The hormone diet stems from the book of the same title by
Dr. Natasha Turner. Its primary focus is on hormone fluctuations that
supposedly negatively affect a person's weight, as well as other factors that
can contribute to weight gain and other adverse health effects.
It’s a six-week, three-step process designed to sync
hormones and promote an overall healthier self through diet, exercise,
nutritional supplements, and detoxification. The diet regulates what you eat
and also tells you the right time to eat to ensure maximum benefit to your
This part of the diet involves a two-week long
"detoxification" process where you avoid eating fish, meat, olives,
avocados, eggs, soy products, feta and goat cheeses, gluten-containing foods,
and most fruits and vegetables. This phase also involves taking many
nutritional supplements, including herbal cleansers, bowel cleansers,
probiotics, and fish oil.
This phase incorporates some of those foods back into your
diet while paying attention to how your body responds to them. However, the
diet recommends an ongoing avoidance of "hormone-hindering" foods
like high fructose corn syrup, fish with high mercury levels, non-organic
meats, non-organic coffee, raisins, dates, and peanuts. The full list is in the
book “The Hormone Diet.”
The second phase also involves ridding your diet of manmade
foods, which include:
- processed foods
- artificial sweeteners
- refined grains
- foods that contain nitrates, such as cured
meats, peanut butter, and chocolate
The third phase focuses on entire physical and mental
wellness through cardiovascular exercise and strength training. The diet plan
of the second phase continues on into the third phase.
“The Hormone Diet” boasts
of being the first diet book to emphasize the importance of hormonal balance
among all of the 16 hormones that influence weight, and to explain the
lifestyle habits that can help boost hormones to burn fat. These include:
- managing stress
Including water weight, the diet aims for weight loss of up
to 12 pounds in the first phase, and about two pounds a week after that.
The diet takes a solid stance on weight loss and overall health,
promoting natural, nutritious foods and regular exercise. Also, the focus on
emotional health, managing stress, and getting enough sleep are all important
components that people should be doing, whether they are on a diet or not.
One major downside to the diet is its reliance on numerous
nutritional supplements during the first phase. Using certain nutritional
supplements and herbal preparations can be detrimental to your health, as they can
interfere with medications or trigger unknown allergies. A diet plan that
recommends 12 pounds of weight loss in two weeks is either unrealistic, or
unhealthy and unsustainable.
This is yet another diet that tells people to avoid things
that can have serious long-term health effects, such as processed foods and sugars.
The hormone diet's focus on natural, healthy foods, and both cardiovascular and
strength training exercises makes a great addition to any lifestyle. Even without
following the hormone diet specifically, eating healthy foods and getting
regular exercise will help you lose weight not only in the immediate future, but
for the long haul as well.
However, the body's hormones are complex. They help regulate
almost all of the body's functions. Attempting to control them only to lose weight
can be dangerous, especially if you rely largely on nutritional supplements. On
top of that, evidence linking hormone synchronization and weight loss doesn't
exist, despite the fact that the book is written by a doctor.
Before taking any nutritional supplements or following an
extreme "detox" diet, you should consult your doctor first.
Some people might not be able to keep up with a schedule of
eating in intervals and constantly paying attention to their hormones. Having
hormones tested is a complicated process that requires visits to the doctor, blood
draws, and saliva tests. It costs both money and time. That makes long-term
success even more difficult.
Overall, the diet may not work for many people. While a good
portion of the book is dedicated to explaining the science of how the hormone
diet works, there is no outside research to back up the diet's claims.