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Are the “3 Amigos” Making You Fat?

Authored by: Mona Eberle, Naturopathic Practitioner, Nutritional Therapist and Neurofeedback Clinician

Do You Struggle With Weight Loss? 

So many clients come to us looking to lose weight, after many unsuccessful attempts at dieting, starving and over-exercising. No matter what they eat or not eat, they seem to gain weight. They count calories, carbs, weight, and measure their food, they try diet pills and medications with only fleeting success. Loosing weight is not a simple energy equation, but a complex challenge even for us health practitioners and nutritionists. 

The Food Industry Does Not Help

The food industry would like you to believe that it’s only a matter of counting calories, as they lure you with their 100 calorie bars and shakes. But if this were true, then 100 calories from a candy bar would do the same in your body as a 100 calories from broccoli! Do you believe that? Calories were established in a laboratory, and we are not laboratories! We are all unique and our biochemistry is complex. Food is information in our bodies and has the power to harm or heal.

The “3 Amigos” that Make People Fat

When I help my clients address their weight concerns there are many factors to consider, everything from their health history, food choices, food intolerances, the diversity of their microbiome, their exposure to toxicity and their toxin load, their lifestyle choices and more. However, for this article I would like to focus my attention on three hormones, or the “3 Amigos,” that have a great potential to make us fat. They are insulin, estrogen and cortisol – three fat promoting hormones if not properly “managed.” 

Let’s take a deeper dive…

1. Insulin

Insulin is our main blood sugar regulating hormone. A diet high in processed carbs, processed grains (think pizza and pasta), sugars, high fructose corn sweetener (think soda), an overload of starchy root vegetables (think french fries and chips), and even too many super sweet tropical fruits drive up blood glucose.  It is the job of insulin to clear the sugars from our blood stream into the cells, where they can be used as energy. However, due to our carb excesses our cells are “full,” and no longer able to respond to insulin. This leads to high levels of glucose and insulin in our blood stream. Not only is this dangerous, it can lead to a state of inflammation and ultimately disease in our bodies. In order for your body to protect itself, excess sugar is stored in the liver and fat tissue, making you fatter.

The key to controlling insulin is to follow a diet high in fiber. Eat an abundance of non-starchy vegetables balanced with high quality protein and healthy fats. Food frequency is also important. Once blood sugars are managed, clients are suggested to limit their meals to 2-3 per day and to avoid snacking. Intermittent fasting may also be introduced as a way of regulating blood sugar and insulin, which promotes healing in the body.

2. Cortisol

Cortisol, although our friend in times of stress, it is another fat promoting hormone. The problem for many of us is our stress is constant and unrelenting. So, our poor adrenal glands are consistently pumping out cortisol preparing us to fight or flee. Cortisol activates the release of blood sugar, providing energy to our brain and muscles. Cortisol also makes sure we store enough readily available fat in our abdominal region and around our organs for immediate use in emergencies. Unfortunately, our constant state of stress sends a message to our bodies to store subcutaneous (belly) fat. 

Cortisol can be managed by reviewing and reducing our stress levels. Think of stress as making you fat. How can you turn off your stress response and give your adrenals a much needed rest? What makes you feel relaxed and happy?  What centers you and gives you peace of mind?  For all of us, it is developing skills and coping mechanisms. It could be: meditation, yoga, cultivating close friendships, having a relaxing hobby, reading, cooking, or dancing. Whatever your thing is, practice it and make it a feature in your life. Yes, being happy helps you lose weight!

3. Estrogen

Finally, a word on estrogen. The problem is not necessarily the estrogens we make in our bodies, but the estrogen-like invaders called “xenoestrogens” or even nicknamed “obesogens.” We find them in our immediate environment, and they have the ability to make us fat. These are estrogen-like chemicals that we are exposed to in our everyday life: in the plastics we use, in the chemicals we clean our house and yard with, and in the personal care products we lather our skin in. These are all driving up fat production in our body. In order to keep us safe, our bodies will resort to storing these toxins in our fat tissue. Yes, we do naturally detox these chemicals, but our bodies are so overburdened by toxins that they are often shunted into our fat cells for future disposal. However, in the body’s wisdom, these toxins are not easily released from our fat cells.

How Do We Rid These Toxins From Our Body?

The best way to rid these toxins from our body is to stop them from entering in the first place. Slowly transform your home and garden by gradually replacing: household products, personal care items, and garden chemicals for non-toxic versions. A good place to start is by checking out the website. Their app allows you to scan many products and rate them based on their toxicity, so you can make safer choices.

We recommend our clients engage in regular detoxification. For us practitioners, it’s a way of life, and we encourage our clients to embrace a similar lifestyle. We make healthy food choices, we think twice about each product we purchase, and we regularly engage in cleansing and detoxification protocols.

To learn more: I welcome you to book a 15-minute free phone consultation with me, call 262-251-2929. I look forward to supporting you on your weight loss journey!

Mona Eberle, Naturopathic Practitioner, Nutritional Therapist and Neurofeedback Clinician

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