How to Balance Hormones to Lose Weight? – 12 Natural Ways

How to Balance Hormones to Lose Weight? – 12 Natural Ways

How to Balance Hormones to Lose Weight? – 12 Natural Ways

Weight loss is about a lot more than “eat less and move more”, it often comes down to hormones that aren’t balanced. Naturally balancing hormones to lose weight, makes weight loss sooo much easier!

If you have been on a weight loss journey, and you’ve reached a point where it feels impossible to lose weight because the scale just isn’t moving. You’re NOT alone!

After struggling with losing weight yet again, I concluded nothing was working for me. I was over 40, and I was determined this would be the last time I would have to lose this weight. I wanted natural alternatives because I wasn’t interested in hormone therapy to lose weight.

Let’s talk about how we can naturally balance hormones to lose weight.

 

How to balance hormones to lose weight naturally

In my house we believe there is a time and place for medical intervention. That time and place is after we try things naturally. Fixing things with a pill sounds great until you read all the side effects. Come on… “Anal Leakage”, is not something I even want to think about.

When you can’t get the scale to move, and it feels like your just not getting anywhere it’s time to make some adjustments. And it’s often an issue with hormones. But the good news is, it’s easier to balance hormones out naturally once ya have a little knowledge under your belt.

You keep asking yourself “Why am I putting on weight?” And it’s probably hormones, but there is good news!

It is easier to balance hormones naturally than you might think

There is deeper way to look at how to balance hormones for weight loss. Hormones are the chemical messengers that control the natural activity in your body. When your hormones are out of balance, your body may store weight in unhealthy locations, can’t process sugar properly, has stress-related fatigue and mood issues including irritability. Forget about dieting–let’s focus on naturally balancing hormones for reaching your weight loss goals.

To understand how to balance your hormones naturally, a it’s important to understand the basic science behind hormones. But have no fear, I will break the science down into non-science geek terms so it’s totally understandable.

Science holds the key for restoring the natural hormonal balance of your body.

The natural way to lose weight is to lower our caloric intake, and increase activity. Are ya hearing “eat less & move more?) As much as I hate this statement, we all know this. But the issue is doing this too drastically, and repeating the cycle over and over causes massive issues with hormones. And as we age, one of the key hormones for metabolism declines naturally, so this can leave ya in a hell of a pickle.

If you’ve been on the diet cycle for life, and you’ve passed 40, then it’s time listen up.

Weight gain over a certain age may not have anything to do with poor diet and lack of exercise. Recent trends in Americans have shown that weight increases significantly with age, even in people who maintain healthy diets and exercise regularly. This weight gain has become the main cause for concern in America. This is where hormone imbalance and the science behind it, is your weapon of choice!

Before we talk about how to balance your hormones, let’s go over a big chunk of the symptoms so you know where you stand.

Hormone Imbalance Symptoms

Hormone imbalance symptoms aren’t just cramps, zits, inability to lose weight and weight gain. There are a ton of various symptoms that most don’t even associate with hormone balance. I know I didn’t when I started my journey 8 years ago.

You’re probably wondering “How can you tell if your hormones might be out of whack?“, besides cramps, zits and weight gain.

Hormone imbalance is something we think of in puberty and menopause, but in reality 85% of women have dealt with hormone imbalance and didn’t even realize it.

The thing that kills me is that most hormone imbalances can be resolved naturally if we know what to do. So I’m giving you the symptoms and then how to fix that hormone imbalance naturally.

 

Women hormone imbalance

Hormone imbalance symptoms include a whole ton of fun stuff:

  • obesity
  • cravings (sugar, salt, specific foods)
  • weight loss plateaus
  • uncontrollable eating (binge)
  • decreased metabolism
  • thyroid disorders
  • osteoporosis
  • hot flashes
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • bloating
  • brain fog
  • thinning brittle hair
  • reduced sex drive
  • increased appetite (hangry much?)
  • facial hair growth (have you checked for your chin hair lately?)
  • unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • difficulty sleeping
  • headaches
  • puffy face
  • blurred vision

The more of these symptoms you have (and there are more), the more you should pay attention below. Because right about now (I’m hearing song in my head….)

Reaching ONEderland and Don't Know Where to Start?

Simple Weight Loss Over 40, Macros


If you're new here, and you don’t know where to start on your journey? I lost 120 lbs and I have kept it off for almost 7 years.  Check out the following podcast episodes to get you started.

 And while you're here ya should definitely grab guide to get started balancing those hormones, the pre work no one talks about to starting macros.

Balance Blood Sugar for Weight Loss

You may not realize this, but blood sugar drives cravings and hunger…

Do ya’ know the “sugar high” you feel after eating a candy bar (or two?)? Well this is a blood sugar spike. This spike gives you short lived energy and a sense of well being. But it also spikes insulin and this hormone spike has repercussions on the downside of the spike.

So you maybe asking “Does balancing blood sugar help you lose weight?”

The answer to this is a resounding “YES!” Keeping blood sugar steady prevents insulin from overflowing the cells, this means your body has is able to burn fat for energy between meals. Sooo in the long run balancing your blood sugar keeping the insulin flow steady will cause weight loss.

What are some ways to keep our blood sugar levels balanced?

This is one of my favorite questions! There are some little known ways to balance blood sugar, and I love to share.

  • Eat a fat, fiber and protein together each time you eat. We call this the “Complete 3”.
  • Don’t eat between meals/snacks.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently (think every 2-4 hours)
  • Drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water
  • Eat whole foods made with love

Now that you have some ways to keep your blood sugar balanced. Let’s talk a little about Insulin and specifically how a blood sugar spike effects it and sets you up for weight gain instead of weight loss.

Insulin

How do we ensure our insulin levels remain balanced?

Insulin will remain balanced when we balance our blood sugar most of the time. We talked about this above, all 5 of these items are key in keeping blood sugar and insulin balanced. These are some healthy ways to help control blood sugar levels and insulin levels.

So when does this not work?

This doesn’t work when you have become insulin resistant.

WebMD defines insulin resistance as:

“Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar levels go up.”

 Insulin Resistance

When you are insulin resistant, it becomes really important to exercise and move your body so your muscles improve at using the glucose (sugar) from your blood for energy, so your body stops making more insulin. It’s also very important to manage your food intake and balance your macros. Knowing how much protein, carbs and fats your eating so you can give your body what it needs to lose weight.
With all of this you’re thinking this is all great Michelle, but “How do I balance my hormones to lose weight?

That’s up next, below are 12 of the steps to do just this!

EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES

 

START FIXING HORMONE IMBALANCES ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY WITH MACROS

Create Your Diet to Balance Hormones and Lose Weight Naturally

1. Eat Enough Protein at Every Meal

To lose weight quicker, increase metabolism and reduce the muscle loss associated with aging,and lose weight quicker we need protein. Protein is the first part of the diet to balance hormones and lose weight. The CDC reports that women get a mear 15.8% of their calories from protein. This is not nearly enough for hormone balance.

One of the first things we do in Macros 101 is track everything we eat without judgement. We do this to find out out how much of this very important macro is eaten on a daily basis. Increasing your protein intake is a step in the right direction to balancing those hormones naturally!

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/diet.htm

2. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs.

Now, don’t read this as cut all carbs from daily life… no, no, no (did ya hear my mom voice there?)

Carbs are the second part of the diet to balance hormones and lose weight. Our brains need carbs! If you have cut your carbs below 30% of your daily intake and you are experiencing brain fog, depression, anxiety and overwhelm… this could be your culprit.

What our bodies don’t need is added sugars and processed carbs (think cookies, pastries, food from a box or bag).

How sweets and processed foods leave you feeling empty and wanting for more even after a short period of time?

Avoiding “bad” carbs such as sugar , refined white flour, and processed snacks can help regulate your insulin levels, which will then in turn help regulate your glucagon levels and help you lose weight.

The CDC reports that women get 48.2% of their calories from carbs. The problem with this, is that most of those calories are processed carbs. These processed foods don’t have the natural sugars or fiber your body needs for hormone balance. And it doesn’t leave enough room for the balance of macros our bodies need to naturally balance your hormones.

Whole food, unprocessed carbs come with the kind of sugar our brains need and the fiber that the hormones in our digestive tract need to be in balance. Too many carbs, or carbs not high in fiber send the blood sugar out of balance.

How do we ensure our insulin levels remain balanced?

When the blood sugar is out of balance you are one starving lady, that is exhausted, and feeling like a moody witch (you can substitute a different letter there if ya like.)

So it’s key to balance blood sugar for weight loss, it’s too hard to lose weight when your soooo hungry and crabby, you might just eat your childs face off if they ask the wrong question the wrong way.

When you are overweight, the insulin levels in the body goes off-balance, making it harder for you to shed pounds.

So let’s talk the next piece of this food puzzle – fiber!

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/diet.htm

High Fiber Diet

3. Consume a High-Fiber Diet

Are you seeing a trend here? Carbs contain fiber, and you need this fiber for hormone balance in the digestive tract. Hormone balance in the digestive tracts leaves you feeling full longer so you eat less. This full feeling is a direct result of balanced blood sugar which leads to weight loss.

This is the third part of the diet to balance hormones and lose weight, add more fiber. But just a quick warning, increase slowly to avoid stomach upset.

Are you seeing how, you might be able to balance your hormones naturally just by monitoring the food ya eat?

Added bonus, all these tips work together to fix sooo many of the symptoms of hormone imbalance listed above.

Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you’re also eating fiber. The goal is to eat whole grains that are processed as little as possible, and don’t have added sugars.

Okay… gonna get a little science geeky below. If science scares you read the highlights and skip the rest. 🙂

Benefits Of Fiber

A benefit of eating more fruits and vegetables are increased phytosterols, these are found in the fruits and vegetables. Phytosterols are antioxidant-rich molecules that can lower your risk of weight gain and heart disease by decreasing the bad cholesterol. Antioxidants are a subject for another day… but they are a good thing when it comes to health!

PubMed, a directory of medical research articles, had a ton of research on the benefits of a high-fiber diet, the article below exands on many of them. It’s also a great place to start researching the “real science” behind naturally balancing your hormone… if you need more validation.

“Individuals with high intakes of dietary fiber appear to be at significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing fiber intake lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels.”

Health benefits of dietary fiber

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19335713/

The fiber also helps balance blood glucose when consumed with a Fat and Protein simultaneously. This balancing of blood sugar helps to balance the insulin level hormones to speed up weight loss. And this is where balanced blood sugar for weight loss begins happening.

4. Consume Healthy Fats

Okay, the 4th part of the diet to balance hormones and lose weight is to eat healthy fats. According to the CDC women really like to eat fats, they come in at 35.1% of all calories consumed.

Controlling hormonal imbalances that cause weight gain is a major factor in successful lifestyle change (otherwise known by some as dieting). Supporting your body with healthy fats to balance hormones will lessen the chances of overeating, boredom, and cravings, and help you mindfully take care of yourself.

The problem is, there is a real difference between healthy fats, and the fats we get in the traditional diet. And often we aren’t distributing them equally by getting them all in one or two sittings.

Fats Vs. Healthy Fats

Healthy fat’s fuel your metabolism, drive the chemical reaction that creates female hormones, balance blood sugar weight loss, and make you feel full longer.

Now there are a couple of different scientific perspectives on adjusting your diet to balance hormones. One believes it can be done, and one doesn’t. Because nothing in life is easy.

So I come at this from my perspective. For 42 years, I wasn’t able to control my weight.

I rode the weight loss rollercoaster, losing over 100 pounds at 21, at 32 and again at 42.

When I implemented the natural method outlined here and used macros as I have them set up in my Macros Done Right!™ framework, I was able to not only lose weight, but I have maintained that loss for 8 years. I did this as I entered perimenopause and I’m maintaining through menopause.

Not only am I maintaining but the women in my programs are losing weight and keeping it off, even when life gets in the way.

This tells me it works.

Want to know more about the different scientific research? Check out this article listed at the US National Library of Medicine Food as a Hormone

 

Hormone Balance for Weight Loss

 5. Eat Fatty Fish Often

Continuing along on the theme of Fat’s in your diet, one of the most important fats for women to consume are Omega 3 fatty acids… and you guessed it, Omega 3’s are found in Fatty Fish. My fav is salmon, but it’s also found in herring, mackerel, halibut, rainbow trout and tuna.

Omega 3’s are important because they offset the inflammatory foods we eat and the Omega 6 fatty acids we consume which are also inflammatory, and Omega 3’s are found in every cell membrane in our body. This makes them the king of fats!

Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for brain health, mood regulation and hormone balance.. eat fatty fish!

6. Avoid Over Eating and Under Eating

This is a tricky one because it’s not a bad idea to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. But going overboard and skipping meals can sabotage your weight loss efforts!

The key is to listen to your body and you will know when it’s time for a meal!

“Avoiding Overeating”, feels like a no brainer, but imbalanced hormones causes us to feel emotions extra strongly, increases cravings and causes us to think with a portion of the brain that isn’t logical. So this is where the statement I make all the time comes in “Weight loss is about more than eat less and move more”.

If you’re feeling out of control with food, it could be one more symptom of imbalanced hormone rearing its ugly head.

7. Drink Water

Depending on which statistic you read, you body is made of between 50-60% water. This water removes toxins from our bodies. It’s also part of the chemical transaction that occurs when hormones are made, and it keeps the blood flowing in our body. The blood stream is the transportation system of the hormones we create. It doesn’t do any good for our body to create the miracle hormones if they aren’t traveling our bodies to their intended destination.

8. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is a metabolism booster and contains a compound that reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol. It has also been studied in women with PCOS, and drinking green tea show a statistically significant improvement in fasting insulin levels, and free testosterone as well as weight loss. So green tea helps with stress, and the difference in insulin levels would decrease hunger thereby decreasing weight.

Having hormones that are balanced is important for weight loss. Drink green tea and gain the vitamins and minerals it provides, to help balancing both insulin and cortisol.

Effect of green tea on metabolic and hormonal aspect of polycystic ovarian syndrome in overweight and obese women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome: A clinical trial

9. Stay Away From Sugary Beverages

Sweet beverages tend to spike insulin and once that spike drops, hunger increases. Balancing the insulin hormone will help to maintain energy throughout the day, which will make it easier for you to stick with your diet.

When insulin levels become too high, such as what happens with a lots of extra sugar in the diet, that leads to high insulin levels, the cells aren’t able to use the sugar for energy and it is then stored as fat.

To prevent high insulin levels, avoid sugary drinks , choose whole-grains instead of refined grains, eat more fiber, eat healthy fats, cut down on portion sizes, eat plenty of protein, and get plenty of exercise to help you lose weight.

10. Learn to Manage Stress

Some stress is good, too much stress causes a total mess in your body. It makes good sleep difficult, it causes cravings and it causes weight gain. How do you eat when you’re stressed? Most women dive into the nearest sugar laden item they can find.

How does the stress hormone cortisol sabotage weight loss?

This is because cortisol wants more sugar to keep production high. It’s a natural feedback loop meant to keep you safe. But sadly we are no longer running from saber tooth tigers, so we don’t need that boost of energy. Our body can’t tell the difference between a 300 item stress inducing “todo” list and a saber tooth tiger.

Now you’re asking…

How is this overproduction of cortisol related to weight gain?

Well, cortisol is the hormone that’s released when you’re under chronic stress. It can increase your appetite and reduce your ability to burn fat for energy. It also increases primarily your waist.

But how about…

How does the stress hormone cortisol sabotage weight loss?

Our stomachs have “special” fat cells. These cells have their own receptors, they collect the used up cortisol in the form of cortisone and convert it back to cortisol. In turn it turns immature fat cells into mature fat cells allowing them to expand.

The expansion causes weight gain.

Managing stress is key in managing cortisol production. Your body needs downtime.

 

Stop Stress Eating with Simple Habits

Stop Stress and Emotional Eating to Reach ONEderland

11. Get Consistent, High-Quality Sleep

How does sleep help with natural hormone balance?

Sleep recharges you, it helps your body recover, and sometimes it feels amazingly hard to get.

One of the most important, yet lost pieces of information is that you need an optimal amount of sleep to naturally balance your hormones. After strategically-timed nutritional changes and consistent movement, you can foresee changes in your hormones that will benefit your weight loss.

Sleep is just one of many factors that affect the optimal hormone balance.

How does sleep affect cortisol and stress?

Consistent sleep, helps to reset cortisol and lower your stress level, so it’s key in reducing hormonal belly too. But it also has an effect on how your body processes insulin and your hunger levels.

A lack sleep leads to increased hunger levels because it plays with our hunger and satiety hormones. Leptin and ghrelin tell us when we are full and when we are hungry. A lack of sleep makes us hit that “sooooo hungry” I could eat a whole elephant right now point.

Just think about this:

How easily stressed and anxious you become on days when you’re sleep deprived?

This stress and anxiety cause an increase in cortisol, which leads to sugar cravings, which often leads to a binge.

Your body has an overflow of cortisol, and as it turns into cortisone, the special fat cells in your stomach grab it up. And then it expands the fat cells in your stomach. and now you have extra fat you don’t want… and definitely can’t find the 6 pack abs.

Just an FYI… sleep is important!

Checkout the infographic to find some ideas to help you get better sleep to start on your natural hormone balancing journey.

Hormone balance and sleep

 12. Engage in Regular Exercise

I prefer the word movement over exercise…

Exercise sounds like a chore.

Our bodies were designed for movement and we simply don’t get enough of it. (As I sit here writing this post, I’ve been working on for two days).

Movement or exercise is good for your health, but too much exercise causes more stress on your body. So like everything else in life, moderation is key!

Exercise in a form that you love and enjoy is a huge part of a new lifestyle. Exercise works to balance some key hormones in our bodies.

How do we ensure our insulin levels remain balanced?

Exercise or movement helps reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity.

Insulin has several hormonal jobs. It helps the cells in your body take in the sugar from carbs from the bloodstream, and it also pulls the amino acids you get from protein into the cells from the bloodstream.

Why is insulin important to weight loss?

If the sugar isn’t used it turns to fat. If the muscle can’t get the amino acids in its cells you lose muscle and this causes things like slowing metabolism and osteoporosis. Neither are a good thing.

There are more advantages to movement as simple as walking. Activity has been found to increase the level of hormones that typically decline as we age. Primarily hormones responsible for maintaining our muscles.

Those muscles are important! More muscle means and increase in metabolism.

What’s Next?

The focus here is how to balance hormones to lose weight naturally. I gave you 12 natural steps, and these steps answer the biggest questions I always get:

1. How do you “reset” your hormones, or jump-start your metabolism?

The best way to start this process is to start simple. That is why I created the free guide: 3 Simple Tips to Balance Hormones for Weight Loss. You can’t do all 12 of these at once. That is a recipe for disaster! These 3 tips are the starting place to reset your hormones AND jump-start your metabolism

2. How do hormones cause weight gain?

Hormones are the bodies regulating system for almost every internal system in our bodys. They regulate metabolism, mood and development to name a few. When our hormones are out of balance our metabolism goes into the toilet so we gain weight.

3. What is the typical hormonal imbalance that causes us to hold onto, or have trouble relinquishing weight?

This is a loaded question. Because hormones are responsible for so many systems in our bodies. If you don’t have any problems with emotional eating or stress eating, then I would say insulin, and estrogen are two of the biggest culprits. But if you are an emotional eater, then Cortisol is your bad boy. Hormone imbalance makes intuitive eating a joke because it makes you feel hungry when your not, and it slows your metabolism so even a slight increase in calories causes weight gain.

4. What causes hormones to go haywire?

Hormone imbalance happens from life stresses, lack of movement, poor nutrition, age and sometimes it’s just genetics (gotta love that). When you combine all of these together your hormones become imbalanced.

5. Which begs the question: how do I balance my hormones to lose weight?

I am a fan of small simple steps over time! As an expert at failing to maintain healthy lifestyle changes, and then finally learning how to maintain that change for 8 years I am a fan of simple.  When you try to change everything, nothing is permanent.

 

What strategy would you add to this list?

Do you have a natural hormone balancing strategy that has worked for you? I would love to know! Comment below and let me know.

How to Balance Hormones to Lose Weight? - 12 Natural Ways

Coach Michelle

Weight Loss Coach, and the Original MacroUnicorn

Simple Weight Loss Over 40, MacrosHey You Amazing Lady! 

Let me help you reach your weight loss goal. I've lost 120 pounds and maintained it for 8 years, and helped countless others reach their goal too. I'm an ACE Certified Health Coach, a certified Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach and a Certified Wellness, Nutrition and Fitness Coach for people who want to reach ONEderland (below 199 on the scale) and stay there, I coach you and give you the tools to change your nutrition and movement habits and change you life forever.

Through my passionate and open hearted Online Wellness classes, Digital products that get you started, Weight Loss Group membership Coaching, I'm here to inspire you to change your approach to weight loss and wellness—while making it all feel like a natural part of who you are.

And when I'm not coaching you can find me lifting heaving things(often my teens), creating new healthy recipes or researching new lifting techniques.

How Many Calories is Too Little? The lower the better… 18 months later, I learned I was WRONG! This can help you stay consistent on your 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey!

How Many Calories is Too Little? The lower the better… 18 months later, I learned I was WRONG! This can help you stay consistent on your 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey!

How Many Calories is Too Little? The lower the better… 18 months later, I learned I was WRONG! This can help you stay consistent on your 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey!

This will save you heart ache and time!

Are you asking yourself “How many Calories is Too Little?” or “How low can I go to lose this weight as fast as possible?” 

The diet industry wants us to believe that to lose weight we have to eat 1200 calories…

This myth has kept me from losing weight for a long time.  Could I eat only 1200 calories… sure. 

But I was starving, and being that hungry all the time lead me to eat out of control.  

It made me feel like I was a horrible person because I couldn’t just suck it up and deal with the hunger.

I felt like it was all my fault that I couldn’t lose weight because I couldn’t control my appetite. 

This meant, I was doomed to be fat for the rest of my life. There was no way out…

I was wrong!  I did figure it out, but I had to do it different.

Reaching ONEderland and Don't Know Where to Start?

Simple Weight Loss Over 40, Macros


If you're new here, and you don’t know where to start on your journey? I lost 120 lbs and I have kept it off for almost 7 years.  Check out the following podcast episodes to get you started.

 And while you're here ya should definitely grab guide to get started balancing those hormones, the pre work no one talks about to starting macros.

How Many Calories is Too Little?: Don’t shoot for the lowest

When your trying to lose 100 pounds you try to overhaul everything.  This leads to start and stop.

You fall into the All-Or-Nothing trap (The Star Wars geek in me sees the squid saying… “It’s a trap!”)  and try to control your food….

Guess what?

This doesn’t work!

So, where do you start?

The first thing to do is to honestly track what you eat now!

NOTICE-honestly…

This is IMPORTANT!

Why am I stressing this point?

Because I was you!

We like to pretend we aren’t eating as much as we are! So head over to http://MyFitnessPal.com and create an account.

Download the app to your phone and start tracking for one week. Don’t change what you eat just track it.  If your eating at home weigh your food.

What’s next?

Now you have a good idea of what your eating.  The diet industry would tell you to deduct 1000 calories from your current day.

DON’T do this!

This will lead to major hunger and then you’ll miss all your foods, and you’ll start the circle of I really want that, you’ll eat the treat, get mad at yourself and then the cycle will just repeat until you give up.

Instead….

Just deduct 250 calories to start.  Seriously… don’t do more than this.

Focus on adding fruits and veggies this will fill you up faster and you’ll eat less.  

If you like pasta, add a ton of veggies to 1 cup of pasta.  Don’t tell yourself you CAN’T have pasta, just make pasta a healthier option.

Grab your detailed Workbook to finally stop stress eating for FREE

How Many Calories is Too Little?: Why Cutting Calories LOW is a Recipe For Disaster

If after a lifetime overhauling your diet 100% and aiming for perfection has left you feeling dissatisfied, lost and struggling.  Particularly if you use food as an emotional tool. Then keep reading!

As you probably know by now, I was obese from childhood through my early 40’s.  I used food as a coping tool. It solved all my problems, and it’s how I coped with everything.

Sooo, massively cutting calories meant I had to cope with these feelings in some other way.  Usually anger, sometimes depression…

When I couldn’t handle the low calories anymore the anger would turn on myself. And I would take it out on me by eating everything I could get my hands on.  It’s a miserable place to live.

Weight loss is more than cutting calories and moving more when your ability to deal with life and emotions is tied to the food you eat.

I started asking myself “How Many Calories is Too Little?” But in a completely different context.  I wanted to know what I could handle. How could I subtract a little and still cope with life… 

Taking the change slow, is how you start to learn to change the mindset and habits you have so you can keep the weight loss consistent.

Ready to take your journey to the next level? Join my group to Master your Weight Loss Motivation using Mindset & Habits!

How Many Calories is Too Little?: But Michelle I want the weight off NOW! So I will cut my calories low to get there….

Let me share…. We all want it off now! But my experience is this…

One of two things happen…

Possibility one, you do reach your goal!  Yay you! But then life happens, and you haven’t learned to cope with your emotions and you haven’t setup habits to support your new life. So guess what?  It all comes back, or most of it… even worse you gain more.

I did this twice… Losing 100 pounds in 4 months.  Gained it back in 6 and then gained more over the next 10 years while trying to lose again.

Second time I lost 100 pounds in 6 months… gained it back in a year and then spent the next 10 years trying to take it off again, while gaining even more.

Possibility two, you never reach your goal. You go into a dieting cycle of 10-20 pounds off and you keep cycling because you haven’t learned to cope with life without using food.

Emotional eating sucks! I lump stress eating, happy eating, sad eating, no control eating all under this umbrella…

All of these are a sign that we use food to cope with the ups and downs of life. Life isn’t going to stop being a rollercoaster… so to lose 100+ pounds we have to learn how to cope with the highs and lows without using food to cope.

This is the reason I had to go slow the final time I lost 100 pounds.  And why I coach women to start slow and learn how to deal. It may start off slow, but you can cut more calories more as you learn.

Let’s Close This Out…

Losing 100+ pounds is a life changing event!  In the last 5 years I have experienced more life than I did in 42 years.  But I did it because I learned to change my mindset and my habits as I was losing weight.

I tell my coaching clients, weight loss isn’t going to fix your relationships, your view of yourself or the house you live in.  So if you’ve started asking yourself “How many calories is too little?” This is a great step one, step two is if I cut my calories a little how will I cope with life without that food.

Ready to take your journey to the next level? Join my group to Master your Weight Loss Motivation using Mindset & Habits!

Coach Michelle

Weight Loss Coach, and the Original MacroUnicorn

Simple Weight Loss Over 40, MacrosHey You Amazing Lady! 

Let me help you reach your weight loss goal. I've lost 120 pounds and maintained it for 8 years, and helped countless others reach their goal too. I'm an ACE Certified Health Coach, a certified Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach and a Certified Wellness, Nutrition and Fitness Coach for people who want to reach ONEderland (below 199 on the scale) and stay there, I coach you and give you the tools to change your nutrition and movement habits and change you life forever.

Through my passionate and open hearted Online Wellness classes, Digital products that get you started, Weight Loss Group membership Coaching, I'm here to inspire you to change your approach to weight loss and wellness—while making it all feel like a natural part of who you are.

And when I'm not coaching you can find me lifting heaving things(often my teens), creating new healthy recipes or researching new lifting techniques.

100 Pound Weight Loss Before And After-The 4 Area’s I Focused On to Lose 120 Pound

100 Pound Weight Loss Before And After-The 4 Area’s I Focused On to Lose 120 Pound

100 pound weight loss before and after’s are exciting!  They let us dream of all the possibilities! On the other hand, the journey to lose over 100 lbs can feel completely overwhelming.  And if you have been obese your entire life and your facing this journey for the 3rd time it’s terrifying.  I know this because this is what I faced 5 years ago.

Five years ago this month, I faced the mortifying fact that I was almost 43 years old and once again I was well over 100 pounds over weight.  This post is all about the before and after of my 120 pound weight loss.

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Simple Weight Loss Over 40, Macros


If you're new here, and you don’t know where to start on your journey? I lost 120 lbs and I have kept it off for almost 7 years.  Check out the following podcast episodes to get you started.

 And while you're here ya should definitely grab guide to get started balancing those hormones, the pre work no one talks about to starting macros.

My 100 lb Weight Loss Before Story

Just a few short months prior to this moment, I watched my father pass away.  And I realized that if I didn’t do something soon I wasn’t going to be around when my youngest was 42.

I had a lot of work to do, but all the available advice was being provided by 20 something young ladies that had never faced such a huge lifetime battle.  And they were mostly focused on a few vanity pounds not a life changing journey.

My goal here is to provide guidance to those women over 40  that need a starting point to wage their war.

I am going to look at each area I addressed and how I was before and after…

100 Pound Weight Loss Before and After-What You Need to Know First

Each of the following areas are equally important!  Don’t think for a minute that Nutrition and Fitness are the only important parts of this journey.  

Nutrition and Fitness are listed last for a reason.  They are the least important part of this journey!

I know your rolling your eyes at me and saying I am full of shit right now, but I promise you I am telling you the truth!

Until you learn to control your mindset and your habits you won’t truly be successful (you may lose weight, but I have yet to see anyone maintain the loss without Mindset and Habits).

So read along with me and let me explain, so you can get ready for your own 100 pound weight loss before and after…

100 Pound Weight Loss Before and After-Mindset

Mindset is a big topic and there are so many things to look at like your inner child and who gets to win, and really learning your why of weight loss and using it as a guide, oh and let’s not forget figuring out what’s preventing you from committing to weight loss.

But over all the one that has the biggest outcome for you and your journey to your 100 pound weight loss before and after is…

Negative thinking!  Being harsh with yourself and those around you will dig a hole in your sole.  And for my family it was horrible too.

I have written an entire blog post on each one.  Check out this post on Self Sabotage for idea’s to help you change!  So today I am going to focus on the before and after of negative thinking…

Before–Negative Thinking

Prior to my weight loss I was a miserable mother and wife.  I was judgmental with myself and my family.

This judgmental nature was driven my complete insecurity and my inability to see the world around me outside of my dislike for myself.

Do you battle with this?  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise!

I loved my family, but my misery was complete.  I don’t want this to go on for you for another day.

After–Negative Thinking

As I was losing weight, I worked hard to change my mindset.  I used activities like breathing in the moment and a LOT of positive affirmations.

It was difficult to change a lifetime of negative thoughts about myself and the world around me.  But it was worth it!

As a side note I believe it is easier to do this when you balance your body with nutrition.  See the nutrition section for more on this.

The biggest change was I stopped hating on me when I slipped up on my new lifestyle.  Going in this time, I stopped calling it a diet. I was changing my lifestyle.

Changing thoughts is possible, but it takes work.  My “before” thoughts had a lot of “not possible” and “you will never”… I focused on adjusting these…

So let’s get YOU some action items for changing your negative thinking because I know you want your own 100 pound weight loss before and after!

Action Items:

  1. First really pay attention to your thoughts-where are you negative to yourself and those around you?
  2. Adjust negative thoughts to positive thoughts
    • I will never lose this weight!
    • Change to:  I will lose this weight, I need to learn why I overeat and change that.
  3. Find a positive affirmation that works for you!
    • Mine was:  I am good enough, and I deserve love not food.  Keep working Michelle you’re doing it!

100 Pound Weight Loss Before and After-Habits

This was huge for me!  I was the least habit based person on the planet.  I flew by the seat of my pants and I was proud of it.  Even if my pants were huge.

My husband was the one with habits for everything.  I used to make fun of him :). For 20 years I fought creating habits.  I didn’t want structure.

Let me tell you adding a little structure, removes a WHOLE lot of stress.  It also set me up for success.  Let me explain…

Before–Habits

Before habits I was all about all or nothing thinking.  I had to do it all now and I had to do it all perfectly.  

This lack of habits lead to a lot of burnout and a lot of procrastination.  It also lead to failure.  

And the failure fed the negative mindset.  See where this is going?

Creating mini habits allowed me to support my goals.  And it forced me to break things down into manageable steps.  

I had been doing this for a lifetime as a software developer with business processes.  But I seriously fought doing it in my life.

Changing this set me on the path for my 100 pound weight loss before and after!  So promise me you’ll consider it.

After–Habits

By setting up small changes that supported my goals and creating habits around these small changes I was feeling the success.

I began tracking all these little habits, and I became obsessed with the data.  I was seeing results on the scale.  And mentally I felt like I was accomplishing something-even on those weeks when the scale didn’t move like I wanted it to.

My habits were small things.  Like tracking a gallon of water per day.  Or making myself get up and move once an hour.  (Just walking around the house/office for a minute or two).  Planning the weekly menus and creating a shopping list.

All of these little things lead to big success! Most importantly, all of the habits supported my goal of 100 pound weight loss, and they lead to my 100 pound before and after!

3 SIMPLE TIPS FOR HORMONE BALANCE

3 SIMPLE TIPS FOR HORMONE BALANCE

100 Pound Weight Loss Before and After-Fitness

Ok, so I will tell you I was the kid that was always sick for PE in school. I didn’t take a PE class in college and sitting was my thing!  

So my before fitness was NADA.  🙂

One of my goals going into this journey was to be healthy.  And healthy people move in some way.

So using habits, I implemented some fitness changes that lead to my 100 pound before and after story.

Before-Fitness

So we have already established before there was no fitness in my life.  

But you should also know that I had mentally set myself up for failure in this area before I even started…

How?

The following statements constantly came out of my mouth….

“I’m not a runner!”

“There isn’t an athletic bone in my body!”

“I HATE working out!”

Do any of these sound like you?  If they do make sure you keep going!

After-Fitness

I wanted a new life… and I knew I needed to add some kind of movement to my world to be truly healthy and to lose 100 pounds.

But my fitness mindset was a real bear to overcome!

So I started VERY small!  

I started this journey in April, but I had asked my husband for an exercise bike that Christmas (I knew I needed a change…LOL).

That bike sat there and gathered dust for 4 months, but I decided it was going to be USED!

I faced it toward the window and rode it for 5 minutes while I watched for the kids school bus every day for months.

4 months later I changed that 5 minutes to 10 minutes.

Very slowly after that I built to 30 minutes 5 days a week.  

That’s it for the first year, and the first 80 pounds.  

Then I transitioned to walking, and built up to 10K steps a day.

And finally I began lifting and doing High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT).

Now 6 years later, I love lifting heavy weights, obstacle course races with my family, playing golf and hiking.

There is a transition for you… but you have to find it.  It probably won’t mirror mine.  

I know several women that have lost 100 pounds or more, and go on to do triathlons, or marathons or become cross fit-aholics.

To get “there” you have to find what lights your fire! This fire will set you on your path to YOUR 100 pound weight loss journey!

What are your action items?

Action Items:

  1. Find something you enjoy doing
  2. Add that to your day in SMALL increments
  3. Build SLOWLY over time… no all or nothing thinking (It’s a trap… Star Wars geek here)
  4. Be willing to experiment! (I had no idea what I enjoyed, I had to learn)

Watch out for...

Working out even when injured

Pushing too far past your level–this just leads to injury!

Thinking more is always better

100 Pound Weight Loss Before and After-Nutrition

Before I started this journey, I thought we ate relatively healthy.  I cooked dinner every night, we sat at the table to eat. And there was always a vegetable….

Here is what I didn’t see…

All of our main meals came from a box or included A LOT of cheese, or noodles from a bag.

There was sodium galore and added sugars everywhere…

Don’t even get me started on all the ingredients I can’t name on the side of those boxes.

But they were meals my family loved, and I made the veggies even if they usually landed in the trash.

And my drink of choice was “Diet” Pepsi… since it had diet in the title it must be healthy right.  And it couldn’t be causing me to gain more weight… right? WRONG!

Let’s see what changed…

Before-Nutrition

As you can see my before nutrition was like 90% of the people living in the US.  Hamburger Helper was our friend. It was quick and filled up my family.

This was our daily nutrition, we lived on the quick fix and the microwave meal plan.

All of our holidays were food based, all of our family activities were food based, and all of our social gatherings were food based.

One additional problem with the food based lifestyle, is that it’s NEVER healthy food… our life was one big Rice-Crispy Treat and Reeses S’mores bar.

These homemade treats although, they are tasty and they are ok once in a while, they were a daily activity in my house prior to my lifestyle change.

I had some pretty unhappy kids in my house when I quit letting my inner child dictate our menu.  🙂

I promise they all survived, and now are proud of their knowledge of what is good for them and what isn’t. How did I change my nutrition without a household revolution?

After-Nutrition

In the last 5 years I have made a lot of changes to not only my nutrition, but that of my families as well.

They all still love me, and no they didn’t starve to death in the process.  😉

Our after nutrition looks very farm to table as my friend once told me.  I still cook dinner every night and it’s just as fast. But I do it very differently!

Dinners without buying the boxes can be just as fast if you know a few tricks (that will be a later post so keep an eye out for it).  

Some tips for you that want to do this:

  1. Don’t overhaul everything at once!
  2. Start small and build on that.  Make one recipe healthier this week.  
  3. Ask for input on meals they would like, and if none of the meals they know are made with whole foods, experiment.

Now Back to my nutrition now… now we eat whole foods, and the vegetables I make at dinner we actually eat… because seasoning is life when you make this transition! And now they actually like the taste and flavor.

Now 90% of the time, I look for the best choice in a given situation and I don’t go straight for the deserts.  My foods of choice are often vegetables and fruits because they are flavorful.

I also didn’t give up the foods I love!  I love smothered burritos.  Really there isn’t a healthier version of these, so we don’t eat them weekly.  They are reserved for special occasions. Or if there isn’t one of those, I account for it and plan accordingly.

Another big switch I made was staying out of the inside isles of the grocery store and shopping 90% of the time in the outside isles.  The outside isles have the whole foods… the inside has the processed food.  🙂

Living in a body that is 100 pounds lighter is worth the trade off.  I am happy to forgo a burrito weekly to know that I am comfortable in my body 365 days a year.  And I have hacked my own healthy street taco recipe and a few others that keep me happy.  🙂

There is one more thing that is really important!  I didn’t cut my calories to an all time low!

Why is this important?  

It’s important because starving does a few different things including slowing your metabolism, and makes it hard to stay on track with weight loss.

It’s better to lose slowly, then to lose it fast and then gain it all back! –ONEderlandWellness

My guidance you, it start slowly and adjust.  Strive to learn new healthy recipes, and invest in an Instant Pot.  🙂 It is our family friend!  The one linked here is the version I have!  A side note, this is not an affiliate link, just a product I personally use.  🙂

Let’s Wrap this up…

I am a big proponent that weight loss is not just about the calories in and calories out.  Yes that is what we are striving for… but for me that wasn’t the hard part!

The hard part was changing my habits that included eating when I wasn’t hungry, and be a lump on the couch all the time!

An equally difficult aspect of the weight loss journey was stopping myself from using food as a punishment and a reward.  

I was able to overcome these parts of who I was by building on my framework.   

This framework focused first on mindset, and then went on to work on changing my habits and then finally building up to addressing the nutrition issues that were preventing a truly healthy transition.  

The very last aspect of my 100 pound transformation was fitness and including that in my lifestyle… wishing it was a trifecta, but in reality it’s really a quadfecta  🙂

The journey to lose 100 pounds and maintain it has given me a new outlook on life!  I want to help you move in that direction as well and help you get to your own 100 pound weight loss before and after story!

So let me share some next steps with you!

Next Steps:

  1. Start with mindset!  Get rid of that stinking thinking and realize it can sabotage your journey before it even starts!
  2. Begin learning about habits, and how you can use them to start losing before you even begin your “diet” simply by changing a few automatic actions.  
  3. As the first two steps begin to transform your world, start “just looking” for healthier options.  This doesn’t mean overhaul everything! Try a few healthier options and move in the right direction!
  4. Finally, think back to things you loved in your youth… hopscotch anyone?  Or maybe jump rope… how about dancing in your bedroom to AC/DC or Duran Duran with the music so loud your mom yelled at you?  Your mom now, crank that stereo and bang your head in the living room! Make your kids squirm! It’s what it’s all about! These small changes can make a huge difference!

Resources:

Negative Thinking

Nutrition:

Coach Michelle

Weight Loss Coach, and the Original MacroUnicorn

Simple Weight Loss Over 40, MacrosHey You Amazing Lady! 

Let me help you reach your weight loss goal. I've lost 120 pounds and maintained it for 8 years, and helped countless others reach their goal too. I'm an ACE Certified Health Coach, a certified Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach and a Certified Wellness, Nutrition and Fitness Coach for people who want to reach ONEderland (below 199 on the scale) and stay there, I coach you and give you the tools to change your nutrition and movement habits and change you life forever.

Through my passionate and open hearted Online Wellness classes, Digital products that get you started, Weight Loss Group membership Coaching, I'm here to inspire you to change your approach to weight loss and wellness—while making it all feel like a natural part of who you are.

And when I'm not coaching you can find me lifting heaving things(often my teens), creating new healthy recipes or researching new lifting techniques.