If we heed the idea developed in the book The Hormone Diet, it’s possible to regulate the endocrine system with diet. According to its author, Dr. Natasha Turner, “There are about 16 types of hormones that affect the ability to lose weight”.
Some of them would be insulin, sex hormones, stress hormones and mood hormones. Intended as a diet to lose weight and improve one’s health, it focuses on the relationship between hormonal functioning and weight loss. So, let’s look a bit more into it.
The hormone diet: a diet for weight loss
The hormone diet promises weight loss thanks to the re-initiation of hormones. It’s based on the idea that the reason why some people find it difficult to lose weight is a hormonal malfunction. Correcting hormonal imbalances in the body is what would allow weight loss and weight maintenance over time.
It also promotes better overall health and detoxification of the body. To achieve this, the key would be eating habits, physical exercise and nutritional supplementation. Hormonal regulation would be achieved by the foods that are ingested, the time of day when meals are taken, and other complementary lifestyle habits.
How does it work?
The diet is designed to be carried out in 3 steps, lasting 6 weeks.
Step 1: Two weeks detox
The first step is about correcting some eating habits and stop eating some foods and nutrients that are harmful.
Alcoholic beverages, caffeinated beverages, gluten, added sugar, dairy products, red meat and citrus fruits aren’t allowed. At the same time, this diet recommends increasing the intake of vegetables, fruits, fish, soy, vegetable drinks, nuts or gluten-free whole grains.
In the words of its creator, the diet is defined as a Mediterranean diet with a low glycemic index.
Step 2: Dietary reintroduction
In a second phase, some of the foods banned in the first weeks can be reintroduced. The list is long and you must always pay attention to the individual tolerance of each of them. In addition, it also encourages to stop consuming a large number of ultra-processed products.
Step 3: Complementary measures to the hormonal diet
Finally, in a third step, it encourages physical exercise to activate hormones and emotional well-being, as well as advice for quality sleep and stress management.
Is the hormone diet bad for your health?
If we look at the habits promoted by the hormone diet, we can’t say that it’s a bad or dangerous diet for our health. Making a caloric decrease, without turning our diet into a severe caloric restriction, and promoting the intake of healthier foods is the basis of many weight loss guidelines.
In addition, the hormone diet restricts the consumption of processed foods. These types of products shouldn’t be present in any type of diet, even if the person isn’t looking to lose weight.
Another of its strong points is that, apart from focusing on food, it puts the focus on sleep, emotional balance, stress -which we should avoid as much as possible- and physical exercise.
However, it’s always advisable for people who want to lose weight to follow an individualized program, according to their energy needs and daily activity. In addition, you should gradually adapt this plan to the weight loss you achieve.
The problem of hormone regulation
The main problem with the hormone diet is that it promises hormonal regulation that scientists still aren’t sure is possible. At the moment, there’s no scientific evidence that this is the case. There are books on the hormone diet and how to apply it, but they aren’t supported by scientific studies.
As we’ve seen, hormones are part of the general functioning of our organism, beyond the regulation of body weight. That’s why pretending to control it only for the purpose of losing weight could be counterproductive.
In addition, this diet promotes great weight loss in only two weeks, which would be unhealthy and unrealistic. However, it could have a negative impact on the metabolism that would end up generating a subsequent weight gain.
The hormone diet: yet another food plan for weight loss
As we’ve seen, for the moment, the hormone diet can be classified as a weight loss diet. Although it promotes healthy eating and lifestyle patterns, it may not be valid for everyone. Without taking into account that many times the rapid decrease of weight isn’t a good strategy to lose weight in the long term. In conclusion, make sure this is right for you before jumping into it.