Could it be your hormones making you fat?


You’re great at your job, you have a flair for helping others get what they want, maybe you’re a coach or a consultant of some kind and your customers love you. But when it comes to helping yourself, hmmm, you’re not so great.

You dress well, you go to the gym and you know exactly what you should be eating, but in your quiet moments you berate yourself for being fat, stupid or a failure? Does the rebellious thought, “I’m not good enough” circulate through your mind without you even being conscious of it? Do you find it so difficult, impossible even, to look at yourself and feel compassion and kindness towards yourself?

The body perceives this as stress!  And it activates a cascade of unhappy hormones in response…making you feel unhappy as well

You have material success, your car is pretty good, you may even own your own home but on the relationship side, you’re not so sure – it just feels like something is missing, like there is more to life.  You comfort yourself with food and that works for a fleeting moment but then you feel empty (hungry) again.  You get sick of feeling like crap, so a numbing alcoholic drink has become a part of your daily routine.  A part of you says, “What’s the point? I’m already huge and nothing I’ve done seems to work”, so you just go ahead and eat the chocolate/pizza/packet of biscuits anyway.

The sugar, flour and processed fat in these comfort foods are also a stress to the body.  They mess with our blood sugar hormones and make us fat.

The point here is:  We THINK fat, we FEEL fat, and then we BECOME fat!  What a vicious circle!

Vicious circle of FAT

So is it your hormones that are making you fat?

Well, yes.  And no!

How the endocrine (hormone) system works

One of the most wonderful, amazing, clever and complicated systems in the body is your endocrine system.  The endocrine system includes a whole bunch of glands like the thyroid, pancreas, adrenal, sex glands and the hormones that they secrete like thyroid hormone, insulin, adrenalin and estrogen or testosterone.  The grand master poo bah of the endocrine system is the pituitary gland and its side kick, the hypothalamus.  Their job is to beautifully balance your hormones. Well, they try anyway!

The endocrine system produces the messengers that are the communicators between your mind and your body. 

Your mind says you’re fat so your pituitary tells your adrenals to secrete adrenalin and a few other hormones and sure enough you feel afraid, or angry or disgusting.  You now have the chemistry of fear or hate in your body!

You start a diet and can’t stick to it, your mind says you’re a failure, weak, unlovable or you’re never going to get what you want.  The pituitary initiates a cascade of hormones.  You now have the chemistry of failure, disempowerment and anger circulating through your body.

We do this to ourselves every day.  Over and over.

What do we do about it?

“How do I end this” you ask.

Here’s my holistic 5 step solution:

Step 1.  Correct digestive function – Healing starts in the gut!  #1 priority is to nourish your body.  A healthy body supports a healthy mind and makes you feel strong. To improve digestive health we need to balance intestinal bacteria, enhance detoxification and promote elimination by supporting  liver, gall bladder and bowel function.

Things you can do at home include adding anti-microbial foods to your diet eg garlic, and onions; drinking fresh, homemade vegetables juices; use herbs and spices that have therapeutic action eg cinnamon and turmeric; and eating more fibre.

Step 2. Correct nutritional deficiencies – We can do this in 3 ways – 1. Improve absorption of nutrients, 2. Increase intake and 3. Reduce loss.

Things you can do at home include adding fermented foods to your diet, using bone broths and mineral-rich ingredients eg whole salt and kelp; taking high quality supplements; avoiding soft drinks which leach nutrients from the body.

Step 3. Avoid allergens and addictive foods – Allergy tests can help you work out what you’re allergic to.  So can elimination diets though they are hard work!  Replacing refined foods with the whole food alternative can really help eg having spelt flour instead of white flour.

Things you can do at home include taking a food that you suspect you are allergic to out of your diet for at least 2 weeks then reintroducing it and noting any symptoms that occur.  If you do react it’s best to avoid that food.

Step 4. Balance endocrine function and pituitary health – Sleep and relaxation are essential here.  Herbs called adaptogens help support adrenal health and balance cortisol levels.  Relaxing herbs help you sleep and there are nutrients, foods and herbs that support thyroid health.  Yoga, relaxation, meditation and sport or other exercise also make a big difference to your endrocrine health.

Things you can do at home include chamomile or lemon balm tea in the evenings to help you relax and sleep; a little iodine-rich kelp added to your soups and stews; superfoods like goji berries and maca powder can be added to your smoothies or eaten as a snack; exercise  – do a little daily, even 5 minutes makes a difference.

Step 5. Elevate moods, correct thoughts and transform emotional eating – Undertaking the actions in the previous 4 points will have already helped improve your mood and wellbeing.  In addition there are wonderful herbs that can reduce anxiety and elevate your mood. Magnesium is great for relaxing the nervous system and other foods and nutrients help correct brain biochemistry.  Correcting your unhealthy thoughts and improving your relationship to food and eating can be undertaken in my 6 month weight release coaching program.

Things you can do at home include drinking herbal teas such as those mentioned above, eating more fresh and raw food in your diet (the energy of the raw food seems to enliven us more), read books on personal development and transformation or even do a personal development program.  Getting yourself a coach for healing your relationship to food is a really great idea.


So, to answer our original question: could it be your hormones; the answer is you don’t need to be the victim of your hormones. What you do and the lifestyle choices you make determines to a large degree how balanced they are.  Taking artificial hormones such as thyroxine, estrogen and progesterone or cortisone will help but doesn’t address the underlying problems and sometimes have side effects of their own.  A natural, holistic approach utilises the power of nature to restore balance.

If you’d like to join me for the 5-step weight release process, email me at  I’d be happy to give you more details and discuss it with you.


Brenda Rogers

With over 25 years experience as a corporate trainer, naturopath, yoga teacher and wise woman educator, Brenda is the head clinician and coach at Quintessence Health.

"A healthy mind and body simply ensures you have the time and energy to fully express and manifest your life’s purpose – it facilitates the unfolding of joy."

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