Healthy Living

Hormone Diet: Is It Safe, Effective For Weight Loss?

Hormone diet is another weight loss plan that recently started to gain more attention. It promises to help people shed some pounds faster by improving the functions of their hormones. 

Some people struggle to lose weight despite all the exercise and restrictive diets. Hormone diet promotes the idea that it could be because important hormones in their body are not working properly. 

Hormones support different functions in the body. They help manage digestion and growth of bones and muscles. 

Hormones mainly act like chemical messengers that flow across the body to signal cells to perform specific jobs. 

Insulin is one of the well-known and most active hormones. It helps regulate metabolic processes and generate energy. 

Advocates said the hormone diet “resets” hormones to speed up weight loss. Hormone diet combines diet and exercise to manage hormonal imbalances in the body, according to Robert Naughton, a senior lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. 

Naughton cited a book that recommends a three-step program to utilize the diet. He said the plan not only promotes weight loss but also guides people in gaining weight and strength. 

The first two steps in the book focus on changing nutritional habits. Step three encourages people to exercise.

The author said to fully utilize the hormone diet, people should avoid  processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, red meat, cow’s milk and milk byproducts. As they reduce or fully remove such food, their consumption of fruits and vegetables should increase along with poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products from sheep and goats.

To further speed up weight loss or gain, the book recommends doing cardiovascular and strength exercises along with the restricted food consumption. 

Hormone diet mainly uses foods high in fiber and other vitamins and minerals that support bodily functions. The approach avoids food products with high amounts of calories but low nutritional value. 

Is Hormone Diet Effective?

Naughton said the hormone diet may lead to weight loss but not how it promised.

“Generally, the hormone diet recommended in this book is not bad nutritional advice,” he said in an article posted on The Conversation. “However, the key here is that any potential weight loss will probably be from the change in calorie intake, rather than an effect (if any) on your hormones. Weight loss (or body fat loss) is achieved by creating a calorie deficit, not by ‘resetting your hormone balance.’” 

He added there is no scientific evidence supporting the idea that a person could reset hormones for weight loss. But hormone diet still works since it causes calorie deficit through improved nutritional habits and exercise.

diet A study in 2018 found that 31 percent of the U.S. population is at risk for one vitamin deficiency. Pixabay