5 Ways To Optimize Hormones

Natasha Turner is a Toronto-based naturopath (www.clearmedicine.com) and author of New York Times bestseller The Supercharged Hormone Diet. She describes the book as a complete wellness plan to teach men and women of all ages how to do everything they do everyday “to optimize hormones.”

Here, a weight-loss hit list.

1. Excess estrogen
Turner notes that the World Health Organization recognizes excess estrogen as one of the major causes of obesity in men and women. Improve digestion and liver detoxification to help rid the body of surplus estrogen from exposure to things like BPA in plastics, parabens in skin care and birth-control pills.

2. Thyroid
The thyroid produces hormones that regulate metabolism as well as heart and digestive function. Poorly functioning thyroid is one of the most commonly mismanaged conditions, says Turner, and, left untreated, can lead to weight gain and even high cholesterol and heart disease.

3. Better form
Swap the cardio for weight training. Turner says it stimulates more fat-burning adrenalin and more muscle-building growth hormone. Do it in circuit—alternating between two muscle groups each day three days a week. Three sets per muscle group with enough weight that you can reach 12 to 15 reps at most.

Next: It’s all about timing

4. Timing
Keep workouts under 40 minutes. More than that and, according to Turner, most people’s cortisol—our stress hormone—levels increase, which can lead to belly fat. And keep that sweet treat as reward for after, if at all. Turner points out that sugar blunts growth hormone, which we need to build and repair the very muscles we’re working out.

5. Next level
You may not have heard of adiponectin yet, but it’s one of the “fat-loss six” Turner includes in her new book, The Hormone Boost. Read all about it and the others when the book hits shelves in December. She says adiponectin, a fat burner, is released when we exercise andshe’s looking at ways to boost it through diet and supplements. Studies have shown that its concentrations increase during calorie restriction—yet another reason to skip that pre-workout snack

A version of this article appeared in the June 2016 issue with the headline, “Weigh In On Hormones,” p. 58.