Skip to main content

Hormones and Weight Loss

by Ross Marchegiani

When struggling with weight gain, the traditional recipe is to restrict calories and to get on the treadmill six days a week. This may work for some, but for most, it is a recipe for disaster. The severe calorie restriction slows down thyroid function, which helps to regulate our metabolism, and the long-duration aerobic activity taxes what are probably already low-functioning adrenal glands.

At this point, the body is being thrown into a pseudo-survival tailspin and will innately place priority on survival rather than reproduction by stealing sex hormones to make adrenal hormones for dealing with the stressors that we are inflicting on ourselves. One way to combat this vicious cycle is by consuming a diet high in healthy fats.

It is important to break the mindset that consuming fat makes us fat. By consuming healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, tallow, duck fat, seafood, nuts and seeds, we provide our body with cholesterol, the primary building block of hormones. In order to make any hormone in our body, cholesterol is needed. We can make cholesterol internally (De novo synthesis).

Consuming a high-fat regimen such as a ketogenic diet may improve hormone production, reduce insulin spikes (insulin causes fat storage), and control blood sugar swings, which helps us to refrain from finishing an entire bag of potato chips. A ketogenic diet consists of 60 to 65 percent of calories coming from fat and limiting net carbohydrate intake to 20 grams per day. By following this type of diet, we can work with our hormones, rather than against them. Consult a healthcare professional about customizing a ketogenic diet to support overall good health.

Ross Marchegiani, DC, MSCN, specializes in hormone dysregulation and weight loss with an emphasis on a sound nutritional foundation at Turnpaugh Health and Wellness Center, located at 107 West End Dr., in Manheim. For more information, call 717-879-9899, email [email protected] or visit