Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Rebecca Huff
Weight loss can be challenging under normal circumstances, but it becomes even more frustrating when a hormone imbalance is at play. Today's guest is the author of The Women's Guide to Hormonal Harmony, Lacey Dunn.
Lacey Dunn, MS, RD, LD, CPT, founder of UpliftFit Nutrition and host of the UpliftFit Nutrition podcast, is a functional medicine dietitian with a fiery passion for helping women feel and look their very best. People call her the “Hormone Fairy Godmother,” as her one mission in life is to help women go from surviving to thriving. Dunn specializes in all things hormones, thyroid, gut, and metabolism and incorporates on-going education into her daily life.
In this episode, Lacey will share information and strategies that will help you get your hormones back in balance and shed a few pounds in the process.
Calories in vs. calories out is not all that matters. Your body is an everchanging organism, not a car with one set fuell-need and way to run. You have hormones that can increase or decrease your metabolism, and hormonal imbalances can play a great role in your ability to maintain or change your body composition and weight.
Hormonal Imbalance Signs and Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms of imbalanced hormone levels may include the following:
- loss of muscle mass
- accumulating more belly fat
- hot flashes
- tender breasts
- menstrual cycle being either too light or too heavy
- debilitating pain with menstruation
- low motivation
- low libido
- hair loss
- trouble sleeping
- cold intolerance
- heart palpitations
- insulin resistance
- overweight or obesity
- night sweats (mostly occurring during menopause)
Hormone Imbalance Weight Loss Tips
We want to bring back that hormonal balance. Especially if you have low levels of cortisol, progesterone, testosterone. Caring for your adrenal glands is one of the best things you can do for overall wellness, including being at the right body weight for you.
- Allow yourself to sloth (chill out when you need to and rest when necessary)
- Focus on good sleep hygiene (wear blue light blocking glasses)
- Don't starve yourself in dieting
- Balance your blood sugar throughout the day
- Smart snacking – always adding in that protein to balance meals
- Avoid the grind and treat your body well
- Have thyroid hormones checked
- See a practitioner well versed in women's health, have hormone levels checked
- Know about leptin, ghrelin, and how to stop cravings
One of the major role players when it comes to metabolism. Estrogen dominance can cause weight gain around the middle body and even hips and thighs.
keeping estrogen levels balanced is important for the maintenance of lean muscle tissue, bone health, and regulating body temperature.
Too much cortisol will cause your body to store fat, you may notice it in your face, back, and abdomen. With an excess of cortisol, the body holds on to water weight.
Blood sugar levels and blood pressure along with proper immune function are controlled by cortisol. Having too much cortisol will leave you tired and wired, crashing mid-day, but unable to sleep at night. Too much cortisol can lead to insulin resistance and even heart disease.
Meaning we can less use glucose for fuel and more readily store glucose as body fat. So we develop insulin resistance. We develop a lot of inflammation because the cortisol that normally helps combat inflammation then actually becomes inflammatory.
Which further makes you insulin resistant starts causing you a lot of pain, aches, holding water weight. Then it starts contributing to sleep dysregulation because our cortisol levels have a natural rhythm.
On the flip side… Too Little Cortisol
Too little cortisol will lower your tolerance to exercise and cause energy crashes late in the day, both can keep you from getting in that daily walk or workout. In addition, the muscles will begin to lose tone and become hard to maintain.
With too little cortisol, everything feels stressful, you may get sick frequently and those blood sugar swings will keep you feeling pretty rough.
Lack of cortisol will lead to a lack of motivation. Those with too little cortisol will struggle to lose weight. The libido will suffer as well, so there goes that form of exercise!
The Women's Guide to Hormonal Harmony dives deeper into the subject of how progesterone can be converted to cortisol in your adrenals and why that's important. If you have an imbalance of cortisol levels, hypothyroidism, or improper adrenal function, you would do well to read the book!
Without a proper balance of progesterone, it can be hard to stay calm and relaxed, it may even be harder to get a good night's sleep. Quality and quantity sleep is one of the pillars of weight loss. Progesterone helps to balance the mood as well, so when there is too much or too little, mood swings follow.
A Word About Vitamin D
While we call it a vitamin it is actually a precursor to your hormones; your body converts it from sunlight or dietary cholesterol. Without it, you may experience fatigue, depression, muscle weakness, pain, or cramps. Being low in this hormone may steal your thunder when it comes to your workouts.
Vitamin D levels can be checked with a simple blood test, you can even do it at home.
Covered in this episode
- Let's talk about the stigma of weight (at any age) and how people relate it to “being healthy”
- What are the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance?
- What is happening with hormones when someone is trying to lose weight but doesn't seem to be able to? What are the hormones that are most responsible for weight gain? How do hormone imbalances lead to metabolic disease?
- What hormones can cause hormonal imbalance? How do they work together?
- What tests are recommended to address and find hormonal imbalance?
- You say a little food and lots of exercise is a recipe for disaster, can you explain why and what is better?
- Why is “the grind” is the last thing that is helpful for your body and weight loss goals?
- What foods and nutrition changes can someone make to support their hormones?
- Lacey's best advice/top tips for hormone health for women of any age along with the lifestyle changes are essential to create and keep healthy hormones.
Meet Lacey Dunn
Lacey Dunn, MS, RD, LD, CPT, founder of UpliftFit Nutrition and host of the UpliftFit Nutrition podcast, is a functional medicine dietitian with a fiery passion for helping women feel and look their very best. People call her the “Hormone Fairy Godmother,” as her one mission in life is to help women go from surviving to thriving. Dunn specializes in all things hormones, thyroid, gut, and metabolism and incorporates on-going education into her daily life.
The Women’s Guide to Hormonal Harmony: How to Rebalance Your Hormones, Master Your Metabolism, and Become the Boss of Your Own Body gives women the knowledge, tools, and confidence to rebalance their hormones, master their metabolism, and become the boss of their own body. From thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, and gut disorders, to navigating the best “diet” plan, this guide serves as the one book you need to feel your best and reclaim your hormones, health, and body. In this book, you will be given the knowledge that you need on what your hormones are, how they work, and how they interact and influence the body. You will learn the truth about what healthy eating really means, what foods will help nourish your body, and how to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. This is a secret sauce book of knowledge bombs for all women to not only know what is going on in their bodies, but why.
The Women’s Guide to Hormonal Harmony: How toRebalance Your Hormones, Master Your Metabolism, andBecome the Boss of Your Own Body gives women the knowledge, tools, and confidence to rebalance their hormones, master their metabolism, and become the boss of their own body. From thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, and gut disorders, to navigating the best “diet” plan, this guide serves as the one book you need to feel your best and reclaim your hormones, health, and body. In this book, you will be given the knowledge that you need on what your hormones are, how they work, and how they interact and influence the body. You will learn the truth about what healthy eating really means, what foods will help nourish your body, and how to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. This is a secret sauce book of knowledge bombs for all women to not only know what is going on in their bodies, but why.
Connect with Lacey Dunn, MS, RD, LD, CPT on Instagram @faithandfit, Twitter @laceyadunn, and Facebook @LaceyDunnRD. Visit www.upliftfitnutrition.com and listen to UpliftFit Nutrition on most podcast hosting platforms.
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Transcripts: Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Weight Gain
Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Weight Gain
[00:00:00] Announcer: [00:00:00] Welcome to a healthy bite. You're one nibble closer to a more satisfying way of life, a healthier you and bite sized bits of healthy motivation. Now let's dig in on the dish with Rebecca Huff.
[00:00:20] Rebecca: [00:00:20] I'm excited to be here today with Lacey Dunn. We're going to get into all of the nitty gritty about how hormone imbalance can alter your ability to lose weight can cause you to gain weight. We're going to get into all of the details about that in a little bit. And I'm going to let Lacey tell us a little bit about her book.
[00:00:40] And I want to introduce Lacey the founder of uplift fit nutrition, and she is also the host of a podcast by the same name, uplift fit nutrition. So go and check that out. There'll be links in the show notes . So Lacey is a functional medicine dietician, and she is passionate about [00:01:00] helping women look and feel their best.
[00:01:02] Lacey, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
[00:01:05] Lacey: [00:01:05] Yes. Thank you so much for having me. You guys, my name is Lacey Dunn. I am a functional medicine dietician currently living in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. I am a complete nerd and I love functional medicine because that is what helped me to tackle and be the boss of my own health, had to go through my own struggles.
[00:01:25] And since then, I have learned so much in my personal experience, plus my ongoing eight plus years of training and of course education. And now my goal is to help my clients to go from surviving to thriving, to become the master of their own metabolism and the boss of their own bodies. As I am sure as a woman, you know, we are not taught everything under the sun when it comes down to what our hormones are, how they interact, how they work in our bodies and how they change throughout their life.
[00:01:58] And I am [00:02:00] super passionate about that. So I work with my clients one-on-one but now I'm the author, “The Women's Guide to Hormonal Harmony”, my brand new book, which I'm so glad I said to you, and I'm so glad you love it. And it's all about helping women too, to really master their metabolisms and take their health in their life, back into their own hands.
[00:02:17] Rebecca: [00:02:17] That's awesome. I love your energy. And it really comes through in your book. As I was reading through it, I was like, oh, this is the kind of person who just absolutely is passionate and loves to help women. And it really came through as I was reading through it, I was like, yeah, she's not just writing a book.
[00:02:36] She is helping people. And there's a difference. So I loved it. You guys, you've got to get a copy of this book because it is life changing. I thought I knew pretty much everything there is to know I'm 50 and there were things in there that I was like, okay, I didn't actually know that. I understand that you're passionate about it and you experienced some challenges of your own. Can you tell us a little bit about what was the [00:03:00] motivation for you to write this book?
[00:03:03] Lacey: [00:03:03] I wrote this book because I realized that there was not one resource that women could go to and trust to fully understand their bodies.
[00:03:13] There are books about hormones. There are books about gut health. There are books about your metabolism, but there was not one quote, unquote tangible Bible that I could just like hand somebody, especially my clients and be like, okay, this. Is the why's of how your body's responding. This is what you can do about it.
[00:03:30] I truly believe knowledge is power. And when we understand what's going on, we are truly able to take control back. So that's why I wrote the book. I wanted to give everybody my secret sauce and knowledge bombs. That way they could be the boss of their own bodies and understand what was going on for good.
[00:03:50] Rebecca: [00:03:50] I love it. That's awesome. There's so much in your book and there's just so many avenues that could be explored. I mean, it's a topic that literally [00:04:00] you could talk about for so long , but since this is a smaller length podcast, I wanted to narrow down what we talk about and yeah. I'm sure you talk about this on your website and in your podcast.
[00:04:13] So hopefully if people have other questions, they can just follow you and find more information on your website, in the book and your podcast. But for today's podcast, I wanted to kind of focus on how hormone imbalance can cause weight gain and or how it can make it harder for women to lose weight. Not just at my age, around menopause, but throughout our lives, a hormone imbalance can really mess with, our ability to lose weight.
[00:04:43] But before we get into that, I want to talk a little bit about, I want you to share with us your thoughts about the stigma of weight. Like I said at any age and how people relate it to how healthy someone is. So a lot of people see [00:05:00] like someone who's a little overweight and think immediately she's not healthy or whatever.
[00:05:06] So can you go into that a little bit for us?
[00:05:09] Lacey: [00:05:09] I'm so glad you brought this up. It made my heart so happy when you put that question in, I was like, oh my gosh, something I'm super passionate about too. I get super angry. When people look at what somebody looks like and they say, okay, They're healthy or they're not healthy because what we look like has nothing to do with what's going on in the inside.
[00:05:30] And it tells us nothing about how somebody feels to give you an example. If we're looking at an overweight person, we might think, oh my gosh, they're sluggish, they're lazy. They don't exercise, they have high triglycerides, you know, high blood glucose. They're in the trenches. That could not be the case whatsoever.
[00:05:48] They could be completely healthy when we're looking at all biochemical blood markers, they could feel the very best. So them being overweight is not telling us what their true health is. And if we look at the opposite side, there might be [00:06:00] somebody who looks super, you know, super fit. Give an example. When I was not feeling my very best, when I was going through my mold toxicity, I looked great.
[00:06:10] But I didn't feel great. So talking about hormones were in the trash cortisol levels were extremely high, so there's a lot of things that can you can't see. You can't see what somebody is feeling like and what their true house status is based on their overall size. We have to take a step back away from that and blaming or looking at somebody and putting what we think is going on with their health based on their body shape and size.
[00:06:36] Rebecca: [00:06:36] Couldn't agree more. I mean, we've all heard the term. , what is it like fat, skinny, or skinny fat, which I hate both of those words, but I think talking about how someone can be on the thinner side and still have all kinds of health problems. So just looking at someone from outside really is not a great indication.
[00:06:57] And I was really happy that you addressed that in your [00:07:00] book , I think. What a lot of us deal with as women is, we don't recognize sometimes when we have a hormone imbalance. So can you give us an idea of what are some of the signs and symptoms that we might look for? Okay. So maybe we're having a hard time losing weight, or we notice that the scale is creeping up and maybe we're not so much concerned about our looks, but we feel like something's off because.
[00:07:28] When hormones are imbalanced, clearly we're going to have some signs and symptoms. Can you give us a few that we might look for?
[00:07:36] Lacey: [00:07:36] Yeah. I'm so glad you mentioned that. So when our hormones go chaotic and we start developing these hormonal related symptoms, this is really a fire alarm going out, going on in our body saying,
[00:07:48] “Hey girlfriend, there's something wrong.” There's a tiger running within us. There's a tiger running with that around us. There's something going on. Cause our hormones.
[00:07:57] Some people, blame hormones for being the issue, [00:08:00] right. Hormones for being the cause of your weight gain, hormones for being the cause of your low libido, your motivation , being super anxious, wired and tired at night, trouble sleeping.
[00:08:09] Yes. They all can contribute to these symptoms, but the hormones are the side effect of the true root cause. So the tiger running within you or the tiger around you, you have to figure out what is the cause of that. So I talked about some hormonal symptoms, right?
[00:08:25] Weight gain, tender breasts. Wonky periods, whether that's a super light three-day period to a heavy seven-day period, anything that is crippling debilitating type of pains with your periods, low motivation, low libido hair loss, trouble sleeping, cold intolerance, um, heart palpitations.
[00:08:47] These are all potential signs of an, a hormonal imbalance. And the hard thing is when one hormone jumps ship. All the rest, like to go off with them. They very much peer pressure each other. Right. So it's [00:09:00] always a question of, well, what else is going on? Cause typically there's more than one issue. And then you question, why are my hormones that they are.
[00:09:08] Rebecca: [00:09:08] Yeah, I'm glad that you mentioned that because it's usually not. If you've ever had a hormone panel done and you get those results back, it's not usually just one hormone. That's out of whack. It's at least a couple or more because they do work in tandem. So it's really important to take a look at that.
[00:09:26] And I'm sure that you'll share more with us about that , how to test and stuff, so, or when you're looking at. Someone who's doing all the right things. They're eating healthy, they're trying to exercise, but they just don't seem to be able to shed a pound , what do you think is happening? What are some of the scenarios that can be going on with hormones?
[00:09:51] Lacey: [00:09:51] Yeah, there are a couple of scenarios. I first like to question, okay, how long has this person been trying to diet? What is their history like? Cause that plays such a massive role. [00:10:00] Our bodies were truly not made to diet. They were made to survive and to thrive. And what happens is a lot of women let's be real.
[00:10:08] Weight, stigma happens. We're told we need to be X, Y, Z size. We have a history of chronic under eating or chronic yo-yo dieting over exercising. And what happens is our body adapts to that. Our bodies are way smarter than we are. And we actually have adaptations that happen on a brain level and a metabolism level with all these different, of course, organs from our hippocampus to our thyroid hormone, um, that all dysregulate and downregulate our own metabolism.
[00:10:39] So we have our BMR, our basal metabolic rate, and the more you diet. The more you under eat, the more you overexercise, the more your body adapts and the opposite way that we want it to adapt. So it's going to down-regulate every single meta metabolic process to try and save you to try and get you to just survive.
[00:10:58] So I like to call the [00:11:00] grind the worst thing that you can do continue to overeat. Under-eat over-exercise go, go, go, deprive yourself asleep. The last thing that we want to do, because our body will adapt the wrong way. And that's what happens with a lot of women. Because once you get into that scenario, your body with your thyroid hormone is going to go down your non-exercise activity.
[00:11:22] Thermogenesis. That's a little fidgeting, the walking, you know, the little chores we do day to day. Our body is reducing those small little activities because we're trying to increase the other activity. So it's trying to conserve our energy without us even knowing. Wow. And that further lowers down the amount of calories that we burn on a day-to-day basis.
[00:11:44] So we have those changes. We have drops in our thyroid hormone, which is our master of our metabolism, so that further decreases our sex hormones. And then we drive ourselves down further into a deep dark hole of hormonal imbalance. So everything goes low. Our [00:12:00] body tries to adapt, um, and it sets up a storm in our lives.
[00:12:04] Rebecca: [00:12:04] Right. So it's just like a kind of a cascade of events
[00:12:08]Lacey: [00:12:08] It becomes a cascade of events. Yeah. Yes. And that's when we start questioning, why is my body not responding? Why am I gaining the weight? Why am I having trouble lose the weight? Why do I have all these crazy symptoms? It's because as much as we hate or we hate the reaction that's happening in our bodies, the reaction is really the body trying to ask for help.
[00:12:26] Rebecca: [00:12:26] Wow. Okay. So we need to keep that in mind. I know you said that eating small meals, a little food, or like maybe even, you know, I know some women will just go without food, as long as I can basically starving , and then kill theirsevles with exercise and you say that's a recipe for disaster, and I know it has to relate to our hormones.
[00:12:50] So can you kind of explain to us what happens on a hormonal level when people do that and what is a [00:13:00] better choice?
[00:13:01] Lacey: [00:13:01] There's two main things that happen when we're under eating- over exercising. One, we are not giving ourselves the nutrients that we need to even make our hormones. So we need things like adequate dietary fat, adequate cholesterol to even make our sex hormones like our testosterone or progesterone or estrogen.
[00:13:20] So we have to. Give ourselves sufficient nutrients. And if we're not getting a wide variety of micronutrients, especially with under eating or under eating carbohydrates, which our body is super sensitive to our hormones are T4 or inactive to our active hormone. T3 are very sensitive to those carbohydrates.
[00:13:39] So if we're under eating, especially in those carbohydrates, then our body's going to slow down our metabolic rate and then when it comes down to other things, so we, we need our nutrients in order to grade our hormones. And then what can happen is if we're super stressed because we're under eating or because we're over-exercising, or maybe we're just mentally and [00:14:00] emotionally burned out because as women we're awesome.
[00:14:03] We love helping others, but that could be a disservice to our bodies. So what happens is we have cortisol. So cortisol is pumped out in times of acute inflammation. So if we're running from a tiger, cortisol is going to be pumped out. That's good. If we get sick, if we get injured, it gets pumped out. That's good on a short-term basis.
[00:14:22] But what happens is when we have cortisol too high for too long of a period of time. This is when we start developing things like insulin resistance. So we can less use glucose for fuel and more readily store glucose as body fat. So we develop insulin resistance. We develop a lot of inflammation because the cortisol that normally helps combat inflammation then actually becomes inflammatory.
[00:14:46] And that further makes you insulin resistant starts causing you a lot of pain, aches, wateriness puffiness then starts contributing to sleep dysregulation because our cortisol levels, they do have a natural [00:15:00] rhythm. So we want them high in the morning, low in the evening. But when you start having that chronically high cortisol, chronic chronically high inflammation, they start swapping back and forth.
[00:15:09] And then we have trouble sleeping or maybe an energy crash at 2:00 PM. Or maybe we feel like we got hit by a truck in the morning, but we're okay. The rest of the day. So there's all these adaptations that happen because of cortisol. And then cortisol contributes to that additional weight gain specifically around your abdominal region.
[00:15:26] And then you start questioning. Why am I wired and tired? Why am I waking up at 2:00 AM in the morning? Why am I gaining weight right in my abdomen? Why are my fingers? Why can't my rings fit? Why am I creating salt and sugar, cortisol? Cortisol went from trying to help you to actually harming you. And I call that the, the grave of the grind right there.
[00:15:51] Rebecca: [00:15:51] Well, that's a good way to put it. Cortisol can be a real backstabber. Let me tell you I've had low cortisol before and it feels absolutely [00:16:00] horrendous. It's the worst. So…
[00:16:02]Lacey: [00:16:02] I'm so glad you mentioned that because once you, you go high cortisol. There's three phases of cortisol dysregulation, which I dive into my book, but to make it simple phase one high, high, high boss, bitch mode, you don't even know this happens.
[00:16:14] Phase two, we adapt. So our body starts regulating out and this is where the symptoms start to occur. So our, our body and our hormones start to go chaotic here. And then we go low cortisol, which I'm sure you know, is the hardest of the hard, because once you go low, this is months to years of grinding yourself into the ground.
[00:16:32] And it's very, very hard to get yourself out because you're chronically fatigued. You don't have energy to even combat any inflammation. You can get sick. Excessive weight gain. Yeah, it's the worst. It really is.
[00:16:44] Rebecca: [00:16:44] And sadly, it's just kind of like low cortisol is so hard. Well, really high and low cortisol sucks when it comes to weight, weight issues, but especially.
[00:16:55] I feel like in my experience, low cortisol is so hard because not only are [00:17:00] you dealing with all of those symptoms, low cortisol also robs you of all motivation. So even if you physically, maybe which you don't, if you physically felt like working out the motivation, isn't there either.
[00:17:12] So it's just like a double whammy. So
[00:17:15] Lacey: [00:17:15] and, you can't recover,
[00:17:17] Rebecca: [00:17:17] right? Yeah. It's so hard. And I think a lot of. People have heard of high cortisol, but it's not as talked about. I feel like to have low cortisol beyond Addison's disease, which is,
[00:17:29]Lacey: [00:17:29] I was about to say, yeah, that's why a lot of medical doctors, they disregard the truth, that there are adrenal imbalances that are outside of the conventional medicine.
[00:17:37] So that's why I put there's a huge chapter of cortisol in my book because that's what women are taught as quote unquote is just them being a mom or quote, unquote, just being tired. Um, And it makes me super angry because it's being essentially it's medical gas lighting saying your symptoms are not valid.
[00:17:57] Right. And there is cortisol dysregulation. We [00:18:00] see it, we see it on saliva panels. We see it in testing, but it's different than quote unquote, our adrenals tiring out and being exhausted and not working. It's our adrenals adapting, they're working. So we're not, we don't have Addison's disease, right. With low cortisol they've just adapted and they've down significantly downregulated to where they have.
[00:18:20] Put us into a traumatic place body-wise now
[00:18:24] Rebecca: [00:18:24] it is unfortunate because, I think a lot of women depend on their conventional doctor to let them know what's going on in their body. And when it's not black and white, then they are not going to diagnose it as an adrenal problem. It's either you have Addison's or you're fine.
[00:18:43] And there's so much in between that unfortunately, a lot of women aren't able to address the problem. Unless, of course, you know, they find a functional medicine doctor, doctor, like some kind of health practitioner that will look at that panel and be like, wow, you're on the really [00:19:00] low end here and you need some help.
[00:19:02] So , speaking of that, would you mind to tell us a little bit about what kind of tests women can take. So maybe they're listening to this and they're oh, wow. Some of that stuff really resonates with me. It's so relatable, but I've never had my hormones tested or I don't know where to start. Like what kind of tests do you recommend for someone who's never really had tests or may be wondering, is this what I'm feeling?
[00:19:27] Could this be a hormone imbalance? What, where, where would they start?
[00:19:32] Lacey: [00:19:32] The first thing is to know that you have to be your own health advocate and your own medical advocate, because some doctors unfortunately are going to dismiss your symptoms and say no to testing. So first and foremost know you have the right to do your own lab work direct to consumer.
[00:19:47] So something like Direct Labs, Any Lab Test Now, Ulta Lab tests. These are things you can order your own blood labs. Um, so you can go down that route or you can ask your PCP, your primary care or your OB [00:20:00] GYN, whoever you're using for full panels. That is the kicker there. So a full quote unquote thyroid panel would be, and I have this in my book, but it's TSH,
[00:20:12] free T4, free T3, TgAb antibodies, TPO antibodies. So those would be good for checking for, of course, a sluggish thyroid hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's, which is the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism. They're very important because those antibodies can actually show up elevated out of, out of the blue at anybody, any person's time.
[00:20:35] So check your thyroid sex hormones. We're looking at for women, estradiol progesterone, free testosterone, not total testosterone because total testosterone is bound and is not what is able to be actually utilized. So we have our free testosterone. Sex hormone binding globulin. This is our travel form in our blood.
[00:20:55] If this is elevated, this can actually cause us to have less free and [00:21:00] available testosterone and estrogen to be able to be used. And then we're looking at all the low estrogen symptoms, the low testosterone symptoms. Um, so sex hormone, binding globulin, super important. I think of that, like as a boot on the car, preventing the active needed hormone from getting to where it needs to be, but we have that.
[00:21:17] Um, and then I'm all about doing a good proper nutrient panel. Cause if we do not have proper micronutrients, we can't even facilitate all these hormones, make these hormones, create our energy, like all these different micronutrients act as co-factors for the proteins and the DNA synthesis though. So, you know, things like your B vitamins, your vitamin D, your iron levels, your zinc, copper, you name it.
[00:21:40] So get as comprehensive as you can and be your own medical advocate.
[00:21:45] Rebecca: [00:21:45] Right. And I'm glad that in the book you actually addressed digestive enzymes because I know from personal experience and reading a ton that if you have poor digestion or as you get older, you [00:22:00] produce less digestive enzymes, and it's harder to digest your food
[00:22:04]Digestive enzymes, I think that's so important because if you're not digesting your food properly, then you're probably going to be low in some of those nutrients that you mentioned.
[00:22:12] Lacey: [00:22:12] And this goes right back to our chronically stressed scenario over there. When you're chronically stressed your body, downregulates your digestive enzyme output as well as your stomach acid and your bile acids.
[00:22:23] Cause it's saying, Hey, there's a tiger. I don't need to digest. So digestive enzymes for the American that is chronically stressed. And who is that not with this COVID environment. A lot of people are having digestive issues. They're not properly being able to break down their foods and then leading them to micronutrient deficiency.
[00:22:41] And if you are not what you eat, what you digest and absorb
[00:22:46] Rebecca: [00:22:46] exactly. That's what I was going to say is like bringing that back full circle to the topic of weight gain is that. If you're not getting those nutrients from your food, a lot of times you're going to have cravings and you're gonna be, you know, [00:23:00] having , wanting to eat more than you would, if you were actually getting all of the nutrients out of your food.
[00:23:05] Is that right?
[00:23:06]Lacey: [00:23:06] Yeah. Yes. It becomes a chronic chronic scenario and circle and that high insulin. And from all that inflammation just further exacerbates basically telling your body you're not fed when you are, because that glucose is not getting into the cells to be able to be used for energy. So the body just keeps pumping out that insulin and then it furthers the inflammation, furthers the weight gain.
[00:23:27] one other thing that can really cause issues with weight gain are gut disturbances. So that infections we're looking at small or large intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Candida, we're looking at anything like H pylori or parasites that can really cause issues with weight gain and people. Unfortunately, they go through their day-to-day lives thinking, oh, I'm just, I just have a rash or I just have acne, or I have a little bit of bloating.
[00:23:53] That's normal. Nope, not always a little bit of bloating after a meal can be normal, but you shouldn't be [00:24:00] bloated and have trouble fitting your clothes on a day to day basis. Acne is a sign internally that that something's going on.
[00:24:07] So acne, skin hives in combination with a weight gain in combination with always being hungry in combination with sleep issues, energy issues, you're looking at, okay, what's going on?
[00:24:18] And I would say when my clients, 80% of the issues. Start in the gut for almost every single person.
[00:24:25] Rebecca: [00:24:25] Yeah, I hear it a lot, actually. I have a health community, a membership community, and I hear that a lot in there. Women are bloated and it isn't, I don't think it's normal to be bloated on a daily basis or every time you eat.
[00:24:41] So I'm glad that you addressed that as well.
[00:24:44] Lacey: [00:24:44] Outside of the normal things that caused. So you guys don't just blame a high salad and think, oh my God, I have SIBO because the salad that would be normal to be bloated after.
[00:24:53] Rebecca: [00:24:53] Right. And I think a lot of people don't realize that certain things, you know, a lot of people try, I help [00:25:00] women get off of.
[00:25:01] The soda addiction. And a lot of times women will switch over to drinking sparkling water. And I think a lot of people don't realize that sparkling water and well sodas as well will cause bloating. So, I mean, I know it's like you're trying to do a healthy thing, but sometimes especially if you drink more than one a day, sparkling water can cause bloating.
[00:25:22] Lacey: [00:25:22] Yeah. I feel like, oh my LaCroix. I'm like, yeah. That's why you're bloated. Fortunately or the large amount of cucumber and celery. .
[00:25:31] Rebecca: [00:25:31] Yeah. Yeah. So , speaking of foods, what, what kind of foods and nutrition changes can someone make? If they want to try to start supporting their hormones, what do you recommend?
[00:25:43] Lacey: [00:25:43] The best thing that you could do is follow an anti-inflammatory diet, which is, I like to make it as simple as possible, trying to eat less packaged processed foods. So get your carbohydrates, whole grains, runaway from those refined carbohydrates, like the refined [00:26:00] bread and the white pastas, the white tortilla has go towards those complex carbohydrates.
[00:26:06] Filled with fiber like, oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes, organic corn. So these are all great carbohydrates. Then we look at our fats, stay away from those processed vegetable oils that actually become rancid and increase oxidation and not only contribute to inflammation, but our risk for cancers.
[00:26:23] So your favorite fats are omega three based fats, like salmon, chia seeds, nuts, um, eggs. Love me some avocado, olive oil, all these healthy, good fats we needed in our diet. And then fruits and vegetables have tons of polyphenols, antioxidants, and fiber that help support inflammation and feed our good gut microbiome.
[00:26:45] So they act as prebiotics with fiber. So when I'm looking at fruits and vegetables, I say, eat the rainbow. Try and hit all the colors that you can, the more variety that you have in your diet, the more variety of micronutrients you have to feed and make your [00:27:00] hormones, as well as the more fiber that you have in order to create a healthy gut lining, which plays a big role with your hormone creation, as well as your metabolism, your neuro-transmitters, which influence your mood, your satiety, you name it.
[00:27:14] So fiber, fats, color, carbohydrates, protein, adequate protein women skip on this. They think I'm not a bodybuilder. I don't need protein, false, false, false, false. We need good adequate sources of protein to create our hormones. to, facilitate every process in our body. And with protein, you need to make sure that you're going for healthy sources.
[00:27:38] So not running towards the bacons that are packaged and nitrates, nitrites, those deli meats, but get healthy sources of protein, like chicken, Turkey, um, eggs, egg whites. You can either even do vegan sources like chick, pea, organic tofu. So variety is your best friend in your diet and focus on only removing what you need to remove.
[00:28:00] [00:28:00] Rebecca: [00:28:00] I love that. Yeah. I think it's so much easier to not , focus on so much what you can't have and just focus on all of the things that you want to get into your diet. If you just do that. And I'm like, you, I'm always saying eat the rainbow, eat the rainbow, and I'm not talking about, skittles!. My biggest Pinterest board is “eat the rainbow”
[00:28:21] and it's all kinds of recipes about using different colored vegetables and fruits and stuff. And I love going to that board cause it's just so colorful and it makes you happy. And I just love to encourage people to eat vegetables. So I think that is so important. And I'm really glad that you started with focusing on what we can have and what we need to get into our diet and less about extreme dieting and avoiding certain food groups .
[00:28:47] That can be so, um, Legalistic and hard thinking. It makes us,
[00:28:53] Lacey: [00:28:53] our goal should be to be at, have as much variety in our diet as possible to be as less restrictive as possible. If you eat [00:29:00] something and it causes you to have symptoms, stay away from it. But if you eat everything like everything and you have a symptom to everything, then you know, something's going wrong.
[00:29:09] Cause you should be able to have variety in your day to day life.
[00:29:13] Rebecca: [00:29:13] Yeah. Yeah. That's great. So what is, what is your just off the top of your head? What, what do you eat during the day?
[00:29:20] Lacey: [00:29:20] Ooh. So I always, I'm a creature of habit. So I always start my day with a oatmeal bowl. And whether that's oatmeal with egg whites or protein powder, I throw in different nuts seeds, chia, flax, hemp, almond butter.
[00:29:33] So good. So I love starting my day with a big breakfast bowl and I'm a big fan when it comes down to stir fries. So I'm gonna share with you guys like. My secret for like a lower carb alternative. I love doing stir fry vegetables, and I make like a cauliflower fried rice. So I throw in olive oil with eggs, egg whites, and then I like to throw in of course, cauliflower fried cauliflower rice, and that serves as the rice reduces the carbohydrates.
[00:29:59] And then [00:30:00] you can power the punch by throwing on other things like healthy fats, like avocado or, um, maybe something like, I know people would like tahini on it. But yes, I love throwing stir fries, salads. I love baking. I'm such a big fan of healthy baking. So those are the things that I like to do.
[00:30:18] Rebecca: [00:30:18] oooh, that that sounds good.
[00:30:19] I also like to make cauliflower rice and my secret sauce is actually using everything bagel seasoning in the cauliflower rice is so good. It makes it taste like real, authentic Asian fried rice. To me.
[00:30:35] Lacey: [00:30:35] I love that. Have you tried doing the laughing cow cheese in it? Like making like a Mac and cheese? Oh, it is so good.
[00:30:41] Cauliflower cheese yeah. It's amazing.
[00:30:44] Rebecca: [00:30:44] You have to share your recipe with us. That sounds amazing.
[00:30:48] Lacey: [00:30:48] Yeah, I make it super simple. I make it like a side dish. So add in one teaspoon of ghee, one cup of cauliflower rice, and then I'll do two laughing cow cheeses, and I'll mix it all together. [00:31:00] Like microwave it, mix it all together and it is to die for.
[00:31:02] Rebecca: [00:31:02] No, it sounds amazing. I'm definitely going to have to try that.
[00:31:06] Wow. It's been so fun to talk to Lacey. I know your book has so much information in it. I was blown away by your book. I just can't say enough how much I loved it and how informative and it covered everything. So I thought it was great.
[00:31:21]in wrapping up, can you give us just a few quick of your best advice, your top tips when you're helping women , at any age or whatever their lifestyle is?
[00:31:32] What, what are your top tips for us?
[00:31:34] Lacey: [00:31:34] My first number one tip is to allow yourself to sloth, allow yourself to rest a lot of people. They are asking for permission in order to be a human and to take a step back and rest you don't need permission. So please take care of yourself. You cannot pour out of an empty cup and chronic stress can and will be the demon and the root cause of multiple issues in your life.
[00:31:58] So take care of [00:32:00] yourself first and foremost.
[00:32:02] Number two, focus on your sleep. We need our sleep in order to have healthy hormones, healthy metabolism, have the energy we need to get throughout the day and also to not accelerate the aging process. So we want to get adequate sleep. So focus on sleep hygiene, super important, and a lot of people throw this out, but make sure you're blocking blue light before you go to bed.
[00:32:24] Please pop those suckers on before you go to bed, blue light blocking glasses. Don't scroll on your phone before you go to bed. Um, and when it comes down to your morning routine, make sure that sets you up for good sleep routine as well. So get into sunlight. As soon as you wake up. A lot of people don't think about these as things that help with our cortisol and help with the hormones, but these little things with our day to day life to help facilitate our cortisol rhythm throughout the day are super important.
[00:32:49] So sleep hygiene and the cortisol rhythm. And then of course, like I mentioned, with your diet super important, please do not skip meals. Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. [00:33:00] Don't just throw in some carbohydrate pretzels, make sure that you're pairing them. You're making a quote unquote smart snack.
[00:33:05] A lot of people don't think about this. They'll just grab a banana. Well, we want to balance our blood sugar because if we just grab that banana, we're going to eat that banana. That's going to spike our blood sugar. That's going to crash in 30 minutes and then you're going to be like, you know, I like to think of like Patrick in that SpongeBob episode where he eats a chocolate bar and he forgets, he ate the chocolate bar.
[00:33:23] That's you, your body with that blood sugar crash? It's like, where'd the banana go? Did I eat the banana? So balance your blood sugar, pair a carb with a protein or a fat. That's going to really help you for satiety as well as balancing your blood sugar, your glucose and your cortisol levels.
[00:33:40] Rebecca: [00:33:40] Yeah. So always trying to get in a little bit of protein when you're eating something like a carb, is
[00:33:47] Lacey: [00:33:47] Pair it! If you're going to have a carbohydrate pair a, a little bit of fat or a little bit of protein.
[00:33:51] That's as simple as doing a banana and almond butter or a banana and a string cheese things. Stick. So just pair it.
[00:34:00] [00:33:59] Rebecca: [00:33:59] Okay. That makes sense. And I think that's easy enough to do, and I'm really, really appreciative of you pointing out the sleep factor, because I think it's an often overlooked pillar of weight loss.
[00:34:13] Is that if you're skimping on sleep or you're like, I've got to stay up and do this. And then I still have to get up at 5:00 AM and go work out. You're really shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to weight loss, because it's super hard to lose weight if you're not getting adequate sleep. So,
[00:34:30] Lacey: [00:34:30] and I tell my clients, they always, they ask me, okay, You know, can we check your, my hormones?
[00:34:35] Because I work with a lot of people with hormonal imbalances, but I also just work with women that want to focus on weight loss. And they're like, oh my hormones. It's my hormones. Wait, wait, wait, are you even sleeping right now? They're like, ah, I got like five hours of sleep this past week, every night.
[00:34:50] I'm like, we don't, even though your hormones will respond negatively. So we got to focus on your sleep. So make sure that, you know, your stress, your self care, [00:35:00] your sleep, your blood sugar management. You're focusing on all these things first before blaming hormones, hormones do a lot. Don't get me wrong.
[00:35:07] But look at your day to day life. What are the lifestyle strategies and actions that you're making that influence your hormones?
[00:35:15] Rebecca: [00:35:15] Right. Poor hormones, getting a bad rap when our lifestyle is just like in the can.
[00:35:20] Lacey: [00:35:20] I know they take the, they take the blame, they take the hit,
[00:35:24] Rebecca: [00:35:24] they do. All right. Well, thank you so much for being here.
[00:35:28] Can you tell us if there's someone listening and they want to get in touch with you? How do you work with people and where can they find you?
[00:35:34] Lacey: [00:35:34] Yeah, so you can find me. I'm a virtual dietician. You can find me on my website, UpLift Fit, nutrition. I use that for everything. So uplift fit nutrition is my podcast.
[00:35:45] If you want to listen to my other podcast, and then you can find me on Instagram, I'm @faithandfit because I'm a fellow Jesus lover and a fitness fanatic. And then if you want to check out my book, the women's guide to hormonal harmony, you can find that at Amazon, Barnes and [00:36:00] noble, a bunch of other random bookstores, but I'm happy to help.
[00:36:03] And I'm just so thankful you had me here. It's been such a. Fun fun time to chat with you.
[00:36:08] Rebecca: [00:36:08] Yeah, it's been great talking with you too, and I love your Instagram, so you guys need to go check out Lacey's Instagram. It's awesome and inspiring. So thanks again for being here, Lacey.
[00:36:18] Lacey: [00:36:18] Thank you so much. Hope you have a blessed day.
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