A hormone type 2 needs a different approach than a hormone type 6. But why is that? If you’re not familiar with a hormone type or what that means, today’s post will equip you with critical information for understanding hormone types, even if a specific type doesn’t apply to you.
Before we get started, take our Hormone Type Quiz for suggestions on optimal foods & activities that burn more fat and store less fat for your hormone type.
What is a hormone type?
Hormone types are less about the label (ie. Hormone Type 1: Estrogen & Progesterone Balanced) and more about the approach. They help us understand the role of fat-burning hormones, how hormones ebb and flow, and what that means for the metabolism in the context of fat loss.
As Metabolic Optimization Health Coaches, we teach our clients how to read their body’s biofeedback clues using a funny acronym called “SHMEC” which stands for sleep, hunger, mood, energy, and cravings. Using SHMEC as a window into the metabolism, we gather key information related to an individual’s metabolic health. Armed with the most powerful tool of all – interception or a sense of self – we help people work with their hormones rather than against them.
Many of you may be familiar with the diet and exercise piece when it comes to fat loss. Of course, we can’t neglect that calories matter. They do. But what happens when we’re doing everything right, yet our approach to diet and exercise is contributing to weight gain or making it difficult to lose weight?
Picture this scenario…
It’s a stressful and a rushed weekday morning. No time for breakfast. A quick drive-through coffee on the way to work is all you need since you’re never really hungry in the morning anyway. Back-to-back meetings all morning are fueled primarily with caffeine and maybe a few bites of a donut. Someone always brings them in, and it’s hard to say no to free food! Lunch finally rolls around, so it’s the perfect opportunity to blow off some steam and get a workout in! An intense 45-minute power walk during lunch is followed up with a quick but healthy deli sandwich on your way back to work, followed by back-to-back meetings for the rest of the day. It’s finally 5 pm, and you’re feeling burned out. Actually, wired and tired. With little mental bandwidth or physical energy left in the tank, you find yourself wondering what takeout to order tonight while driving home. Pizza? Nah, we ordered that last night. Maybe the kids should choose tonight. It’ll be nice to spend some time with them instead of cooking and cleaning. You’re also thinking about treating yourself to 1 or 2 glasses of wine. After all, it was a tough day and you need something to help you unwind. Plus, you’re starving. The wine should curb that hunger a bit. Did you even eat today?
Maybe this doesn’t sound familiar to you. But it’s not far from the typical scenario that many busy and hard-working people find themselves in! It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Do you want to know what I see? I see someone who values their job, cares about their health and wants to spend time with their children. I see someone who is trying to juggle career, health, and family with limited time and energy.
I also see a lot of stress.
Research shows that body fat is harder to lose when certain hormonal imbalances are at play, like too much cortisol. Cortisol is released by the adrenal cortex in response to stress; however, continued release affects the stress response system in a way that may lead to persistent activation. Impacting nearly every body system, persistent stress and cortisol activation can affect physical, behavioral, and/or mental function. What does this mean? SHMEC goes out of check, making it difficult to stick to healthy habits.
Lucky for us, certain activities can lower stress hormones and reverse metabolic compensations from stress. For example, slow and relaxing walks in natural settings while connecting with others have been shown to lower cortisol levels. On the other hand, chronic bouts of prolonged or intense exercise compounded with other forms of daily stress can increase it.
And too much cortisol can make it hard to lose fat, especially in the tummy area.
Remember that lunchtime power walk from the above example? This is when you’d consider swapping a power walk for a slow, relaxing walk instead. In a stress-reactive individual, making this simple tweak reduces stress-related metabolic compensations, which supports various hormonal and metabolic processes from blood sugar regulation, wake/sleep cycles, metabolic rate, to SHMEC and beyond!
This is just one of many examples highlighting the power of simple, yet highly effective, lifestyle and behavioral approaches that can support our health goals or hinder our progress.
Those of you looking to lose body fat and support your metabolic health might find it helpful to take an approach that balances hormones, based on your unique hormone type.
That’s one of the reasons that Dr. Jade Teta developed a quick and free assessment tool. This unique hormone type quiz is used to determine what hormone imbalance is at play (if at all). Then, it provides diet and lifestyle suggestions that will optimize YOUR metabolism for fat loss. And the best part is that these suggestions are based on your hormone type.
Quizzes are also just fun, right? Maybe that’s just me.
By the way, these hormone types are not meant to diagnose anyone with a particular hormone condition or type per se. The hormone types are not a diagnosis. They don’t replace your doctor’s medical advice. Rather, they provide context and a deeper understanding of what’s going on “under the hood”. And not only that, it’s a starting point for making individualized changes based on your hormonal cues (or signs and symptoms if that’s more familiar to you).
Curious to know what foods and activities might be a better choice to help you lose fat?
Check it out. Take our Hormone Type Quiz.
Because a hormone type 2 does need a different approach than a type 6.