Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Not So Fantastic Four

The Four Hormones That Work Against Us

As I've promised for days now I am going to tell you about the four hormones in our bodies that make us fat according to Jackie Warner's book, but before I do I want to tell you about an ah-ha moment I had yesterday. So I'm sitting in the doctors office waiting to get pre-op tests done and I'm alone and out of no where I start crying. It's sad because not only was I crying because I don't want to be out of commission for two weeks during recovery (for many reasons;  this new goal weight I've created for myself, finals fall right in the middle of this, and MONEY). Yes sadly our healthcare system is so flawed that my biggest concern was going into more debt. I've had the same surgery done FIVE times before and the first four times I didn't have insurance. The last time I did, but it was still expensive. In my depressed state of mind I was texting my friend Chrystle and my friend Eric. Chrystle asked if she could get me anything to make this better by the time I got home and I told her I really wanted ice cream because it makes things better. I then thought about this. Does ice cream make it better? Will ice cream pay for the surgery or make it so that I don't have to have it? Will ice cream make me happy? The answer to all of this is no. All ice cream is going to do is give me a bigger butt and work against everything I've been doing the last week in a half. So I texted her back and said nevermind on the ice cream. Why do I think that food is going to fix things? It's a bad mindset to have. Now onto the hormones.

Insulin is the hormone thats job is to turn food into energy, but if we are packing in too much insulin in the body it starts to store as fat. It rises and falls depending on what we eat and carbs are huge here. All carbs breakdown into glucose. When we have too much glucose in the body the pancrease has to pump out extra insulin to deive glucose into cells. Blood sugar levels dip lower than they were before you ate the sugar. This is what makes us eat when we don't really need to. With insulin spikes and dips they make us fat. There are ways to get out of the insulin mess. Instead of eating a bagel have oatmeal, the insulin levels start to fall immediately. Exercise also drives insulin down.

Estrogen is good if in the right ammount. It can be a skin toner and a "mood lifter" according to Warner. It works with Progesterone and if the two are balanced then they help burn fat for energy, but once the balance is off and estrogen takes over we become estrogen dominate and that is bad! It leads to weight gain, cellulite and even some female cancers. It slows down the thyroid gland and causes salt and water to be retained in the body as well. It is possible that "a young woman can have the slowed screwed-up metabolism of a menopausal woman," according to Warner. "Estrogen dominance can also cause anxiety, brain fog, low sex drive and poor blood sugar control." Causes of this: processed foods, alcohol and caffeine, meat that is bulked up to sell more food and heating things up in certain plastics in the microwave (look for containers that have a 7 in the recycling code, those don't contain BPA, bisphenol A, an estrogen compound). To get this under control you should eat hormone friendly! Eat organic meat and foods that aren't processed, minimize caffeine and alcohol or eliminate it alltogether, keep your stress levels in check.

Cortisol is made in the adrenal glands and helps regulate blood sugar, moving carbs, proteins and fats into and out of your cells for muscle function. Stress causes your cortisol levels to spike so that you can respond correctly, for example if a kid runs out in front of your car and you have to slam on the breaks. However if your levels are constantly high then this is no good either because your cortisol levels stay high. High levels of cortisol lead to thinning skin, muscle wasting, memory loss, high blood pressure, dizziness, hot flashes, excessive facial hair and other man like tendencies. Stop freaking out about food and weight. Stress really is horrible on your body. One good thing to do when youre stressed out is to work out it balances the body. Keep these levels in check.

Leptin : The fat cells in the body create a hormone and it is leptin. When at the right level this hormone works as an appetite suppresent, but when it's too low it tells your body to store fat, so the thing to do is to keep this hormone high. You can do this by the following: don't eat a lot of asin food because it contains MSG, sleep enough, eat slow, eat fish and eat chicken (as they contain zinc).

 Basically out-or-whack hormones keep us fat so we need to manipulate them to get results we want!


  1. About the ice scream thing, I think almost every woman uses food as thier comfort blanket. It's sad, because I'll tell myself "if I lose 5lbs, I will let myself have {insert food}" or I'll have a bad day and say "I had a bad day so I think I deserve {insert food}". So, lately I've been doing other things like "After I lose 5lbs, I'm going to go get a pedicure" or "I had a bad day. A run will clear my mind". Just my little tid bit.

  2. That's great advice Krisi! One thing that I thought about today was that I'll reward myself with a new accessory or pair of pants because how awesome would it be to get to by jeans that are a size smaller lol. The pedicure thing is a good idea :)