Are Hormones Making You Fat?

July 28, 2017

Take back control and slim down.

As women, we know that our hormones can all too often be the culprit behind a variety of issues. Whether it’s breakouts you can’t believe you’re still having or that bloat that seems to always pop up at the most inconvenient times, they can certainly cause us grief. As you’d imagine, those pesky hormones can also be behind weight gain and the inability to lose weight.

You’ll be astonished to learn that hypothyroidism is now approaching epidemic proportions among perimenopausal women, and most women go undiagnosed. In the full update of my bestseller Before the Change, you’ll uncover updated and expanded discussions of the gluten–thyroid connection, the role of bile, how thyroid function relates to hormonal imbalances, why your doctor can’t tell you what’s wrong, and what you can do to keep your thyroid in tip-top shape.

Discovering the Source

You can often trace the source of hypothyroidism to a nutrient disruption (especially iodine) or to an autoimmune disease. In the case of an autoimmune disorder, it means the body is somehow “attacking” its own thyroid tissue, which is primarily an immune problem, not a thyroid problem. The most common of these autoimmune diseases is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Interestingly, the group of people most likely to develop Graves’ are women in perimenopause. Unlike Hashimoto’s, Graves’ disease causes hyperthyroidism, not hypothyroidism. Regardless, the overstimulation inherent in Graves’ disease can exhaust the thyroid and ultimately lead to hypothyroidism.

Thyroid issues typically go undiagnosed, particularly when a doctor relies solely on a standard test of TSH and T4 levels. Why? The line between a normal and an underactive thyroid is very fine indeed. And many physicians are reluctant to order a complete thyroid panel, relying instead on a single TSH blood test to make their diagnosis.

Other Common Culprits Behind Excess Fat

Excess fat on the body can also be driven by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). A helpful remedy to combat it is to lower testosterone by either progesterone supplementation or saw palmetto. Supporting the adrenals with adaptogens like ashwagandha and rhodiola (like Rosavin Plus from Ameriden) can also help.

If you’re perimenopausal and are noticing fat buildup around the hips, thighs, and the upper part of your arms, this may be due to estrogen dominance. At least four hours of exercise each week can lower estrogen dominance, as can dietary fiber. As noted by the late Dr. John M. Ellis, vitamin B6 reduces levels of estrogen dominance due to its ability to elevate levels of progesterone.

Insulin resistance could also be to blame for those pounds. When the body is stressed, insulin levels decrease and cells become less responsive to its actions, raising blood sugar levels and, over time, contributing to insulin resistance. Lower stress levels with meditation, yoga, or any activity or hobby that brings you joy. It can be tough in our fast-paced world, but you must think of your health each time excessive stress creeps up. Exercise is fantastic for reducing insulin resistance as well, so get moving and discover your favorite activities of choice.

The Next Step

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by possibilities, I’m here to guide you. Before the Change offers practical, time-tested solutions to restore your body to a place of hormonal harmony, and give you back your life—and your waistline.

Preorder sales are happening now. With your order you’ll gain access to three FREE bonus gifts. We’re also offering a FREE Peri Protocol Cookbook that includes recipes you and your loved ones—perimenopausal or not—will absolutely adore.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Donna Reusze

    Ann Louise, I’m 54 going through menopause. Historectomy in 1999 but still have ovaries.
    My doctor wants me to take bio identical estridiol 1mg, progesterone 100 mg, testosterone and 25mg of dhea. I’m scared to but have been feeling symptoms of low energy etc. and about 10lbs of excess weight.
    My blood work came back as estradiol 20, free testosterone 3, total testosterone 44, progesterone 0.4, dhea 62, T4 0.7.
    I’m reading The New Fat Flush Plan right now, trying to educate myself on my hormones.
    Any suggestions from you would be greatly appreciated. This is scary stuff.
    Thank you,

  2. Team ALG

    Donna: Thank you for your post. Your doctor is trying to balance your hormones based upon your test results and so I would also suggest you consider more liver support such as Liver Lovin’ and Bile Builder to make sure all your hormones are being properly metabolized. My diet plan will also help. Good luck.

  3. Jane

    Hi, Ann Louise!
    I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2014. I brought my numbers down. My weight was norma at 148l. In 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme. It invaded my digestive system……diarrhea still. I ate a clean diet and low carbs. I couldn’t get any nourishment and lost 20 pounds. In March of 2017 I was diagnosed with late onset Type 1 and was put on Humalog before meals and Lantis at night. I gained 30 pounds from 128 to 158 in one month and I was eating clean, no junk, low carb, and I exercised! I don’t fit in any of my clothing and I don’t see an end in sight. I am still eating clean, no junk, low carb, 1500 calories and walk 8,000 steps a day and I go lifting. My endocrinologist says that because insulin is a hormone that I have gained weight and she threw her hands up in the air as to what I should do next. My A1C has gone from 10.3 to 5.3 and Blood Glucose Nos. from 500 to 90 between March-July 20th. My cholesterol is 184, my LDL 125, my triglycerides at 74, my HDL 49! Would you have any ideas for me? Thanks ahead of time!

    • Team ALG

      Jane, we have found that taking Weight Loss Formula in a situation like yours can be very helpful. The chromium in it and the berberine found in the Oregon grape root assist in balancing blood sugar. Berberine has been shown to be as effective with blood sugar balance as Metformin in recent studies. You may also wish to take additional berberine, perhaps taking 250 mg with each meal.

  4. Maha

    I havebeen your client for a long time, im still taking thr cla and gla religiously together with a one day vitMin
    Is this ok or you hVe. Tter suppliments to loose weight?

    • Team ALG

      Maha: Thank you for being a long time client. Adding the Weight Loss Formula will increase your ability to lose weight. You really need to follow The New Fat Flush Plan for new protocols that will also help lose weight faster, like the 3 Day Ultra Fat Flush Tune-Up. Best to you!

  5. dianvl

    hi – i am 56 and going through menopause (post peri). I also have PCOS and have gained substantial belly fat over the past 2 years. what to do?

    • Team ALG

      Dianvl: It would be very helpful to know what exactly is going on with your hormone levels. Taking a Salivary Hormone Test will give you the answers. It comes with a letter of recommendations from Ann Louise. Here’s the link for the test:


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