A New Perspective on Hormone Disruption & Weight Loss

This is Part 3 of a five-part series called Your Weight Isn’t Your Fault.

Whether it’s extra pounds in menopause or bloating around our menstrual cycle, women know that hormones can play a frustrating role in weight gain.

But it’s not just sex hormones like estrogen.

Other hormones directly impact our weight, like insulin and thyroid hormones.

And ALL of these can be negatively impacted by endocrine disrupting chemicals found in our environment, food and personal care products…and have a truly significant impact on your body.

That’s why my clients lose weight when we take a whole body, whole life approach. You can count calories until the cows come home, but there’s almost always more to the story.

Why do thyroid hormones matter?

Easy. They regulate your metabolism.

Disruption can lead to a hypothyroid state where the body basically turns down your metabolism and, for many women, the pounds start to accumulate.

Trust me, this is a big one. With my clients I am seeing hypothyroidism skyrocket over the past couple of years. EVEN ON MEDICATION weight loss can continue to be an issue.

Wait, insulin is a hormone too?

Usually we hear about insulin within the context of diabetes management. Produced by the pancreas, this hormone coordinates the use and storage of food energy.

Some endocrine disruptors have been found to increase insulin resistance (source), a state where cells do not respond to insulin as they normally would, leading to inflammation and weight gain.

Truth: Endocrine disruptors are everywhere.

These chemicals are called “obesogens” because, in short, they make us fat. They stimulate hormones that can increase appetite, reduce metabolism and increase the number and size of fat cells. They make you more likely to gain weight, and less likely to lose it. Here is a sampling:

– PCBs
– Phthalates
– Parabens
– pesticides
– herbicides
– fungicides
– heavy metals

And they are found in everything from your shampoo to your frozen dinner to your front lawn.

Weight loss can be tricky business, but when you know what you’re up against it’s easier to create a smart plan of action.

Help, I think my hormones may be disrupted!

It’s likely, given the world we live in. But there are lots of ways to reduce your exposure and help detoxify your body:

1. Clean up your personal care products. More info on that here.

2. Ditch the plastics. Get a bamboo cutting board to replace that cheap plastic one. Switch to glass storage containers. And never, ever heat plastic in the microwave.

3. Increase fiber consumption to 35g/day. You want to help the detoxification process by having daily (or twice daily) bowel movements.

4. Specific foods to include in your diet to aid your body’s detoxification include: dark, leafy green vegetables, green tea, onions, garlic, turmeric and flaxseed.