Intuitive Eating and Hormonal Health
Women love intuitive eating as a concept but often will refute it based on other advice they receive, found or read on the internet. One of the most frequent situations I encounter is with hormonal health. Women wanting to balance their hormones, perhaps heal their hormones, are being told that to achieve such goal they must restrict certain food, go on a reset hormonal diet or do an elimination diet; therefore they can’t be an intuitive eater.
“I love intuitive eating but I’m working on balancing my hormones and I read Dr. XXXX book and she says that I must restrict all grains and dairy. Maybe later I can become an intuitive eater.”
Is this true? Is food restriction the solution to hormonal health?
I’m not a hormone specialist, but I’m a health expert and knowledgeable enough to know that this statement isn’t totally true.
Is food a contributing factor to health: YES.
Is food the only way to “balance hormone”? NO.
Is hormonal balance even a possibility? Well yes and no. More on that later.
So, why then are we sold “hormone reset diet” as the only way to balance the female hormone? DIET CULTURE, sisters!
Wellness Diet and Hormones
What is wellness diet? Good question. It’s the newborn of diet culture. Diet culture is the system of beliefs that thinner is better, smarter, and healthier.
Wellness Diet is the diet culture’s sneaky way of re-inventing itself to make it seem non-diety. It wants you to think it’s all about your health and wellness. It doesn’t promote itself as a diet, per se, but it might as well. It’s basically saying you’ll achieve health by eating what they recommend.
Just like diet culture tries to tell us. “Eat this, not that,” they say, and “you’ll balance your hormones.” Or, lose x amount of lbs or fat. The best example of Wellness Diet: how Weight Watchers recently rebranded themselves as a wellness company, “Wellness that Works”.
Or more the #1 New York Times bestseller on hormonal health from Dr. Sara Gottfried MD “The hormone Reset Diet- Heal your metabolism to lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days”. The secret is in the subtitle line… it’s about weight loss.
Why do want to balance your hormones or …?
Let’s be honest with each other…. in most cases, it’s a secret desire to lose weight or maintain weight loss effortlessly. As smart women, we don’t want to say it’s a weight loss desire because we know it’s not “politically correct” but that’s what we wish for.
As I share in this podcast, I know I was there for many years… and spent $$$$$ trying to achieve “hormonal balance”. The so desired “hormonal balance” never materialized itself until I spot obsessing about food… yes, when I became an intuitive eater that’s when the “hormonal health” finally showed up.
Why did intuitive eating provide the environment for my body to be hormonally better? One word: STRESS.
That’s what we’ll cover in this episode:
- What exactly is a hormone?
- Hormonal imbalance in women
- How to balance hormone
- Stress and hormone
- Inflammation and hormone imbalance
- Hormonal health and intuitive eating
- Weight-neutral approach to health
Mentioned on the show:
Grab your guide to Intuitive Eating
References for the podcast episode:
Chris Kresser’s article – Part 1
Chris Kresser’s article – Part 2
Psychological Stress creates inflammation
Sleep induced inflammatory response in the body
Dieting & food Restriction increase cortisol restriction
Impact of self-compassion on stress