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

First For Women - - Nutrition -

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

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