Updated: Oct 7, 2019
While it's a good idea to reduce portion sizes and the amount of junk foods you consume when trying to lose weight, getting hung up on the number of calories you eat may not be the most effective approach to weight loss. This is especially true if you are a women over the age of 30.
I believe calorie counting and restriction to be somewhat of a dated approach to weight-loss. An approach that was best suited during a time when we didn't have so many odds stacked up against our hormone health.
Our reality today looks a lot different than it did a couple decades ago. With declining food quality, a toxic water supply, expanding worries and demands, and increasing exposures to hormone disrupting chemicals, we have a lot more to consider when it comes to shedding weight these days.
Chronic stress and poor detoxification are two major factors in what's known as estrogen dominance.
What is estrogen dominance?
Estrogen dominance is a common hormonal imbalance. There are many causes including environmental toxins, gut imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, oral contraceptives, stress, poor liver function, excess weight, lack of exercise, and poor diet.
Estrogen is a reproductive hormone consisting of three types:
Estradiol - The strongest and most prevalent estrogen. It is important for libido, the menstrual cycle, bone health, cardiovascular health, blood sugar balance, brain and nervous system health, and it helps keep skin glowing and youthful looking.
Estrone - Known as the "bad estrogen" too much blocks the benefits of estradiol and increases the risk of blood clots, fat gain, gallstones, and stresses the liver.
Estriol - Referred to as the "good estrogen" it is the weakest and is produced when estradiol and estrone convert to it. Helps block the harmful effects of estrone and is naturally produced in pregnancy.
Estrogen dominance influences weight in the following ways:
It increases the production of thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) which binds to thyroid hormone. This hinders thyroid function and causes metabolism to slow down
Too many environmental estrogen's can slow down liver function and contribute to toxic fat accumulation
It causes excess fat to be stored in the hips, back and thighs
Causes water retention and bloating
Raises insulin levels causing hypoglycemia and cravings
It works the other way around as well - excess body fat increases the production of bad estrogen and encourages estrogen to be stored in fat cells.
Too much estrogen isn't just a weight problem either, it's also a fertility problem as well as a risk factor for cancer.
The best approach to weight loss is focusing on food quality instead of quantity. If we make our food choices based on cost, taste, or the numbers on the food label we are cheating ourselves and our health.
Getting familiar with the right foods, nutrients, and lifestyle practices that encourage detoxification and hormone balance is KEY to weight loss and weight management.
It doesn't have to be complicated, but adopting a lifestyle that helps to counteract the effects of environmental and lifestyle factors can be very beneficial to keeping estrogen balance in check.
Download your Quick-Start Guide to Balanced Hormones and start implementing some hormone balancing habits today!