The Hormone Reset Diet is a recently published health book written by Sara Gottfried, M.D., who is also the author of The Hormone Cure. The tagline for her book is “heal your metabolism to lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days.” In the world of weight loss, the topic of hormones is seldom talked about. Most of the time, people think about calories and exercise as the only factors that matter in weight loss. That is where this book comes in. Dr. Gottfried discusses that your body can develop resistance to the seven major metabolic hormones. When this happens, your metabolism slows down as your body raises hormone levels in order to adjust to this resistance, leading to weight gain. Through scientific research, Dr. Gottfried’s solution to this hormonal imbalance is to reset the efficiency of those major hormones by repairing and growing new hormone receptors in the body. Her book claims to help you boost metabolism and calorie burning ability by growing new thyroid receptors, encourage weight loss by rebalancing estrogen and progesterone receptors, reverse the aging process by resetting glucocorticoid receptors, and more.
The Seven Hormone Resets
The book’s claims that you’ll receive all these positive health benefits from following this protocol may sound too good to be true. Readers of this book will learn about the seven major hormones discussed in The Hormone Reset Diet – cortisol, thyroid, testosterone, growth hormone, leptin, insulin and estrogen. Dr. Gottfried came from decades of starving herself for weight loss, and eventually understood that what was being taught about dieting and weight loss, even in medical school, was all wrong. She claims that the reason all of the mainstream diets do not work is because of the failure to address the root cause of the problem, hormones. Gottfried states that your hormones are to blame if you are struggling to stay lean because they govern nearly all aspects of fat loss, fat storage, cravings, appetite, gut bacteria and even food addiction patterns.
Dr. Gottfried’s goal in this book is to achieve a reset on the hormonal level in only 21 days, making specific dietary changes in three-day bursts. She chose to use three days per dietary change as that is the minimum amount of time to disrupt and reset a metabolic hormone. Below is the order of hormone resets Gottfried found to be the most effective at achieving weight loss.
Reset #1 meatless (estrogen)
Reset #2 sugar free (insulin)
Reset #3 fruitless (leptin)
Reset #4 caffeine free (cortisol)
Reset #5 grain free (thyroid)
Reset #6 dairy free (growth hormone)
Reset #7 toxin free (testosterone)
Even though Dr. Gottfried expresses that this is not a restrictive diet, one might feel intimidated by all of the dietary restrictions after viewing this list. To make it clear, you are not only eliminating the specific foods for a period of three days each. These foods are to be eliminated for the entire 21 days of the reset, but in a specific order. Whenever diets propose to be followed for a short amount of time, 21 days in this case, it makes people wonder, what happens after? It is very possible that after the 21 days, dieters will go back to their regular routines, not attain any long-term benefits from the reset and their metabolism will revert back to the way it was before. Another challenging component to following the diet is the fact that Dr. Gottfried suggests many supplements that could become costly for readers to purchase. Some of these products are processed foods like shakes and bars with questionable benefits or adverse effects to health. However, Gottfried emphasizes that all of these steps in resetting your seven hormones are necessary for everyone in order to address the root cause of why you are not losing weight. The goal is to fix your broken metabolism and in the end achieve weight loss. Also, after following the diet as directed, it is likely that you will feel more comfortable in your body, reduce stress and have better quality of sleep.
Hormonal Fat Loss
Monitoring your progress on this hormone reset journey is also very important. It is fat loss, over weight loss that people desire, so is it important to determine whether you are indeed losing fat. The easiest method is to do weight and waist measurement periodically, perhaps every week or month. If you find that both your weight and waist have dropped, that most likely means that you have lost mostly fat. Similarly, even if your weight goes up, but your waist circumference goes down, then you are losing almost purely fat. On the other hand, if your weight goes down, but your waist circumference is staying the same or is increasing, then you are losing weight, but it is in the form of water weight instead of fat. That loss could even be from muscle which is even worse. Therefore, it is important to monitor your progress to check if what you are doing on this diet is working in the direction of your goals. The ultimate aim is to attain a smaller waist, as well as stabilizing your hunger, energy and craving patterns.
Some healthy habits include eating whole plant foods more often, exercising smarter for more intense but shorter bouts, getting a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night, practicing restorative and relaxing activities, and changing your mindset. It is critical to understand that body changes take time and are different for everyone. Look at achieving good health as a process, not a target. So whether you use the suggestions from this specific book or other strategies to balance your hormones, the key is to develop life-lasting healthy habits.