Category Archives: hormones

3 Ways Eating Fat Increases Longevity


Clear your mind of fat-free eating and you will live a long healthy life. There are so many reasons why the concept of eliminating fat (or lowering fat) makes us fat, ruins health and messes with moods,,,,  It is not easy to overcome the low-fat brainwashing we have endured over all these years but it is a necessity for optimal weight, wellness and longevity.

Understanding the link between insulin and aging, metabolic health risk factors and weight and its connection with carbohydrates is a much more solid philosophy than the eat less fat and calories for better health theory.  While applying a simple math equation on paper, weight loss equals fewer calories consumed and more calories burned, seems logical. It is too simplistic for it to hold much value in a complex body system.

Realizing that food is in fact a fuel that has so much more value than just providing calories. Food is essential to life; what you put in your mouth has a profound effect on muscle, appetite, digestion, hormones, mental focus and so much more throughout its metabolism and absorption.

Dr. Joseph Mercola,, writes about how eating more fat can increase longevity through:

1. Genetics: ” In a report published in the August 2013 issue of Cell Reports, scientists discovered that the “mTOR gene” is a significant regulator of the aging process that includes insulin signaling, cellular metabolism and energy balance —in mice.”

2. Clinical parameters: Clinical markers for aging, heart health, appetite regulation and weight improve.

 A 2010 study examined the effects of a high-fat diet on typical markers of aging. Study participants were given a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet with adequate protein, and the results were health improvements across the board. Serum leptin decreased by an average of eight percent, insulin by 48 percent, fasting glucose by 40 percent, triglycerides by nearly eight percent, and free T3 (thyroid hormone) by almost six percent.”

“In fact, Dr. Peter Attia (a Stanford University trained physician) used a ketogenic diet to help improve his own health despite a healthy lifestyle (what he thought was “eating healthy” and consistent physical activity). For 10 years, Attia followed an extreme ketogenic diet,  80 percent of his calories came from fat which included lots of coconut oil, grass-pastured butter, organic pastured eggs, avocado, and raw nuts; moderate amounts of protein and only 5 grams of sugar a day.  His approach, proved that a ketogenic diet can make profound improvements in health risk factors, see the chart below.”  An MRI also confirmed that he had lost both body fat and visceral fat (fat found around internal organs).”

Fasting blood sugar 100 75-95
Percentage body fat 25 10
Waist circumference in inches 40 31
Blood pressure 130/85 110/70
LDL 113 88
HDL 31 67
Triglycerides 152 22
Insulin sensitivity Increased by more than 400 percent


3. Calorie Reduction:

Research has shown that calorie restricted starvation diets can act as an anti-aging strategy by lowering oxidative stress, and insulin levels. High insulin levels contribute to health conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and accelerate aging. The problem is that there is no fuel to nourish your body and it is difficult to function when all you can think about is the food you cannot eat.

Interestingly enough, high fat ketogenic diets can result in the same benefits without having to starve. Lowering carbs to 30-50 grams (fakes the body into thinking it is starving when in fact it is being nourished with nutrient dense foods) will lower insulin and produce similar effects on health markers to help slow down the aging process and improve health.

Afraid to eat fat? I hope not after all this information. Do you want to improve your quality of life? Eat fat because it does not affect hormones in a negative way that will impact your health and make you old. Eat fat, like avocado, butter, coconut etc…because it tastes good, helps to lower insulin and will help provide greater longevity.


Tags: , , , ,

Insulin’s Immense Role in Metabolic Overdrive (MO)

English: Diagram shows insulin release from th...

English: Diagram shows insulin release from the Pancreas and how this lowers blood sugar leves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe it’s just because of its role as a counter-regulatory hormone (it balances out other hormones: cortisol, growth hormone, glucagon etc…) that raises blood sugar ? Maybe it is due to insulin‘s role in fat storage? Or maybe it’s the relation to high blood pressure and heart disease or digestion? But, most likely it is for all of the above reasons that insulin is a main catalyst for MO.

Insulin is a fat storing hormone released by the beta cells in the pancreas. Aside from its major role in blood sugar regulation via the liver, muscle and fat cells, insulin is involved in emotional, cognitive, and the reward system (“a collection of structures in the brain that attempts to regulate and control behavior by inducing pleasurable effects,” and  brain function, nerve function, electrolyte (sodium and potassium) balance and hydration, protein synthesis and muscle-building, the aging process with insulin like growth factor and enzyme activity.

When insulin functions the way it’s supposed to you feel good because everything it’s tied into is running smoothly. When things go amiss it’s a domino effect and anything it is tied into may not do its’ job the way it is supposed to and MO is full throttle,

A healthy lifestyle is the absolute best remedy for this. Exercise, makes insulin work more efficiently. Eating carbohydrates, starch and sugar immediately signals the pancreas to release insulin. Avoiding these foods help give the pancreas a rest. Practicing relaxation techniques helps control stress hormones. No need for the pancreas to work in overdrive when you control blood sugar with these healthy behaviors.

If you answer yes to two or more of these questions, insulin is likely the cause of your MO:

Do commercially prepared carbohydrate foods (such as bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes, rice, beans, desserts, soft drinks, and fruit) make up more than 40 percent of each meal or snack that you eat?

Between meals, do you feel hungry or crave sweets, starches (such as bread), or caffeine (such as coffee)?

Do you feel as if you might be addicted to certain types of sweet foods—as if once you start eating these foods, you can’t stop?

When you eat them, do you feel high, followed quickly by an emotional low?

Have you at any time experienced any of the following?

  • Feeling thirstier than usual, despite normal water consumption
  • Weight gain despite following a weight loss plan or trying to reduce calories or portions
  • Sensation of your heart beating quickly (palpitations), even though you have not exerted yourself
  • Feeling tired in the morning or during the day, despite adequate sleep
  • Feeling sleepy or drowsy after meals
  • Feeling shaky when you are hungry
  • Trembling (shaking) of the hands
  • Blurred vision
  • Bleeding gums, despite good dental care
  • A tingling sensation in your legs or feet
  • Low sex drive/libido (lower than in the past or than what you’d like)
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue that is relieved by eating
  • Dizziness, giddiness, or light-headed
  • Have you noticed a change in your ability to focus or concentrate?
  • Have you recently developed headaches, suffering one more than once a week?
  • Do you feel you have a diminished ability to work under pressure?
  • Do you get up to urinate at night?
  • Do you frequently wake before 5 a.m., even though you have not set an alarm?
  • Do you wake feeling hungry, dry mouthed, or dehydrated?
  • Do you gain weight in your stomach rather than in your hips or thighs?

So if you think your insulin may be behind any of these symptoms, consider making an appointment with your primary care physician. Mention that you think you may have an insulin or blood sugar disorder, and be sure to say whether or not this problem runs in your family. Explain that you are interested in a glucose tolerance test with fasting, 1, 2 and 3 hour insulin levels. If you have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, an early warning sign that diabetes is developing), your 90-minute glucose reading will be lower than your fasting glucose reading. You also might experience a drop in glucose of greater than 30 mm in an hour, or your reading may be below 70. Your sugar is overly high if your fasting glucose is greater than 100, your 2-hour glucose is greater than 140, or if at any point during the test your glucose rises above 200.

If you test normal on your blood work but you answered yes to any of the questions in the quiz, you may be developing an insulin issue that is not yet extreme enough to be detected. If you make no changes to your lifestyle, it may eventually show up!

If you are in MO with an insulin disadvantage, you must strictly adhere to Level 1 eating and you will probably have to stay at this level for a longer period of time than someone who does not have an insulin disadvantage. Follow Level 1 for at least a month, deviating only as needed to ensure that you don’t lose momentum and stop following the plan altogether. You’ll find specific advice for how to modify the plan for success in Chapters 6 and 12 of “The Stubborn Fat Fix“. You also need additional supplements, outlined in Chapter 9.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hormonal Havoc Harnesses Metabolic Overdrive (Part 2)


body-trade-in (Photo credit: cheerfulmonk)

Do not trade in your body for a newer model, until you have tried these remedies for hormonal havoc and Metabolic Overdrive (MO).

Last week Part 1 of Hormonal Havoc Harnesses MO focused on two of the three major sex hormones that need to be aligned to achieve good health and weight loss, estrogen and testosterone,

Progesterone is the third and equally  important hormone as testosterone and estrogen. It teams up with cholesterol to produce the sex hormones, cortisol and DHEA. It is the primary hormone effecting menstruation, fertility and vaginal dryness for women and has been linked to prostate health for men. You men may be interested in this,

What are normal progesterone levels?

You can look ‘em up here,

Causes of Low Progesterone (Low P)

Symptoms of Low P

As mentioned in last week’s blog, hormone levels can start to decline  as early as age 35. Over a 15 year time frame, estrogen levels can drop by 35% while progesterone levels dip by 75%. Low progesterone is tied to a low toleration to stress, the aging process (including wrinkles, thinning skin and hair loss), aches and pains, osteoporosis, fibroids, high blood pressure and stroke. Higher estrogen (for men and women) typically lowers progesterone too.

Women experience more symptoms than men because progesterone plays a bigger role in their health but either gender experiences devastating side effects.




Hot Flashes & Night sweats

Man Boobs

Decreased Libido



Cravings/Weight Gain


Enlarged Prostate

Bone Loss


Heart Disease

Muscle Loss

Hair loss or excess body/facial hair

Male Pattern Baldness

Poor Sleep

Poor Concentration/Memory Loss

Low thyroid


Heavy painful or Irregular Periods

Breast  Tenderness

Mood Swings

Anxiety & Depression

polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

If you found many of the hormone disadvantage questions (see part 1, the link is above) similar to the thyroid questions,, there’s a good reason for that. These conditions generally overlap. Most people who have one condition also have the other. If you answered yes to two or more questions or experience any of the symptoms above, consider making an appointment with your physician to test progesterone and all the hormones that “intermingle”, DHEA, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and melatonin.

If you have a normal test result but answered yes to any of the starred questions in the quiz, you may be developing a hormone disadvantage that is not yet extreme enough to be detected by medical tests. If you make no changes to your lifestyle, it may eventually show up.

If despite a normal test result you suspect you may have a hormone disadvantage, follow Level 1 eating but do not use the specific hormone disadvantage supplements. These supplements are effective when treating a problem, but they do pose some risks. Don’t take them unless you are definitely sure you need them. With a doctors approval and a confirmed hormone disadvantage, use the supplements described in Chapter 9. You may also want to speak with your doctor and consider a natural “USP progesterone” cream containing 400-500 mg of progesterone per ounce. Women need about a quarter and men need about an eighth of a teaspoon to be applied to the chest, abdomen, inner arms or inner thighs.

Weight loss may not come as easy as someone who does not have a hormone disadvantage, but you will see results and you can meet your goals.

Insulin is last but certainly not least on the MO list to be discussed next week. Until then…


Tags: , , , ,

Hormonal Havoc Harnesses Metabolic Overdrive (Part1)

We all know that the fountain of youth does not exist but if you feel the need to turn back the hands of time consider balancing sex hormones. Hormone levels begin to change by age 30-35.

As each of these hormones reach “out-of-whack” status, additional hormones like insulin and cortisol are negatively affected compounding metabolic overdrive (MO) for weight and health.

Hormonal overdrive or MO, through the involvement of insulin and cortisol, is linked with metabolic disorders: obesity, diabetes,  metabolic syndrome (in normal weight people too) and heart disease.

Ask yourself some of these general questions if you think hormones are at the root of your (MO).

1. Are you tired during the day?

2. Do you have a low sex drive/libido (lower than in the past or than what you’d like)?

3. Do you have difficulty sleeping (it takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, and you wake more than once at night)?

4. Have you gained weight, despite following a weight loss plan or trying to reduce calories or portions?

5. Are you depressed?

Women only:

1. Is your hair thinning?

2. Do you have facial hair?

3. Do you retain water?

4. Do you skip periods, have periods more frequently than once a month, or menstruate irregularly, even though you are not peri-menopausal or post-menopausal?

5. Do you bleed heavily during your periods (soaking through a tampon or pad within an hour)?

6. Do you feel irritable, bloated, or fatigued in the days leading up to your period?

7. Do you have hot f lashes or night sweats, even though you are not peri-menopausal?

Men only:

1. Are you developing breasts?

2. Do you have impotence or erectile dysfunction?

3. Have you been diagnosed with a low sperm count?

If you have answered yes to two or more questions, your hormones may be out of balance and need adjusting.

The goal is to balance testosterone, progesterone and estrogen for both men and women.

 High Estrogen  

When in excess, estrogen promotes fat gain, and the enlarged fat tissue produces more estrogen within its cells, which then promotes more fat gain, and so on.

Specific factors contributing to this include:

  • Age
  • Medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist about medicine that may increase estrogen, such as the pill, steroids, antifungals, antibiotics etc…
  • Drugs like cocaine and marijuana
  • Weight, fat cells store and secrete estrogen, the heavier you are the greater risk for higher levels of estrogen
  • hormone disrupting Chemicals and xenoestrogens,,  “cleaning products, air fresheners, hair dyes, cosmetics, and sunscreens. Many observations suggesting that endocrine disruptors do contribute to cancer, diabetes, obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and infertility”. Others that top the list are  BPA stands for bisphenol A), pesticides, and even hormone laden meats and foods.
  • Certain diseases effecting the liver, thyroid, adrenal glands or kidney

Men may have symptoms including: man boobs, abdominal obesity,  loss of lean body mass and lack of energy. There are more symptoms listed here,

Women gain weight all over; the stomach, arms, hips and thighs and the butt, more details here,

Low T (Low Testosterone)

Low T can cause changes in weight by converting lean body mass into fat. It can also lower libido and cause brain fog, anxiety and fatigue. For women, low T also contributes to hot flashes and vaginal dryness fatigue. When estrogen is high, there is a good chance testosterone is low.

Medications that may lower T include antidepressants, statins, blood pressure pills and many more, check  this out,

It is possible to raise testosterone naturally, here is one of my favorite articles on the topic,

This is not the whole story, there is another important sex hormone, progesterone. Next week I will add progesterone to the mix and wrap it all up so you can take steps to bring hormone levels back in good working order.

Related stories:


Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Thyroid Tie-In To Metabolic Overdrive

English: Scheme of the thyroid gland. 한국어: 갑상선 개요도

English: Scheme of the thyroid gland. 한국어: 갑상선 개요도 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The thyroid, is a butterfly-shaped gland found in the neck that releases thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones are tied to many body functions, such as mood,  metabolism of vitamins, carbs, proteins and fats, body temperature, energy levels, heart rate, bone growth and the body’s  use of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands.

Because the thyroid is involved in so many body functions, if it is off by even a little you may feel one or more of the following symptoms: depression or anxiety,  difficulty in maintaining, losing or gaining weight, feeling cold, a general lack of energy, thinning hair, brittle nails, insomnia, high cholesterol,  constipation, low sex drive and much, much more.

A “short-circuit” in the thyroid can be caused by: an autoimmune “attack”, stress, nutritional inadequacy (low iodine or selenium), pregnancy or environmental chemicals such as PCBs, phthalates, bisphenol A, brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated chemicals;

What are the symptoms of a “short-circuit” in the thyroid gland?                                                  

Answer each of the following questions with a yes or no.

1. Do you suffer from cold hands and feet, even when you are in a heated room?

2. Do you feel depressed, lethargic, unmotivated, or hopeless?

3. Do you suffer from constipation?

4. Do your nails break easily?

5. Do you have a low sex drive/libido (lower than in the past or than what you’d like)?

6. Do you have difficulty sleeping (it takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep and you wake more than once at night)?

7. Do you feel tired during the day?

8. Have you recently gained weight, even though you were not overeating?

9. Have the hairs along the outer one-third of your eyebrows thinned or fallen out?

10. Do you suffer from muscle aches or joint pain, despite doing nothing more rigorous than your daily activities?

11. Is your temperature below 98.5°F when you first wake up?

12. Is your total cholesterol above 200 or your LDL cholesterol above 130?

 For Women Only:

1. Even though you are not perimenopausal or postmenopausal, do you skip periods, have periods more frequently than once a month, or menstruate irregularly?

2. Is your hair thinning?

If you answered yes to two or more questions, consider making an appointment with your physician for a thyroid test. If you have a normal test result but answered yes to any of the starred questions, you may have a thyroid issue that is too mild to be diagnosed by a medical test.

The American College of Clinical Endocrinologists estimates that 1 in 10 Americans have an under active thyroid and that half remain undiagnosed. Thyroid conditions typically affect women over 35 but men are not immune.

The thyroid, when not performing well, can be detrimental to the adrenal glands (both can also negatively affect  blood sugar); which can create a domino effect sending metabolic overdrive into full throttle.  This domino effect makes health extremely difficult to manage because instead of just one body system malfunctioning you now have 2 or more systems “out of whack”.  Each body function (insulin, cortisol, thyroid, yeast, sex hormones), although independent, are intertwined.

If MO has affected your thyroid, bring it back to health using “The Stubborn Fat Fix”, Level 2 is the eating plan to use and take the supplements outlined for the thyroid disadvantage in Chapter 9. You may not lose weight as quickly as someone who does not have a thyroid disadvantage, but you will see results and you can meet your goals.

What is candida and how does it put you in metabolic overdrive? Find out next week!


Tags: , , , , , ,

What is Metabolic Overdrive?


Health (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

When health markers are not within the normal range, it is your body’s way of communicating. It is begging for your attention. Your heart, pancreas, thyroid and other organs cannot speak to you directly but they can send you signals that should grab your attention.    

How Healthy is Your Metabolism?

Do you feel tired all the time?

Do you wake frequently at night?

Do you feel hungry between meals, even if you’ve just eaten?

Do you crave candy, soda, coffee or any stimulant especially in the mid afternoon?

If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, you have some of the classic symptoms of a metabolic disadvantage. An underlying medical condition is likely blocking your every attempt to lose weight, improve energy levels or health.


Metabolic overdrive (MO)  is the result of environmental stress and its impact on revving up metabolism.  There are many different ways this happens. MO occurs: when you are stressed, after tossing  back a triple shot espresso, with excess exercise, with eating from a toxic food supply containing refined/processed foods or with a lack of sleep. Being exposed to one or more of these metabolic stresses for long periods of time causes burn out to organs that work to achieve balance by counteracting these metabolic stressors. Most people assume the goal is to speed up their metabolism.  Yet, this is not true and can make MO worse.

Stress and lack of sleep, for example, cause the adrenal glands to overproduce the stress hormone cortisol and keep levels elevated. Cortisol is released as part of the fight or flight response to a perceived threat to survival. When cortisol increases, so does blood glucose, in order to provide your muscles with fuel to fight or flee. The problem is that your muscle cells don’t need the glucose when you are responding to emotional stress or lack of sleep, so the hormone insulin increases to shuttle the excess glucose into your fat cells—usually the ones in your abdomen. In an overspent state, insulin does this very efficiently. Too much insulin causes blood glucose to drop too quickly. You crave the one thing that can quickly raise blood glucose: sugar. If you turn to sugar – as most people under stress do–glucose rises, insulin rises, glucose falls. You’re hungry again. You’re like a gambler with a huge wad of cash in your pocket. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but you generally lose more than you win, and the cash starts to dwindle.

Overdrive can also result from eating a lot of sugar, HFCS, and refined foods. In this case, blood sugar rapidly rises and falls, and so does insulin. To compensate for the volatility of rapid rises and falls in sugar and hormones, the metabolism runs fast. In fact, many people  who have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are fairly slender. It’s not until they progress to the “metabolic resistance stage” that they start to gain weight.

MO can impact all of these metabolic systems: thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, sex hormones and  the gut. Find out how next week.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hunger Hormones Hating On Your Weight? Set Them Straight

We tend to think that if we just shut our mouth, if we just eat less, if we just exercise more it will result in weight loss. If you haven’t heard yet, life is not so simple and neither is weight loss for many people. “Are Hunger Hormones Hating On Your Weight”, explains how “out-of whack” hormones (leptin and ghrelin) can trigger a ravenous appetite and then of course uncontrolled eating; making it very difficult to simply just eat less.

What is important to understand is:

  • Hormones are effected by everything: age, medication, what you eat, how much you exercise and sleep.
  • The domino effect, when one hormone is not doing what it should it sets off a chain of events that affects everybody process: other hormones (insulin, estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, cortisol), communication signals, digestion/absorption of nutrients, sleep, mood…
  • Internal hormonal cues may make it impossible to quench appetite forcing you to eat more even when you are not hungry.
  • Hormones do not discriminate they affect thin people too that is why there are 30 million Americans who are normal weight according to BMI charts but obese when body fat is measured, When hormones go haywire, thin people get diabetes,, too; so thin or not, always get blood work checked based on family history not just if you look fit on the outside. It’s what is happening on the inside that counts.

It takes work, hard consistent work for as little as a few months and up to as long as a few years (depending on the depth of the issue) to undo the damage but re-setting hormones that hate on your weight and your health is not impossible.


Diet and supplements are top on the list to harness hormones for balanced health and eating.  Consider minimizing foods that influence hormones. Carbohydrates influence hormones more than any other nutrients. Healthy fats will help provide satiety and should comprise about 70% of daily calories, ketosis was found to suppress ghrelin levels and therefore repress appetite.

Exchange typical convenience foods: bread, bagels, cereal, pretzels, granola, processed rice, potatoes, for real food: eggs, Greek yogurt/cottage cheese, fish, organic coconut, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds and a variety of meats.  Eat 3 filling meals and try to avoid snacks if possible.


Nutritional supplements help repair overworked hormone secreting cells and organs.Always discuss supplements with your doctor before taking them. Supplements that support leptin include:

Melatonin is a hormone typically associated with sleep. Take this supplement before going to bed, not first thing in the morning, before you get behind the wheel or operate heavy machinery.  It also has been shown to lower leptin levels, use 1-3 mg. Melatonin interacts with blood-thinning medications, birth control pills, diabetes drugs, and immunosuppressants.

L-Carnitine, 1000mg, is an amino acid that helps convert fat to energy and acts as an antioxidant. It is important for heart and brain function, muscle movement and has been shown to reduce leptin levels by as much as 6%.

CLA  or Conjugated linoleic acid is fatty acid found primarily in meat and dairy products. It has been shown to lower body fat while preserving lean body mass and reduces insulin resistance (IR), take 1000mg. There is a connection between IR and leptin resistance. Higher levels of CLA in the blood have been shown to reduce leptin levels.

Omega 3 fats are essential (meaning we need to get them from the food we eat) fatty acids. They have been found to have many health benefits for: reducing  risks of heart disease, inflammation/arthritis, cancer while improving brain function, memory and behavior, 1000mg was shown to reduce leptin levels by 22%.


Daily exercise is important if you want to control appetite signals everyday vs. if you exercise 3 times/week. daily Moderate intensity aerobic exercise ( build up to 30 minutes if you do not exercise at all but do not stop there shoot for an hour; even if you have to break it up into 3 twenty-minute bouts. There are also studies showing that strength training reduces leptin levels by 30%.

Set your hunger hormones straight with the right diet, supplement and exercise plan. If  leptin levels are normal, appetite will be controlled and weight loss will ensue.


Tags: , , , , , , ,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,409 other followers