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Post Kris Kringle Kilos

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Do you need to lose some of those holiday kilos? Do you feel sluggish ? Sometimes it is not only what we have put in our mouth over the silly season that we need to address. The ability to lose weight depends on our hormones whether it's insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, estrogen dominance or chronic stress.

Insulin resistance – both a high glycemic diet and chronic stress can increase the glucose load on the body. Over time, increases in blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance. In this case, cells are suffering from low energy, organs and the cardiovascular system are suffering from too much sugar, and the body is storing more and more fat. Some strategies to address insulin resistance are:

  • Eliminate sugars and sweeteners. After a couple of initial, transitional weeks, this should also include elimination of all natural substitutes e.g. stevia, erythritol in order to allow taste buds to adapt over time to stop expecting all sweet foods. Instead eat whole fruit or starchy vegetables (e.g. sweet potato) to satisfy our natural desire for sweet flavours. .

  • Eliminate grains for a while – or at least foods made with grain flour (especially gluten but preferably All grain flours). Many people, especially those with insulin resistance, get blood sugar spikes (and insulin surges) from eating all grains.

  • Eat a breakfast that includes protein and healthy fat every day. Our blood sugar stability and cravings throughout the rest of the day are highly influenced by what we eat for our first meal of the day. Having at least 15 grams of protein in your first meal of the day (e.g. the equivalent of two whole eggs) can increase satiety (full feeling) and promotes the secretion of a hormone in the body called glucagon which promotes fat-burning.

  • Front-load the day’s food. I don’t believe in counting or tracking anything that can be counted (e.g. calories, fat grams, sugar grams) because I think it makes people obsessive about their food. Instead, I have had great success with a simple recommendation to clients: consume about 80% of your day’s food by mid-afternoon and eat nothing 3+ hours before bedtime. For most people, this will include a medium-sized breakfast, a large hearty lunch around 1pm, and a mid-morning and/or afternoon snack. Many people skip breakfast (and sometimes lunch) , and then arrive home ravenous to consume a rather large dinner and snack all evening. In general, the food we don’t burn for fuel for energy within about three hours of eating is stored as fat (regardless of the type of food!). After dinner, most of us are not going to head out for a run to burn a lot of calories – but rather we are likely to hit the couch and wind down.

  • Overnight fasting of 12-14 hours to encourage fat loss. If a person is generally in good health and sleeping well. You are often better with the fast starting early in the evening rather than eating late and fasting all day.

Hypothyroidism – a sluggish thyroid can cause sluggish everything. Fatigue can result in moving less and sluggish metabolism can cause weight gain. Importantly, you must check a full thyroid panel – TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies (TPO and TG) to look for various types of hypothyroid function. There are many forms of thyroid dysfunction so having these tests helps to establish how best to treat.

Sex Hormone Imbalance, such as estrogen dominance or testosterone deficiency – an issue in both men and women. Much of our androgens are produced in the adrenal gland, so if the adrenal gland is busy pouring out stress hormones, testosterone production can suffer, but in addition, cortisol (stress hormone) blocks testosterone receptors. In addition, with excess body fat, adipocytes may lead to excess estrogen. Estrogen dominance is a common dynamic that leads to symptoms such as PMS (usually with cramps), heavy, lengthy, clotting periods, and stubborn weight gain. Most often, estrogen dominance is caused by blocks in estrogen metabolism or clearance.

Stress! Chronic stress can influence all of the above and, as such, is often a major driver of stubborn, excess weight. Cortisol is a hormone which is released under stressful conditions, breaking down muscle to generate blood sugar. It does this, while simultaneously increasing insulin resistance. High cortisol also reduces thyroid function. Many people trying to lose weight inadvertently increase their cortisol (and thus decrease thyroid function) with excessive exercise or insufficient calories for example. Of note, sustained low cortisol due to prolonged stress or burnout can also reduce thyroid action. Sources of stress that may lead to trouble losing weight include:

  • Emotional stress

  • Physical trauma

  • Chronic pain

  • Excessive exercise

  • Chronic dieting/insufficient calories

  • Lack of rest and/or inadequate quality sleep

  • Too many stimulants such as caffeine

  • Allergen exposure – environmental, food…even food sensitivities, see below

  • Toxicity e.g. heavy metals, mold, chemicals

Food sensitivities can cause symptoms of all kinds, including general inflammation and weight gain.

Did you know that many toxins are stored in our fat cells and can be a reason you are not losing weight, or the reason you feel awful and fatigued when you start to shed the kilos? So when any weight loss is being done it is important to support our detoxification pathways as well. So, before any intensive weight loss efforts, there are a few important things to ensure before proceeding:

  • Ensure good hydration (in order to be able to dilute and eliminate toxins via the urine)

  • Ensure consistently good bowel movements (in order to eliminate toxins via the faeces)

  • Ensure good bile flow – bile helps us excrete fat soluble toxins

  • Ensure good sleep as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) clears metabolic waste products from the brain during sleep

  • Toxin avoidance – cut out pesticides, herbicides, etc. Identify other sources of toxins in personal care products and throughout the home. The less toxins coming in, the more toxins the body can focus on getting out.

  • Support detox pathways

    • Organic green tea can help support detoxification but also can support metabolism and help calm stress hormones due to the L-theanine.

    • Eat fresh coriander and parsley – a lot of it. Add to salads and smoothies. These are both great herbs to support detox.

    • Eat lots of organic vegetables, especially things like garlic & onions and cruciferous vegetables such as brocolli and cabbage which greatly aid detoxification processes in the body.

In health & happiness,


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