Dr. Alison discusses women’s hormones, how they help (or don’t) with weight loss, how to test and improve your hormones, when and how to exercise for all hormone types and cycles!

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Hello and welcome. This is Dr. Alison with Little Black Bag Medicine. And today we are talking about hormones and weight loss. This is such an exciting topic because I posted this on Facebook and Instagram last week, and people started messaging me like crazy. Like, what do you mean hormone type? What do you mean bloodd type ?There’s different things we could do based off of our body type. Absolutely. It’s so important because you are not really like everybody else. You should not compare yourself to what your neighbors are doing, what your friends are doing, and what’s working for them because your body is probably different. You have a different hormone type blood type in different needs and things like that. So before we jump in, I’d like to invite you to my free five pound challenge. It’s a week long. We’re going to be going through my top functional medicine tips.

You’re going to talk about losing weight, what you do need to do to manage everything in the new year. I don’t like to use the word hacks, but I think I will, on how to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight and feel good in your body again. So the link is in the comments. It’s totally free. I’d love for you to join us. And if you’re listening to this after we get started with our first live session, don’t worry. You can jump right in, go through all the videos. And we’ll probably run a live session again in February. So join us, get in the group and get started. Okay. So where do we start with hormones? I always like to start with either a blood test or a saliva test, and I really prefer the saliva tests. And I’ll tell you why hormones are bound by protein in the blood.

And that’s how we look at them in the blood, but they’re inactive. So we have a ratio of hormones that are inactive floating around in our blood. And we test for those through our blood. Now we have our active hormones, which are actually doing the work of actually attaching to cells and triggering them to do their work. And we can only test through those through saliva. So I prefer saliva because it’s giving us exactly what’s active. What’s working in the body. The ranges are much smaller. So if you’ve ever looked at blood work, it’s like zero to a thousand progesterone does normal. You’re like, what is going on? Like, how do I know? Like where does that mean? That’s such a wide number. Where saliva is much smaller. And also the number one important thing for women, especially when you’re doing either a blood work or a saliva sample is to write down what day of your cycle you’re in, because it changes throughout your cycle, right?

Every day can be different. So with saliva testing, we actually have three options. You can do a one day test. I prefer to do those either on day 21 or day three of your cycle. We also have a three day tests, which is great for women who are perimenopausal and kind of like, where am I not really sure what’s going on. We can see if there’s fluctuations throughout the day for that three-day test for women who are cycling and having difficulties getting pregnant and fertility issues, PCOS maybe you’re skipping periods like something weird is going on. We actually have a 28-30 day tests where you do a saliva sample every other day. And that is amazing because if you think, how are you leading? But you’re now we can catch it here. And then I always correlate that to the basal body temperature.

So your morning temperature, which we go into more about patient information, but that really just helps us figure out what is the body doing? Where are we going? So it’s really important to not guess, especially with hormones because high estrogen symptoms like heavy bleeding, clotting PMs, painful breasts are also low progesterone symptoms. So I see a lot of women doing estrogen dominance clearing protocols when they actually need more progesterone. So we really encourage you to get your hormones tested. Okay. So the next thing I do is focus on stress, sleep and sex, because those are our biggest signs that our biggest triggers as well, stress triggers, fat storage, PMs, painful breasts, irritability, IBS, fatigue, right? All of these things that burnout, it, wrecks havoc on your HPA axis, your hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis. So that’s your brain talking to your adrenals and then your adrenals can’t talk to your thyroid or your ovaries.

And those feedback loops back to your brain. Everything gets messed up. And then we started getting weird timing with periods, ovulation, and pain and everything like that. So we really want to focus on those three things and doing the lifestyle support to help you manage your hormones. Okay. So let’s start with women who are cycling and healthy ish. Okay. Minimal issues. You can go by your blood type. So I always like the book eat right for your type by Dr. Peter D’adamo. Now, the food recommendations in here, I don’t really like, so I don’t go by this. I go by the general recommendation. Type O’s are great at weightlifting, heavier exercises and they’re great meat and veggie eaters. Type A’s are my vegetarians, vegans, yoga, pilates and long distance runner, my marathon runners. So you can usually look at somebody and automatically know their blood type based off their blood type.

It’s so interesting. The science behind this is so great. That’s not to say people who are A’s can’t weight lift and the people who are O’s can’t do yoga. I’m saying most likely what your body will be most attuned to are those types of exercises. So I’m a typo. And when I I was doing weightlifting and then everybody started doing this Pilates program that had just come out a couple of years ago, we were all excited. We all did it together. And half of the women were like, Oh my God, I lost 10 pounds in my first week. And I’m like, I gained 10 pounds my first week, what is going on? And so once I was like, Oh yeah, that’s right. I’m a type O, pilates was fantastic. It’s great for my flexibility, but to maintain my weight and my strength, I need weightlifting.

Now my friends for the opposite, for the A’s who were doing the weightlifting program, they were fatigued and they were worn out and they were cranky and they were sleeping all the time. And then when they switched to Pilates, they were like, my energy is great. And look at my muscles are popping. And so it was great to see that it’s not your fault. If a program doesn’t work for you, it’s not on you emotionally. It’s not about dedication. It’s not about will, is not about any of that is about your body type, your blood type and your hormones and what you can handle. Okay. So I could talk about that forever. But another aspect is looking at where you are in your cycle. So you, the first half of your cycle day one is the first day of your period, your full period, not spotting, but your full period up until when you ovulate.

Usually between day 12 to day 16, sometimes 18, depending on where you are, those it’s just when your estrogen at the highest, you’re going to be your strongest. You’re going to feel your best. You’re going to have your most energy. Most likely this is for most women, okay. So this is a time to do heavier exercises, heavier weights go for that PR time. Okay. And then the second half of your cycle is when your estrogen starts to come down and your progesterone rises. So this is when you go low and slow, you’re going to lower your weights. You’re not going to do heavy impact exercises. You’re going to slow down your running. Probably. And I used to be so frustrated because I would be in the gym at my weight. Like I’d be watching it and like, yeah, I’m getting stronger and stronger.

And then the second half of my cycle, I’d be weaker and weaker and weaker. And I’d be like, what’s wrong with me? I’m a failure. And again, it wasn’t about dedication or willpower. It’s about knowing your body and knowing your cycle. And as your body is slowing down to gear up for your period, you’re going to be maybe anemic. You might have lower vitamin levels because your body is getting ready to shed its lining, right? So take some pressure off of yourself and really get to know what your cycle. Okay. Also, I have always checked for anemia with my patients, meaning iron ferritin run the CBC TIBC UIBC, actual iron levels, not just red blood cells and what’s going on there. We look at the whole panel because we need to catch these things. There’s all kinds of different anemia. Okay. Now, women who have high testosterone, PCOS polycystic, ovarian syndrome, autoimmune conditions, any kind, meaning RA lupus, colitis, Crohn’s thyroid issues.

They need to go low and slow.

I also put low progesterone in the adrenal fatigue. So I, especially last year would get in the gym and like hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it, like kill it and then come home. And my gut would flare up and I’d have to take three or four days off because I’d be so weak and tired and sick and be in the bathroom. And really what the heck is going on heavy workouts will flare up your auto-immune conditions because it’s increasing cortisol and it’s increasing your immune system. Why is working out so great for your body? Because it balances your immune system. But if your immune system is already ratcheted up and trying to kill you, and you’re like, Hey, let’s work out and make it go higher. You’re going to increase that attack on your body.

So low and slow. This can look like your normal weight lifting program, which is what I do. But you get your phone out any, wait a minute between sets two minutes, five minutes, you go really slow. You don’t want to do cardio weightlifting. Okay? If you’re running long distance runner maybe you cut back or you slow your pace down. Okay. We would just want to go low and slow. And we want to focus on anti-inflammatory diets, supplements, tumeric, detoxing, saunas salt, bath, salt. Spiles all of those things are really, really important. Women who are high in estrogen or low testosterone can really handle those high intensity workouts like 21 day fix was my favorite. If you have adrenal fatigue and autoimmune conditions stay far away from 21 day fix until we can address that, fix that. And then you can come back into those high intensity workouts.

Okay. I also really want to tell you to avoid plastics, avoid cooking with plastic, avoid microwaving food, stop storing your food in plastics, because it’s just increasing estrogen in your body, okay. Women who are peri menopausal or in menopause. So if you’re in that, I don’t know, zone or in that 12 month waiting period, or you know that you’re menopausal, you can do a variety of exercises. I would strongly recommend always focusing on bone strengthening exercises, like lightweight lifting trampoline, get yourself to Osteostrong. There’s lots of locations all over the country to help increase bone strength that goes for everybody. It can be really great workout for you as well. But we can do again, focusing on body type exercises based off your blood type, once you’re in menopause, but also looking at are you having hot flashes or severe menopause issues.

Those are high estrogen and women who are in menopause. Their adrenals have taken over their ovaries tasks or ovaries make our hormones when recycling most were in menopause, the adrenal is takeover. So if you’re having adrenal fatigue type issues, or you have a ton of belly fat that you can’t lose your brain fog, it was going crazy. You have no memory. You also need to go low and slow with your exercises and of course all women need to eat, eat food, eat healthy fats, healthy proteins, healthy carbs in the right time and in the right amount, stop skipping meals, but also stop overindulging and bingeing.

So if you find that you’re bingeing at night or in the morning, like we can address that through food. We can dress that through blood work. We can look at all of those things. So that is a very, very quick introduction to hormones and exercise types. I hope this was helpful. Always remembered to join that five pound program. You’re going to lose weight. You’re going to feel better. You’re going to have strategies that you can take with you for the rest of your life, and I’ll see you there. And if you want to individualized help, you can message me on Facebook, schedule a free consultation online. So we can talk about your goals, your frustrations, and make a plan to help you feel like yourself. Again. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.