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  • Hyping the Hormone Diet
    A hormonal imbalance can cause all kinds of trouble including mood swings, depression, fatigue, sleep issues, hair loss, heart palpitations, sugar cravings, and difficulty losing weight to name a few. That's where the Hormone Diet steps in. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Hyping the Hormone Diet

Could a hormonal imbalance be responsible for your weight gain?

Ever wonder if your hormones are to blame for your endless struggle with weight gain? A hormonal imbalance can cause all kinds of trouble including mood swings, depression, fatigue, sleep issues, hair loss, heart palpitations, sugar cravings, and difficulty losing weight to name a few.

The Hormone Diet, developed by naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner, sets forth a plan to change your lifestyle and diet in an effort to restore balance to your hormones, improve overall health, and lose weight. According to Turner, hormonal balance and weight loss can be achieved by eating the right combinations of foods at the right time of day, taking supplements, and getting regular, moderate-intensity exercise.

Read on to see how the hormone diet works and if it’s a good fit for you.

Three Phases

The Hormone Diet is divided into three phases that take a total of six weeks. The first phase lasts two weeks and is a time of detoxification. There’s a long list of foods you can’t eat: dairy products, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, red meat, citrus, peanuts, some oils, and artificial sweeteners. Still interested? During these two weeks you eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, fish, poultry, eggs, soy, and gluten-free grains. Probiotics and supplements like fish oil and turmeric are also a part of the two-week detox.

Phase two of the diet allows you to add back certain foods that were off limits, watching how they affect your body. You’re supposed to continue avoiding “hormone-hindering” foods such as non-organic meat, fish with high levels of mercury, high fructose corn syrup, raisins, peanuts, and dates. The recommended foods are low on the glycemic index so they raise your blood sugar slowly. Overall, the meal plan is quite similar to the Mediterranean diet. Two meals a week you get to eat whatever you want.

During phase three, you continue the diet of phase two, but add in cardio and strength-training exercises to improve your overall physical and mental health.

The Pros

The Hormone Diet advocates more than just a temporary way of eating in order to lose weight, but promotes eating, exercise, stress management, and sleep habits that can and should be continued long-term for health, weight loss, and hormone balance.

According to proponents of the diet, if followed properly, it will lead to weight loss because it’s low in calories and encourages exercise. The goal is to lose two pounds a week after phase one. Overall, it’s a healthy diet as it focuses on clean eating and avoiding processed foods.

By losing weight you can improve health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

The Cons

You’ll likely find the first two weeks of the hormone diet the most difficult because of the food restrictions. The plan suggests you’ll lose 12 pounds during phase one. This much weight loss is both unhealthy and unrealistic. After the diet is over, any lost weight is likely to return when you return to your former way of eating.

Also, as with many fad diets, many of the plan’s claims haven’t been scientifically proven, so don’t expect the diet to be the magic cure-all for your health woes. In fact, there’s not much research at all to back up Turner’s claims.
Making the diet more difficult is that it requires regular testing of your body’s pH balance and hormone levels. Hormone tests may not be covered by insurance and require frequent trips to the doctor that take time and money. Tack on the fact that eating organic and buying supplements will likely increase your grocery bill and this one may be one diet you’d be better off skipping.