydrates. I did also do a thorough thyroid blood test as this can be a common reason for weight gain, but this was normal for me.
The result has been sustained weight loss.
I do still need to maintain my exercise and diet to keep my weight off, but life is so much easier now I know how to hack my hormones to maintain my weight loss.
Why not check out my brand new online course ‘More Energy, Less Stress, Manage Your Weight – How balancing your hormones in 4 easy steps could be the missing piece of the puzzle to optimising your health and feeling great!’ You will learn some really exciting tools to improve your health and get you feeling great again. For more information, click here.