EP 353 – Balancing Hormones for Weight Loss

Weight gain issues can be resolved by understanding all of the factors at play.
- Dr. Taz

In this episode, Dr. Taz delves, once again, into the complex world of weight loss and how hormonal shifts impact women’s bodies. She emphasizes the role of stress in hormonally-based weight gain and the significance of addressing various factors that influence one’s weight. Tune in to gain valuable insights and practical tips for women looking to manage hormonally-driven weight gain.

Today on Super Woman Wellness: 

  • How hormone shifts affect metabolism and weight
  • The importance of managing stress through quality sleep
  • Ways to stabilize blood sugar and manage hormone fluctuations
  • Optimizing nutrition to balance hormones and support weight loss

Dr. Taz: But all of the hormones together work to change where we put weight on and where we’re holding onto weight in our bodies. Now, here’s the good news. You can solve the weight gain issue, you just have to understand all the factors at play.

Hi, everyone, and welcome to Super Woman Wellness. I’m Dr. Taz. I’ve made it my mission throughout my career in integrative medicine to support women in restoring their health, using a blend of eastern medical wisdom with modern science. In this show, I will guide you through different practices to find your power type and fully embody the healthiest and most passionate version of you. I’m here for you and I can’t wait to get started. This is a Soulfire production.

Understanding weight loss continues to be one of the biggest mysteries. I see patients every day in practice who are so frustrated with weight, understanding why they can’t lose weight, and just over it, to be 100% honest. Hi there, I’m Dr. Taz. I’m an integrative health and wellness expert and author of The Hormone Shift. And weight is something that comes up for all of us, myself included, over and over again. Here’s the deal. As women, we have about five major hormone shifts that we all go through. And with each shift, the hormones change, and with those changes, sometimes they work in our favor. Oftentimes, they leave us super confused like, what’s going on? Why am I crying or moody? Or what many women notice and what actually catches their attention, why am I gaining weight?

I actually had a patient yesterday in the exam room and she said, “You know what? When you get to 60, menopause looks like three things. You’re either emaciated, you’re super fat, or you’re fit, and you got to pick which one you’re going to be.” Now, I wish it was that simple, but here’s the truth and reality. Our hormones are determining our metabolism. And when our hormones shift, our metabolic rate shifts as well. This is true for our teenagers. This is true for women in their 20s and 30s. This is absolutely true for all of us in perimenopause and menopause. Here is what essentially is happening.

As the levels of estrogen and progesterone start to change, the metabolic rate shifts. It shifts to one of fat storage, especially if your estrogen is too high or you have too much stored estrogen, and your progesterone is too low. As those two hormones are shifting, testosterone is usually involved somewhere in the mix, but all of the hormones together work to change where we put weight on and where we’re holding onto weight in our bodies. Now, here’s the good news. You can solve the weight gain issue, you just have to understand all the factors at play. So get ready. We’re going to break them all down.

The number one factor at play in hormonally based weight loss is stress. I know, you were waiting for a fancy lab value or a complicated plan, but here’s the honest truth, especially as I practice longer and longer. Stress hormones and the rise in cortisol do so many different things. Disrupt sleep. It really messes with our blood sugar. And it tells the body that they are in a panic mode and they need to hold on to every nutrient possible. Well, we have to learn to beat stress, and a starting point is to sleep.

I love making sure … in fact, it’s a priority for me. To really make sure my patients and myself, that we’re sleeping deeply. We’re falling asleep, we’re staying asleep. We’re solving things like hot flashes or night sweats that come with hormone shifts. This is why I love Sleep Savior, because it’s a combination of magnesium, melatonin, and magnolia bark all put together to help us bring cortisol levels down. As those cortisol levels shift downwards, then we in turn can see lower levels of blood sugar, a more stable insulin level, and an easier time getting rid of hormonally based weight.

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All right. So sleep is a big factor, we know we need to understand it. But it’s tied to the other issue, the fluctuation of hormones. You’re high, you’re low. Estrogen’s here, estrogen’s there. For some of you, that translates as hot flashes or night sweats or some of those very obvious vasomotor symptoms. For others, it’s a little bit more subtle. It may be more mood shifts or feeling hungry all the time, or thirsty all the time, or craving salt and sugar. Using products that really help to regulate the hormone shifts, the swinging of estrogen and progesterone, can help us feel better, and again, give us a healthy night’s sleep. Clearing up our brain, our energy, and our metabolic rate.

Hormone Helper, for example, has Maca in it. Maca is known to regulate these hormone shifts. It also has choline and inositol in it, which clean up the liver, lower blood sugar, and help stabilize your fluctuation through every different hormone shift that you might experience. So understanding that the hormone shifts bring on symptoms, and those symptoms in turn impact the fundamentals of weight loss, like what we crave, how we sleep, our general energy, and so much more, is again, a part of hormonally based weight loss. It needs to be included when we’re coming up with a weight loss plan.

All right. Moving on from stress and sleep to food. We know that food can really impact our hormones and how we gain weight. Now, when hormones are balanced, you have more … cheating bandwidth is probably the best way to say it. Maybe you can have that extra sugar or those extra carbs and it’s not really a big deal. But the minute those hormones go crazy, even a spoon of rice or an extra piece of bread shows up instantly on the belly. Again, that’s because the hormones aren’t balanced. So what do you do? Throw your hands up in the air? No, we’re going to solve this and we’re going to get ahead of it. And the key way to do that is to really increase your protein.

So you want to up your protein. This salad, for example, has about 20 to 30 grams of protein between the lean protein, the pumpkin seeds, a little bit of a cheese in there that’s easy to digest. I believe this is feta. And all of that’s giving us about 20 grams of protein. Ideally, we want about 20 to 30 grams of protein every four hours or so to help keep blood sugar stable and to push the insulin levels down, helping us manage the hormone fluctuations. In addition to the protein, why do I like this particular salad? It’s the fiber. Lots of fiber in here to help to metabolize hormones and push them through the body, helping us with overall hormonal weight loss. So food is going to be a big part of this equation as well.

Now, let’s talk about two more categories when it comes to hormonally based weight loss. Now, one of the big things that we see over and over again is when the hormone shift, it leaves you in a state of depletion. You just don’t feel good. So you’re often self-medicating, right? It’s the extra cup of coffee. Maybe it’s an extra glass of alcohol at night because you just feel on edge. Instead of that, let’s optimize your nutrition. So if you’re low, for example, in B vitamins or the fats or magnesium or zinc, you’re going to feel worse than if you replace those and really optimize those to help with these very many different functions of the body. So again, something like Boost is a methylated B, it has some zinc in it as well, really helping the hormone pathways and helping us to stay in balance.

I have an exciting announcement. My new book, The Hormone Shift: Balance Your Body Through Midlife and Menopause, is out this October and is available for pre-order right now wherever books are sold. Most women, and I’m talking about all women, have been led to believe that entering midlife means existing at the complete mercy of our mysterious hormones. When we take our concerns to our doctors, we’re told that our debilitating symptoms are normal or we’re fine, or it’s all in our head. And I’m here to tell you that fine is not good enough, and it’s absolutely not in our head.

I want all women to thrive through every life stage, so I’ve devised a hormone reset plan that blends together the best of eastern and western medicine to bring your body back into balance, minimize unwanted symptoms, and have you feeling like yourself again. It’s not you, it’s your hormones, and this is not your mother’s perimenopause or menopause. Are you ready to thrive and really embrace this next phase of your life? Go to prh.com/thehormoneshift to pre-order your copy now.

All right, nutrition. I said one more. Last … oh my gosh. I might have another one after this. Okay, two more. We’re almost there, I promise. All right. We talked about nutrients for weight loss. Let’s also talk about the importance of your environment. The higher the toxic load, the harder it is on the liver. The liver is managing all your blood sugar, your insulin, and so much more. So look at your food. Cleaner the food, the better. Look at what you’re using on your body. Your makeup, your skincare, your environment, and so much more. It really does matter when it comes to hormonally based weight loss. In fact, we think that a lot of the weight and the obesity that we’re seeing is due to the chemical load.

And when I have women in their fifties and sixties who have struggled with weight for years, really buckle down and start to eliminate all this stuff out of their diet … everything processed, everything packaged. Dyes, preservatives, excessive salt, excessive sugar, they drop weight like you would not believe. So never underestimate the power of your liver when it comes to weight, and the power of a toxic load blocking you from your ideal weight.

All right. Now I promise, this is the last one, for sure. It brings us full circle, back to the idea of mindfulness and stress. Now, I already talked about how cortisol was one of the biggest players when it comes to weight gain, but how do you manage that beyond food and sleep and some of the things we’ve talked about? A mindfulness routine. And I really want all of you, no matter how old you are, to really develop out this mindfulness routine. I would take 10 to 20 minutes in the morning, 10 to 20 minutes at night, really put these bookends into your day to center in on your breathing, to focus, to concentrate, to regulate your breath. And that in turn helps to lower cortisol, but more importantly, connects you back into your body.

All of this is going to help get your hormones in balance, and we haven’t even touched on the topic of hormone replacement therapy. There’s so many things that you can do to really help with weight loss, especially as your hormones are shifting. So don’t get discouraged, don’t despair. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there too. And things really do turn around when you buckle down and focus on sleep and stress and food and movement, your toxic load, and a mindfulness routine, and so much more.


Watch: Demystifying Hormone Replacement

The number one factor at play in hormonally-based weight loss is stress.
- Dr. Taz

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Starting out on your personal growth journey is filled with ups and downs. It seems like everyone around you is still preaching impractical ‘self-care’ advice that no one actually follows.

It’s no wonder you feel like you’re stuck, while at the same time jumping from one shiny thing to another and never really feeling satisfied.

But I’m here to remind you that having the right support can change your life.

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Dr. Taz Bhatia M.D.