Hormones, Heart Health and Weight Loss: What’s the Connection?
By Dr. Emilie Wilson, ND, L.Ac.
Cardiometabolic disease refers to the web of conditions including high blood sugar and insulin resistance, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, abdominal weight gain, and chronic inflammation; if untreated, it evolves into type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Poor cardiometabolic health is silent unless it happens to be discovered at your annual doctor’s visit.
But what does cardiometabolic health have to do with your hormones? The foundation of good hormone health lies in your cardiometabolic health. If you have insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and chronic inflammation, for example, you develop a hormone imbalance that keeps you locked in fat-storing mode by increasing levels of insulin and cortisol and promoting inflammatory estrogen breakdown. The effect on your weight includes a growing belly, hips and thighs, and the persistence of fat in tough-to-target areas like your back, arms, and jawline.
What can you do if your doctor discovers poor cardiometabolic health markers?
The truth is, there’s no magic pill. The best way to heal your cardiometabolic health and harmonize your hormones for lifelong weight loss is to take control now with diet and lifestyle.
I realize that saying this with Halloween and the holidays approaching may be raining on your parade! But here are some very simple and delicious ways to protect your heart, your hormones, and your waistline, and still enjoy these special times.
- Focus on Family: your people are your superpower. Love your time with them.
- Stay Hydrated: this reduces the urge to splurge (with calories). It also boosts metabolism, digestion, and detoxification.
- Start with Plants: load up your plate with veggies first, then supplement with carbohydrates, rich meats, and sauces.
- Enjoy your indulgences: imagine that, for each celebration you attend, you get one “indulgence ticket.” You get to spend it on whatever you want, like wine, a cocktail, or dessert. Before you arrive, decide what you’ll spend your ticket on, and truly enjoy it. We can only enjoy pleasure when we’re free from guilt or shame; choosing one treat allows you to indulge while still staying on track. And it keeps the focus on what really matters: your people.
- Move daily: exercise increases insulin sensitivity, reduces blood sugar, and stimulates metabolism. It’s essential to good cardiometabolic health.
Good cardiometabolic health is vital for women throughout their lifetime, from puberty to postmenopause. Taking control of your cardiometabolic health now, whether you’re very young, postpartum, pre- or postmenopausal, is the best way to lose weight for good and to transform the future of your health and life.
For more tips on natural weight loss, grab my “Essential Actions for Weight Loss” Checklist and bonus Implementation Guide.
Business Details: Dr. Wilson runs a hybrid group and 1-on-1 weight loss program focusing on hormone balance for women. Her naturopathic practice focuses on women’s hormone and cardiometabolic health. She is launching a new group program for postpartum women in late 2023.