The Big ‘M’ Report The truth about hormones and weight


10 Surprising Facts about How Hormones Disrupt Your Health and Weight

Ladies do any of these feel familiar?

I’m so tired when I wake up; all I can think about is drinking coffee.

I crave sugar, and must eat chocolate every day.

My hair is thinning day after day, and my doctor says I’m just getting older. I know there’s something more. That doesn’t seem right to me.

No matter what I try, I just can’t lose the weight. The more I run or jog, the more the weight returns.

I’m feeling hungrier than I used to be – I eat more than before but never seem to feel full or satisfied.

I’m more puffy than usual and look bloated; it feels like I retain fluid more easily.

My belly keeps growing, my waist line gets larger and I don’t know what to do. I have to wear larger jeans!

These are statements I often hear from women who struggle with hormone imbalance but haven’t yet connected the dots between their symptoms and their hormones. The good news is that it’s not a lack of willpower or something that you’re doing wrong; it’s that your hormones are out of whack. According to Dr Sara Gottfried who discovered after 25 years of taking care of patients that the best way to get your hormones back on track is with the way you eat, move, think, and supplement.


Here are 10 shocking facts about how hormones disrupt your health and weight, so that you can start to connect the dots and get back into hormonal balance. These problems apply to both men and women.


  1. Need that receipt? Forty percent of retail receipts are coated in bisphenol A, a plastic also used to line canned food and make water bottles, according to receipt research by the Environmental Working Group. 1 Retail workers carry an average of 30 percent more BPA in their bodies than other adults, according to an EWG analysis of biomonitoring data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bisphenol A (BPA) disrupts your estrogen, thyroid, and testosterone levels, which means that it can be linked to obesity, diabetes, endometriosis, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Women with the highest BPA levels show reduced fertility, and men with the highest BPA have decreased sperm count and decreased testosterone. BPA-free may not be any better, because the chemical industry assumes their new products are innocent until proven guilty. We need to apply the Precautionary Principle instead: Guilty until proven innocent. Next time, either decline the receipt or take it in the bag. Find out if your local retailers use receipts coated in BPA, and ask them to remove it.
  2. Hormones dictate what your body does with food, and the impact is stronger than calories alone. Many people are obsessed with calories, but they are only part of the equation when it comes to nutrition and weight loss. Approximately 99% of weight gain is hormonal—indeed, resetting your hormones is often the missing ingredient for successful weight loss.
  3. Is that lead in your lipstick? High lead can turn weaker stress hormones into stronger stress hormones. That’s what was happening to me when my cortisol was high for no apparent reason. I found out that my lead level was high, probably from my lipstick. Did you know that women eat about 5 pounds of lipstick over their lifetime if they use it daily? In fact, the average woman applies 515 synthetic chemicals to her body each day. It’s time to swap the conventional lipstick for organic.
  4. Stressed? High cortisol, the main stress hormone, is the boss of your other hormones and will affect their production and function, In fact, high cortisol could be slowing down your thyroid, raising your blood sugar and causing sugar cravings, blocking progesterone (your body’s Valium) and creating estrogen dominance, and growing your belly fat. Women in their twenties and thirties rarely give their stress a second thought. After giving birth to your children in your thirties or forties, and can’t lose the baby weight with your old tricks, you may go on one diet after another.

My doctor and mentor Dr Sara G. was suffering with PMS and low sex drive and consulted her doctor, the familiar advice given by her doctor was: “Exercise more and eat less.” That didn’t seem right to her, so she left his office determined to apply her medical knowledge to her own situation. She checked her hormones: Her cortisol, the main stress hormones, was triple what it should’ve been. She didn’t have a tumor; she had high stress and wasn’t managing it well. She weighed 25 pounds over her goal weight. It took 21 days to reset her cortisol, but it got all her other hormones back into place. Result? She lost weight, and graduated from couple’s therapy.

  1. Diet soda may be worse than regular soda. New research shows that diet soda may harm your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) more than regular soda. That’s probably because artificial sweeteners disrupt the microbiome, the aggregate microbes in your gut and their DNA. Ideally, break the diet soda habit, and remove all sugar and sugar substitutes from your food plan.
  2. Eating meat raises estrogen. It’s not yet clear if it’s just meat from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) or if it also applies to grass-fed, Chapa VEGETARIANO grass-finished meat, but meat eaters have higher estrogen levels compared to vegetarians, plus a greater risk of endometriosis, diabetes, breast, and colon cancer in observational studies. The mechanism may be that meat messes with the subset of your microbiome that controls your estrogen levels, known as the estrobolome. While it’s not yet clear that grass-fed meat is a better choice, it does have a better fatty acid profile—that is, more omega-3s and less omega-6s. Given the estrogen pollution you encounter, I recommend a periodic reset by removing red meat and increasing fiber to 35 to 50 grams per day (slowly—don’t increase more than 5 grams per day to avoid gas and bloating). Make sure to eat one pound of vegetables per day so that you can follow the golden rule of estrogen: use it, and then lose it. Don’t keep recirculating estrogen like bad karma, because that allows it to do a back flip and increase your risk of estrogen-dependent health problems.

7. An apple a day no longer keeps the doctor away as we’ve been told. I grew up with a grandmother who was a bit of a radical: she was a whole foodist who practiced yoga daily and believed that the answer to health was not found in the bottom of a prescription pill bottle, but in how your architect your lifestyle. She was born in 1898 and loved to eat avocados, mangoes, sweet sop (guanabana), drink coconut water and eat golden apples, the golden apples were small, green, and tart. They contained about 2 grams of fructose, or fruit sugar. Today’s apples have been hybridized by Big Food to be large sugar bombs, and often contain 20 grams or more of fructose. Fructose overload has been linked to problems with the liver and leptin—the hormone of satiety that tells your brain to put down your fork when you’re full. When your metabolism is slow, it may be helpful to limit fructose and choose low-fructose fruit, such as avocados, coconut, and olives.


  1. Stop the chronic cardio. We go to the gym and run on the treadmill or read a book for an hour. Now we know that chronic cardio can raise your cortisol and prematurely age you. A better choice is more adaptive exercise such as Pilates or barre fitness, mashed up with burst training. Burst training improves stress resilience rather than driving cortisol high and keeping it there.
  2. Pringles, anyone? So we know toxins are bad, how do we get rid of them? Two years ago, a group of 28 residents in a town in Alabama with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, used as a fluid coolant in electrical systems, and known to cause high blood pressure and diabetes) were studied to see if fat-free Pringles could reduce their body burden. In fact, the randomized trial showed that fat-free Pringles containing olestra reduced their level of these endocrine disruptors by 25 percent or more. But Pringles are a highly-processed fake food invented by Proctor and Gamble; how can this be the solution? A more palatable alternative is to improve your body’s detoxification pathways with periodic removal of the most common toxins and the pulsing of supportive supplements, such as fiber and N-acetylcysteine, a precursor to glutathione—your most potent anti-oxidant and scavenger of free radicals in your body.
  3. Hangovers hitting harder? Life is busy, and cocktail hour is a welcome reprieve. A glass of wine or two, a beer—they may seem like just what the doctored ordered. Uh, not my doctor- Not Dr Sara G. The very thing you’re seeking from alcohol—solace—may be the opposite of what you’re getting. Alcohol raises cortisol and temporarily slows metabolism by more than 70 percent. If you’re drinking daily, that’s a serious decrement in your rate of burning calories, and it may be tying up your liver so that it can’t keep your other hormones in balance. I’m not saying you need to become abstinent, but if you struggle with weight or fatigue, or sleep is not what it used to be, drink less but better quality. Once every six months, I recommend getting off alcohol for 21 days. You’ll sleep better and decongest your liver. If you can’t do it, you may have a really sticky relationship with alcohol and need additional help to moderate.

Hormones aren’t inherently evil, but as these 10 facts demonstrate, your hormones may be working against you. One of the best ways to get them back on track is to learn more about how to reset your hormones with your fork.


You know that the food you eat affects your waistline and energy levels, but did you know that it can also mean the difference between being a total hormonal stress case vs. feeling happy, clear-headed and hormonally balanced?


In other words, the best way to reset your hormones efficiently and permanently is with what you put on your fork.

Why? Because the latest synthesis of nutragenomics, epidemiology, and endocrinology – a totally hot new field called nutritional endocrinology – tells us the importance of food first. Food and drink are information for your body, and we want to make sure you’re conveying the right information.


Here’s how you must do it…

  1. Inhale your Kale.


When you cut kale in your kitchen and inhale the aroma, the innate intelligence of your body produces and releases exactly the right enzymes to digest the kale. This process ensures that you extract every morsel of nutrient-dense goodness from the kale once you smell, taste, chew, and savor it. When I realized this fact, I had to take a cold, hard look at how I was eating kale. When I buy organic kale from local farmers I cut it and inhale the lovely scent and it releases the strongest natural scent.


When you buy kale from the local grocery store; we need to slow it down. Rinse your kale at home, in your kitchen, like you would a precious tea from the Dalai Lama. Pay particular attention to the fragrance as you prepare the kale (or other greens) for your fork. Taking three slow, deep, steady breaths before eating kale has been shown to lower your cortisol (the main stress hormone) and improves digestion.


  1. Cut the GMO.


Genetically modified (GM) food appears to suppress fertility, probably by raising testosterone in females and raising estrogen in males. Among agricultural staff who work with GM foods, there are higher rates of miscarriage. While we lack rigorous data showing the adverse hormonal effects of GM foods on humans, I believe we need to apply the “Precautionary Principle,” which means GM foods are guilty until proven otherwise and do not belong on your fork. The solution that balances your hormones? Eat organic, or at the very least, non-GMO.


  1. Jump start the Fiber. Increased fiber intake has been shown to reduce cortisol (the main stress hormone), stabilize insulin and blood sugar, and lower bad estrogens (which may reduce your risk of breast cancer). Regardless of age, I recommend that women consume 35 to 45 grams of fiber per day as part of a healthy food plan; men should consume slightly more than this. To compare, most women only consume about 13 grams of fiber per day. I recommend a combination of eating fiber-rich foods – such as vegetables, fruit, chia seeds and fax seeds – and taking a fiber supplement. But beware: increase your fiber intake slowly, by no more than 5 grams per day. Going faster may cause gas, bloating, and even constipation.


  1. Diversify Your Microbiome – Your gut bacteria play a large role in whether you are fat or thin. They control how you respond to the food you eat: whether you store it as fat or use it as fuel. To turn on your “skinny bacteria” and turn off your “fat bacteria,” eat more probiotic-rich foods, such as: organic miso, sauerkraut, and kim chi. I also recommend taking a probiotic. I recommend getting somewhere between 15 and 50 billion CFU per day, which is a large dose. Work with your doctor to make sure the dose is right for you. Similar to fiber, many people need to start low, such as less than 5 billion CFU per day, and gradually work up to avoid the “die off” reaction (makes you feel achy, tired – like you have the flu), diarrhoea, or other abdominal issues.


  1. Make Your Liver Strong and Healthy – In developed countries between 30 and 50% of the population have “Acute Fatty Liver,” which leads to problems with how you utilize hormones in the body since your liver is like a traffic cop for hormones. What helps? Avoid fructose, sugar, sugar substitutes. Focus on getting liver detoxifiers such as beets or dandelion leaves, or make a tea. There are many other ways to upgrade your hormones, but the priority is to choose your food carefully based on your hormonal issues and to eat it mindfully. If you’re not sure which hormones are out of whack, start with cortisol because it pulls the other hormones offline and must be addressed first when resetting your hormonal harmony.


The End of Your Fork vs. Inside that Pill Bottle….

STOP popping that pill!!!!

Most Naturopathic doctors strongly believe that what’s on the end of your fork is far more powerful and healthy that what is inside a pill bottle. It is more healthy and comforting to see people preventing and curing their various hormonal imbalances with the right exercise and diets than with a little slip of paper from their doctor. There is no silver bullet when it comes to achieving hormonal balance…but there are numerous solutions! Surprisingly there are lots of easy ones at that.




Medical Disclaimer

Information provided in this document is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Sara Gottfried, MD. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging.

Do not use the information provided in this document for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this document. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



Reference: Gottfried S. MD


Joan Fanus

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *