Heal your thyroid to lose 65 lbs by Christmas
Harvard researchers unlock the surprising hormone imbalance that almost all doctors miss—and the two-day-a-week strategy guaranteed to get you slim and energized fast
When life gets hectic, it’s easy to dismiss fatigue, brain fog, carb cravings and won’t-budge belly rolls. They’re just the unpleasant side effects of our busy lives, right? Not so, says Harvard-trained weight-loss expert Sara Gottfried, M.D. These struggles are actually signs that the body has stopped responding to the hormone leptin. “Under normal conditions, leptin signals the brain that you’ve had enough food,” explains Dr. Gottfried. But over time, factors like stress and exposure to toxins trigger inflammation that causes the brain’s leptin receptors to become too damaged to “hear” the signal—a condition called leptin resistance. “This results in your
brain thinking you’re starving,” says Dr. Gottfried. “Nearly all overweight women are stuck in a false state of starvation driven by leptin resistance.”
When the brain thinks it’s starving, it dials down thyroid function in an effort to conserve energy. “Leptin resistance has been shown to reduce the conversion of inactive-to-active thyroid hormone by as much as 50 percent,” asserts Kent Holtorf, M.D., founder of Holtorf Medical Group. As levels of the active hormone dip, metabolism slows. Complicating matters: Leptin resistance and the resulting hormone shortfalls don’t show up on the blood tests typically ordered by doctors, so even when women seek help, they often remain undiagnosed.
Fortunately, Harvard research shows it’s possible to reset leptin levels and revitalize the thyroid. The key: intermittent fasting—the practice of consuming your calories during an 8-hour period and fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day. During this “mini fast” the body is deprived of carbs (its normal fuel source) and forced to burn stored fat for fuel. While this is beneficial for weight loss in and of itself, there’s another upside: As fat is burned, the body is flooded with antiinflammatory compounds that work to heal leptin receptors so the brain can “hear” leptin signals 79 percent more effectively. “When it’s working, leptin normalizes appetite and reverses fat storage,” says Dr. Gottfried. And as leptin resistance reverses, the body increases the conversion of active thyroid hormone, so fat burning revs.
Intermittent fasting is so powerful that just two mini fasts a week is all it takes to power up the thyroid, says Dr. Gottfried. And even better, in her work with thousands of dieters she’s discovered a strategy that helps guarantee success: drinking a latte made with healthy fats and collagen. “These ingredients make fasting easier so it doesn’t feel like suffering,” she promises, noting that since the drink is low in carbs, it won’t disrupt the fast. Plus, coffee fires up metabolism while fats boost satiety and collagen lowers inflammation to help reset leptin.
The benefits go beyond weight loss. Both intermittent fasting and drinking coffee turn on the SIRT gene, which revs energy by 180 percent, cuts sick days by 56 percent, boosts brainpower by 69 percent and lowers triglycerides by 32 percent. Read on for the easy plan!
“When functioning optimally, leptin can be a dieter’s best friend.” —Sara Gottfried, M.D.
NOW: 189 lbs Jessyca Reynolds, 43, Danville, VA Height: 5'10"
THEN: 309 lbs