Hormonal imbalances – induced by stress and environmental toxins – make it hard to lose weight, even if you are dieting and exercising. As Natasha Turner, a naturopathic doctor and the founder of the Supercharged Hormone Diet, points out, sometimes over-exercising will actually go against your weight-loss goals by feeding into an imbalance of thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism. Having an excess of certain hormones – such as cortisol, the hormone that spikes when you’re under stress – also feeds into an uncontrollable appetite. So, Turner’s diet starts with a two-week detoxification, designed to clear your body of excess hormones such as estrogen and cortisol. For the next two weeks, you gradually re-introduce foods into your diet to detect which ones you cannot tolerate. By the end of the four-week period, you are ready to follow the Glyci-Mediterranean Diet, which focuses on maintaining stable blood sugar levels and eating foods that are part of a low-carb Mediterranean Diet. High protein food is an important component of the Glyci-Mediterranean Diet as well, since protein stimulates growth hormones, which help you metabolize fats and burn calories quickly. Protein also keeps your blood sugar balanced.
With an endorsement by Christiane Northrup, MD, The Hormone Diet is a three-step program to help you lose weight, gain strength and live younger longer.
The three steps of The Hormone Diet are:
- Renew and Revitalize
- Replenish Your Body and Balance Your Hormones
- Restore Strength, Vigor and Balance
The plan takes six weeks to complete although many of the principles including the nutrition and exercise plan, can be carried out for as long as you like.
Turner calls her food plan “Glyci-Med,” since it’s a mix of foods low on the glycemic index (or GI, meaning they raise blood sugar slowly) and a traditional Mediterranean diet.
Foods you can eat include lean protein (think chicken breasts, eggs, and wild-caught fish); vegetables and most fruit; chia seeds, flaxseeds, and most nuts; olive oil and some other unsaturated oils and fats, like canola oil; and whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and quinoa.
On this plan, you’ll avoid or minimize caffeine, alcohol, fried foods, processed meat, peanuts, saturated fat, full-fat dairy, artificial sweeteners, and simple high-GI carbs like white bread.
You’ll eat often — every 3-4 hours — making healthy food choices at least 80% of the time. But you do get one to two “cheat meals” a week.
How much does it cost?
The diet should not be any costlier than other diets, but if you aren’t used to purchasing chicken and fish, then those could increase costs relative to what you are used to. It also includes some organic foods, such as Ezekiel bread products and Organic Meadow yogurt, which might raise prices.
A variety of recipes are listed in the Hormone Diet, all of which are suitable for people with busy schedules such as busy moms, students, and business executives. Each of its recipes is not only tasty but also healthy, as it improves the digestion process and helps you to get on to the right track of hormonal balance. Some of the recipes are:
- Texas Chilli prepared using ingredients such as lean ground chicken, kidney beans, baby peas, tomatoes and tomato paste, onions, white mushrooms, black pepper, cayenne, and chili powder.
- Vegetarian Chilli with ingredients like kidney beans, nutmeg, tomatoes, green pepper, crushed chili, apple cider vinegar, green pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Jamaican Chicken Curry in a Hurry whose key ingredients are chicken, garlic, ginger root, onion, brown basmati rice, cashews, curry powder, and virgin olive oil.
Will you lose weight?
Yes. If you follow the four-week starter program and continue to follow the Glyci-Mediterranean Diet, you will shed pounds, by first lowering your sugar cravings, and then replacing carbohydrates with protein-rich foods.
Turner says most people lose 5 to 12 pounds during the detox. Although the Glyci-Mediterranean Diet has not yet been researched, the Mediterranean Diet – on which it is in part based – has been extensively researched. According to the studies, the Mediterranean Diet does actually help you lose weight and is linked to a lower likelihood of being overweight or obese. The Glycemic-Index Diet, which emphasizes lower glycemic foods, also has shown short-term weight loss benefits. It’s likely that you will lose weight and keep it off, but the focus of the Glyci-Mediterranean Diet is on restoring your internal health.