The hormonal diet is unique in that it was created exclusively for women whose health directly depends on hormonal levels. Its main idea is to normalize it, as well as to identify which foods from the usual diet cause allergic reactions and inflammation in the body of women. The bonus of all this is weight loss and great well-being.
In any case, if you are sure that you have a hormonal imbalance, or just want to stick to this diet, consult with an endocrinologist and nutritionist first. Spletnik does not urge anyone to go on this diet, but simply talks about its pros, cons and main principles.
What is a hormonal diet
The hormonal diet is a nutritional plan based on the book of Naturopathy Doctor (a type of alternative medicine that is based on the theory that not all processes in living organisms can be scientifically explained) by Natasha Turner. This diet aims to control hormonal fluctuations that trigger weight gain and other health problems.
The diet consists of three phases and lasts six weeks. It is assumed that at the end of it, the hormonal background should return to normal. The diet includes not only nutritional advice, but also a physical activity plan and advice on the use of nutritional supplements and vitamins.
How it works
The first stage involves a two-week detox, during which several food groups are eliminated. These include gluten, cow's milk, peanuts, sugar, artificial sweeteners, red meat, citrus fruits, simple high glycemic carbohydrates, alcohol, and caffeine. You are allowed to eat chicken breasts, eggs, freshly caught wild fish, vegetables and most fruits, chia seeds, most nuts, olive oil, and whole grains such as buckwheat, brown rice and quinoa.
Supplements such as fish oil, anti-inflammatories, and probiotics should also be taken at this stage. At this stage, the body is cleared of excess hormones such as estrogen and cortisol. The first stage of the diet is the most difficult – it can be accompanied by headaches, fatigue and irritability.
At the second stage, some foods should be gradually returned to the diet, describing in detail the body's response to each of them. For example, if you eat yogurt and cause bloating from it, you may need to eliminate it from your diet.
By the end of the fourth week of the diet, you should know which foods you should give up permanently. This phase is still limited, as foods that are supposed to interfere with hormone production should be avoided. These are fish high in mercury, meats and coffee that are not organic, dried fruits such as raisins and dates, peanuts and high fructose corn syrup. Also, avoid processed foods, artificial sweeteners, nitrate foods, and refined grains.
The third stage is to add physical activity, including cardiovascular, strength training, and yoga, and continue to follow the diet of the second stage.
The nice bonus of a hormonal diet is that it includes a cheat meal that can be done once a week. On this day, it is allowed to eat those foods that you have excluded, but love very much, as well as consume more carbohydrates.
Here are some tips to help boost your metabolism and start dieting.
1. When you eat fruit, always eat it with a piece of cheese or nuts.
2. Eat protein for breakfast. For example, eggs or a protein shake.
3. Drink plenty of water.
4. Start your meal with soups or salads to feel full faster.
5. Will help control appetite and save from overeating at night, protein shakes, especially those made on the basis of whey protein, as it lowers insulin levels.
How safe is it
Safe weight loss is considered a weight loss of 0.5-1 kilograms per week, and this should be a combination of changes in diet and exercise. The hormonal diet promises a weight loss of up to 5.5 kilograms in two weeks of the first stage, which is too fast to be considered safe. In addition, weight loss in the first stage occurs only due to changes in nutrition, since workouts are only triggered in the third stage.
Probably most of the initial weight loss is due to excess water being lost. This is a consequence of cutting back on carbohydrates and avoiding other foods. However, this result is not long-term and the weight can easily return after the end of the first phase or if you return to your normal diet.
However, this diet definitely has its advantages. First, it involves eliminating refined sugars and highly processed foods that are, in principle, harmful to all people. Second, most foods allowed on a hormonal diet are high in fiber and low in saturated fat.
Foods such as beans and lentils, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and unsaturated oils are included in this meal plan. They have been well studied and known to have beneficial effects on health,
– says nutritionist Mary Wirtz.
Third, the hormonal diet plan is based in part on the Mediterranean diet, which is based on high-protein foods, vegetables, olive oil and nuts. According to research, the Mediterranean diet is really great for weight loss and weight gain.
But, of course, like any diet, the hormonal one has its drawbacks. The first, as we have already noted, is too fast weight loss in the first two weeks. Second, there is no scientifically substantiated evidence that a hormonal diet helps to normalize sleep, improves the condition of the skin and hair. Finally, it can be overwhelmingly burdensome as it obliges you to cook too much, which most people simply cannot afford due to their lifestyle. If you are used to buying ready-made food and snacking on various snacks, you will have to forget about it.
In addition, if your hormonal balance is severely disturbed, for example, your insulin level is abnormal, hormonal diet will not help here.
The blood is renewed for at least three months. Also, eliminating certain foods does not correct hormonal imbalances. Rather, it is just a balanced diet and control of carbohydrate intake,
– notes nutritionist Yana Maurer.
This diet has another significant disadvantage for those who love meat and cannot imagine a day without coffee. It is assumed that only organic meat and coffee can be eaten, which may simply be beyond the means of ordinary people.
Before you go on a diet that promises to normalize your hormones, make sure that they are the cause of your excess weight or health problems.
Most people do not have hormonal imbalances. They have a lifestyle imbalance. If you suspect that your hormonal balance is disturbed, you should see your doctor instead of going on any diet. Instead, try to eat a balanced diet, eat nutrient-rich foods, and exercise regularly for the best results.
– Maurer advises.