We cut out junk foods, eat more whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables and less fat. We try to exercise, drink water all day and eat smaller portions. “Boring, it hasn't worked for me” many will say. Why then, do we really gain weight – has it something to do with hormones? Yes and a whole lot more: gluten, dairy or blood type intolerances, stress reactions, inflammation, insulin resistance, parasites and heavy metal toxicity are factors that weight loss products do not address. The key to slimming is to face your fat factors, one by one:
Blood type conflicts
Blood type dieting is often scoffed at by practitioners. They do not understand that one is pre-programmed to accept or reject certain foods, regardless of their proclaimed health benefits. Lectins are chemicals in food that can disrupt insulin or thyroid activity and cause inflammation and weight gain. For all blood types, an overriding gluten (wheat, rye, barley and occacionally oats) or dairy (lactose or casein) intolerance may also be present. What are the dominant fat foods for each blood type?
Blood type A: kidney beans, lima beans, chick peas (hummus), potatoes and sweet potatoes. For them, the lectins they contain bind to insulin receptors and stimulate the growth of fat. 20% of blood type A do not secrete antigens in the saliva or digestive tract, (non-secretors) so wheat and maize will also cause weight gain and immune reactions.
Blood type B: lentils (dhal) all wheat, maize, buckwheat and rye products, chickpeas (hummus), peanuts, coconut and for non-secretors: soya products, potatoes and fructose.
Blood type AB: chick peas (hummus), buckwheat, sorghum, lima and kidney beans, coconut, sago, tapioca, sesame and sunflower seeds. Non-secretors: all wheat products cause weight gain or immune reactions.
Blood type O: all wheat and maize products, sorghum, kidney beans, barley and peanuts. Cabbage in excess blocks thyroid hormones. Secretors: lentils. Non-secretors: chick peas, oats and all soya products. Simple sugars and carbohydrates - true for all, but insulin resistance is most prevalent in this sub-group.
Hormones behaving badly
1 Oestrogen: Fat cells increase and swell up with fluidwhen oestrogen levels get too high. Fat cells produce inflammatory chemicals. Birth control pills, hormone replacements and oestrogen from the diet provoke weight gaining tendencies. The fatter you get, the more oestrogen you make out of androgenic hormones like testosterone. Men also gain weight when oestrogen gets out of control. Excessive oestrogen shuts down thyroid activity and causes more weight gain along with sluggishness, junk food cravings and depression.
2 Thyroid: Heavy metal toxicity combined with meal skipping or starvation sets off a secondary thyroid response: reverse thyroid hormone (RT3) that actively resists fuel burning and encourages fat accumulation. When in this mode, any attempt to nibble at mean little diet portions will make one gain weight. Some foods are low in kilojoules, like cabbage, kale and broccoli; but they are goitrogenic: meaning they inhibit the thyroid output and slow down your metabolism. Hormones, not food are what really make you fat! Guten intolerance can harm the thyroid even more.
3 Insulin: Insulin resistance sets in due to an excessive and almost continuous intake of sugar and refined starches in search of “energy”. When insulin cannot pump sugar into hungry cells it compensates by bundling it into triglycerides (3 glucose molecules) and up goes the blood pressure! High blood pressure and inflammation are the first indicators of insulin resistance before raised blood sugar levels confirm that syndrome X or type 2 or adult onset diabetes is emerging. Non-nutritive sweeteners also stimulate the release of insulin and can result in insulin resistance and hypoglycaemia. As you can see, counting kilojoules is not the answer. Slowing down insulin reactions with whole grain foods, more fibre, protein and good fats is preferable. Adding acid to sweet fruits also calms down insulin reactions: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or citric acid. Fruit juices contain excessive sugar and no fibre, so dilute grape or apple juice and add the acid. It is better to chew a sour green apple. The skin of sour, green fruit is rich in chromium and so are green beans. Insulin sensitivity is amplified by adding ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder to food and by taking zinc and chrome supplement.
4 PCOS: PCOS or the polycystic ovarian syndrome is a cluster of symptoms, beginning with insulin resistance. It causes a rise in DHT (dihyroststosterone) and releases it directly into the bloodstream. This hormone can cause weight gain, infertility, adult acne and balding or beard hair and ovaries that enlarge into cysts. It is caused by eating more sugar and refined carbohydrates than the pancreas can handle at one time. Chasteberry tincture helps to modify these effects but control over insulin is far more important.
5 Cortisol: Cortisol is an anabolic steroid hormone and opposes fat burning. When we are constantly stressed, the excess cortisol we generate causes the waistline expand, resulting in the “apple shape”. Inflammatory responses, insulin resistance and systemic acidity take their toll. Eating or not eating then causes one to become helplessly, morbidly obese. Sound familiar? But to control inflammation, the drug of choice is cortisol, known as cortisone or prednisone. Why? Even if asthma has been caused by a wheat intolerance or food reaction? Some of us can just look at food and get obese because hormones are our fat factors.
6 Leptin: This hormone controls satiation and we feel full after a meal. Leptin resistant laboratory rats keep eating and expanding till they almost explode! Insulin resistance and leptin resistance go and in hand, and so do carbohydrate and sugar cravings. A higher salt intake stimulates the love of sugar and of all things refined, fried and fatty. People who are wheat intolerant become addicted to junk foods. Wheat-laden foods and sugar are so ubiquitous, cheap and convenient. Eat more, crave more, but cutting the portions is not the answer.
Food that disagrees attracts parasites and makes you fat:
It is odd to be asked: “I am on blood pressure and cholesterol medication and I take Glucophage for my blood sugar. I am overweight. Would a slimming product conflict with my prescription?” These are the classic 4 symptoms of insulin resistance known as syndrome X from eating badly. Can all of us really eat the foods we love and just take a diet pill? An allergenic addiction to soft drinks, salty fries and flavoured snacks, sugar-laden chocolates, cream cakes and cookies full of wheat is not love at first sight. It is a toxic kickback as the body releases morphine-like drugs to dull the senses after loading up on what we call anti-nutrients. Addiction to foods that are not tolerated by over 60% of the population eg: “healthy whole wheat” or gluten in genetically predisposed people causes: inflammation, high histamine levels, thyroid restriction, blood thickening, fat accumulation and acidity. These foods form sticky residues that become a restaurant for parasites, especially tapeworms, flukes and other microbes including deadly moulds called mycotoxins. They invade the gut lining and cause swelling, bloating and water retention. A diet rich in natural probiotics keeps them under control. Herbal parasite remedies and especially olive leaf need to be taken regularly.
An eating plan that really suits your body type as well as blood type, hormonal requirements and lifestyle is a specialised undertaking so consult a registered Dietician or Practitioner skilled in Natural Protocols to do the fine tuning. Medications begin to clash with dietary improvements or supplements that lower blood sugar and blood pressure naturally. Regular monitoring of your progress and reducing medications is essential. Doctors are not supposed to prescribe medications or hormones if the patient’s kidneys or liver are not healthy or there is a history of heart disease. But do they? Are you warned about the side effects – weight gain, bloating or blood thickening? This is why your food needs to become your medicine and that includes the way it affects your hormones. The better your blood type selection suits you, the better you will look and feel. You will enjoy the benefits of a healthy liver, digestive system and kidneys. Your moods will improve and so will your immunity.
Most people who are stuck in the fat channel are wheat or gluten intolerant with compromised thyroid activity.
After detoxification keep your insulin at bay, boost the thyroid and calm down the cortisol.
10 ways to spring clean for more effective slimming.
By health Researcher: Sue Visser August 2010 929 words
1 First fix the adrenals:
Stress causing constant cortisol output and inflammation makes you fat, weak and tired. Take adaptogens, a good multivitamin, calcium and magnesium and 100mg vitamin B5 2x per day but discuss this protocol with your practitioner. Cortisone treatment causes profuse weight gain in some people. Clean out gluten, milk and other intolerances that may be to blame in the first place. Seek counselling for controlling stress reactions.
2 Boost up the thyroid:
As soon as the adrenals are strong enough, then select Lugol's iodine or Coleus tincture if thyroid activity is too low. Avoid foods that interfere with the thyroid, known as goitrogens like excess cabbage (a little sauerkraut is fine), kale, broccoli, cauliflower and millet. Ask a practitioner who is skilled in Natural Medicine to balance thyroid hormones, concentrating on T3 conversion (instead of upping the Eltroxin -T4 all the time) Blood tests are not reliable, so ask for a 24 hour urine test to also check oestrogen, adrenal and other hormones. RT3, the reverse thyroid syndrome requires heavy metal detoxification. (Also see the article about thyroid problems in issue 32.)
3 Oestrogen reduction:
Digestive bitters, B vitamins, fibre, Lugol's iodine and exercise help to break down and clear excess oestrogen. Oestrogen dominance also affects thyroid hormones so have 2 teaspoons of ground-up flaxseeds every day. It also keeps hot flushes at bay. Vitamin B6 keeps water retention under control. Cut the saturated fat and consume more anti-inflammatory Omega 3 oil. Boost natural progesterone levels with Chasteberry, flaxseeds and probiotics.
4 Deal with parasites, microbes and mycotoxins (moulds):
Parasites rob you of nutrients and release toxic residues that cause acidity. Take herbal remedies, de-worm yourself and the pets. Some people use electronic zappers of Rife frequencies to good effect, especially to deal with bloating caused by candidiasis that increases fluid retention in fat cells. Candidiasis is when yeast converts to a harmful mould that destroys all your B-vitamins including vitamin B6. Take probiotics and eat sauerkraut, natural yoghurt, maas and fermented foods like olives and pickles to maintain hormonal balance, root out parasites and strengthen immunity.
5 Flush out the kidneys:
Make fresh juice from parsley, celery, lemon juice and apples or cucumber. Take magnesium chloride or “Concentrace” drops with vitamin B6 to prevent kidney stones. Eating just watermelon all morning is also an effective kidney flusher. It is important to have healthy kidneys prior to heavy metal detoxification and liver and gallbladder flushing. Being more alkaline and having adequate calcium and magnesium supplements prevents kidney stones. Otherwise calcium is removed from your bones, resulting in osteoporosis.
6 Heavy metal removal:
Make a morning juice out of: 1 cup water, ½ cup fresh coriander leaves (dhania), 1 cup parsley, 1 chopped apple, ½ lemon. Drink half of it at once. Eat apples all morning and take 10 chlorella tablets, to bind the toxins as they loosen. Eat a lot of garlic to protect blood cells. In the evening take a calcium and magnesium supplement. Repeat this process for 3 days every week. 2-4 sessions should lessen the load. It is often a major cause of infertility, but most important is the effect heavy metals have on the thyroid, and hence weight gain.
7 Clean out the liver, gallbladder and digestive tract:
Eat fat free for two days. On the second afternoon take 1-2 teaspoons of Epsom salts mixed in hot water, cooled down. Repeat 1 hour after supper. At bedtime take ½ cup olive oil mixed with ½ cup lemon juice. Next morning take more Epsom salts. Wait for the gush of gallstones and expel all the old muck. Then eat normally but not junk foods.
8 Lymphatic drainage:
Dry brush the arms and legs towards the torso with a rough towel. Have a mineral bath. Jump on a rebound trampoline for 20 minute sessions as this clears out sluggish lymph channels. Drink plenty of water with mineral drops or lemon juice. Have a professional treatment if congestion is severe.
9 Make yourself more alkaline:
Systemic acidity encourages inflammation and as soon as LDL cholesterol begins to oxidize it becomes sticky and adheres to artery walls. It converts to oestrogen, pumps up the fat cells and you gain weight. Add 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice to your first and last glass of water every day. Rub salt onto lemon slices and eat them with meals. Drink a Himalayan salt “sole” solution in the mornings or Concentrace mineral drops. Take tissue salts: NAT PHOS and NAT SULPH. At bedtime take calcium and magnesium to prevent calcium loss during the night. Remember that reacting badly to stress makes one acidic, so take a deep breath and rather smile off the cortisol.
10 Stabilize blood sugar and insulin reactions with a proper eating plan
Take chrome supplements and zinc to improve insulin activity. Eat frequent small meals consisting of a portion of protein and healthy fats like walnuts, almonds, eggs or fish with unlimited salads and vegetables. Avoid very sweet fruit and starchy foods. For a pick me up: replace fizzy drinks and junk snacks with this powderful remedy: drink a cup of boiling water with 2 teaspoons of bitter blackstrap molasses. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to enhance insulin uptake. You will be surprised how good you feel for the rest of the day. Have more after dinner. Some diabetics say they also enjoy it, especially when they fast. After 3 weeks on a blood type diet most people lose weight easily and naturally and are able to keep it off. So can you!
DISCLAIMER: This information should not be used to diagnose or treat conditions. Natural remedies often duplicate the action of prescribed drugs so please consult a knowledgeable practitioner. The author and publisher accept no responsibility for the application of this article.
1 The type1/type2 allergy relief program by Dr Alan Levin. Publisher: Tarcher 1983 ISBN 0-87477-258-3
2 The Anti-Ageing Zone by Barry Sears. Publisher: Harper Collins 1999 ISBN 0 7225 3860 X
3 HEALTHY HAPPY EATING by Sue Visser. Publisher: Anderson 2004 ISBN 0 - 9584583 - 8 – 3
4 Low Blood Sugar by Martin Budd. Publisher: Thorsons 1995 ISBN 0 7225 31192
5 The Cure for All Diseases by Hulda Regehr Clark. Publisher: Promotion Publishing 1995 ISBN 1 – 887314 – 02 -4
6 Natural Alternatives to dieting by Marilyn glenville. Publisher: Kyle Cathie Ltd. 1999. ISBN 1 85626 317 7
7 Nutrition & Healing by J V Wright. Vol 3 No 1, Vol 4 No 10, Vol 9 No 6, Vol 6 No 10. Fleet Street Publications
References – direct links (only if asked)
Women, Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle: Herbal and Medical Solutions By Ruth Trickey
Studies comparing hormonally healthy and unhealthy women show that a diet high in carbohydrates, low in fibre and high in saturated fats increase the risk of oestrogen dependent conditions including cancers. This is because:
fats stimulate the enzyme in gut bacteria to convert and reabsorb more oestrogen
obesity provides more peripheral androgens to be converted to oestrogen increasing the risk of breast cancer, fibroids and endometriosis
B6 deficiency makes tissues in the uterus and breast more sensitive to the stimulation of oestrogen increasing the risks of cancer
Dietary fibre reduces oestrogen levels in blood and urine
Culture milk products and yogurt reduce the enzymes in gut bacteria, increasing eliminated oestrogen
Consume Phyto oestrogens (Sue: nor soya – blood type O & B non-secretor. Also Trypsin inhibitors)
Take medicinal herbs
Cabbage family increase the rate the liver eliminated oestrogen (Sue: but what about goitrogens and thyroid?)
Higher protein intake improves metabolism of oestrogen in the liver, the best sources are grains, nuts and seeds, legumes and low fat meat
Bitters help liver clearance of oestrogens
Foods high in methionine (beans, legumes, onions, garlic) assist in the methylation of oestradiol to oestriol a less potent oestrogen
Increased fibre helps transport oestrogen out of the body
Exercise helps oestrogen clearance
Flax seeds are a triple threat against acne. First of all they're high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats reduce inflammatory responses in the body, including the skin. Second they contain hormone-balancing lignans. Lignans have been shown to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme involved in the conversion of testosterone to DHT (its more active form). In other words, it helps to balance the production of androgens, which, in excess can cause acne. Third, essential fatty acids strengthen the skin's cell membranes, thus hydrating the innermost layer of skin. This makes skin less suseptible to hormonal fluctuations and more resilient to infection.
Flax seeds contain high amounts of anti-oxidant compounds called lignans. Lignans are a group of phytochemicals that have weakly estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties. One study done at the University of Rochester found that women who ate flax seeds during the study had a higher raio of LP progesterone to estradiol. What does this mean? It means that flax seeds balanced the ratio of progesterone to estrogen. For women with estrogen dominance syndrome, this can mean a lot, including the diminishing of fibroids, cysts, PMS, and the regulation of periods. In addition, the study found that eating flax seeds lengthened the second half of the cycle (the progesterone-dominant half), leading to more consistent ovulation. In the study, all of the women who ate flax seeds ovulated every month for the three month study. Conversely, the women in the study who didn't eat any flax seeds did experience some anovulatory cycles. What does this mean in plain English? That daily use of flax seeds can help promote hormone balance and fertility. In addition, one study found that eating flax seeds decreased hot flashes by 60%. Flax seeds can also help with diminishing cramps. The body turns omega-3 fatty acids into series 1 and 3 anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (hormone-like substances made by the body from essential fatty acids). The prostiglandins are the body's natural defense against inflammation and pain. So flax seeds can actually help decrease cramps and may aid in curbing some of the symptoms of endometriosis, adenomyosis, and other inflammatory symptoms during a woman's cycle. Which brings us to...
Flax Seeds for fighting inflammation These prostaglandins are also helpful in decreasing inflammation througout the body, and may help to control inflammatory diseases like asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoporosis. [Personal note: I haven't had to use my asthma inhaler once since I started eating flax seeds].