The Goddess Body Guidelines

How Typical Programs Ruin Your Hormones

And What You Can Do NOW To Reverse The Damage

Watch The Video Above or Read The Article Below:

Have Other Programs Damaged Your Hormones, Mindset or Metabolism? 

It's not uncommon for the Goddess Body Guidelines to be a woman's LAST go-to effort after a chain of failures. This chain has often left her emotionally devastated, on the brink of giving up; cynical that ANYTHING can work, and with hardly a sliver of hope left.

The average woman who utilizes these Guidelines has already spent over $20K on weight loss methods. For some, it's paying $10K a year in personal training for five years with the same weight. For others, it's investing in gastric bypass surgery like Slimband at $20K and losing no weight. For others, its months or even years of Weight Watchers, random diets, and supplements that don't work. It's all the workout DVDs she never uses, the gym memberships that auto charge to her bank even though she never goes, the books on the shelf outlining yet ANOTHER diet plan that hasn't worked. 

This WHOLE time the one thing she didn't realize or know is that TYPICAL weight loss approaches that either cut calories, ramp up exercise, or both - completely fail to address the underlying cause of her weight gain: Hormonal Imbalances. In fact, and worse yet - these approaches usually ruin her hormones, metabolism, and mindset even more. 

After four years of suffering with my weight I thought I had it bad but this is really nothing in comparison to the women who undertake the Guidelines after suffering for 5, 10, 20, even 30 or 40 years with weight that won't budge. Isn't it long enough?

In today's video I go over all of the typical programs and how they may have harmed your hormones and metabolism, so that you can understand what's happened and most importantly, what to do next. Instead of putting suggestions under each approach, I have saved them till the end. And, if it helps, you might just want to skip to the sections YOU'VE done personally to save you time and see how it's impacted your metabolism. 

I'll be addressing all the major programs Goddess Body Guideline participants have done, and chances are you've done at least one of these as well. Before we start, for today's Visualization, I want you to picture what it would be like to put diet programs behind you Forever. I want you to picture what daily life would look, feel, even smell and taste like, when you eat for nourishment, and your body easily sustains its same weight every single day, and dieting is a thing of the past. I want you to imagine the FREEDOM you can feel, the happiness, the ease, the JOY, and the self-love that's really possible, when you can put dieting and ineffective techniques behind you forever. When you can put the issue of weight behind you forever. That's the Future I see for You, the future I KNOW is possible for you because I live it every day, and the future I Hope YOU too can see, taste, touch, and smell. 

That is what's really possible when we un-do the effects of any of the approaches you've tried below. So with that being said, let's dive in! 


+ Diets In Many Forms

What It Is: A diet means any level of caloric restriction, in this sense, without concurrently targeting hormonal imbalances. We're going to cover the individual diet types you may have tried, but this is a broad look at why diets don't work for women like us.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: Diets simply restrict calories without concomittantly addressing our hormones. This means our leptin resistance goes uncorrected, which means most times, diets leave us STARVING.

Secondly, all diets ALSO kill our thyroid functioning (not literally, I hope you get I'm being hyperbolic here). What I mean is, any time we walk away from doing a diet - even just for a few days - thyroid functioning has decreased, metabolism has decreased, and unless we specifically go and address that, it STAYS low, so we get fat easily - much more easily than before the diet. If we try to return to eating our normal foods from before in the same amounts, they suddenly make us GAIN weight.

Thirdly, diets all cause lean tissue (muscle) loss, which ALSO drops metabolism even more on top of the thyroid piece, and again --> we get fatter and fatter off of normal amounts of food. It almost makes no sense, and yet I see it happen time and again, with hundreds of women. In fact they can't even consume enough calories to get their daily vitamins, WITHOUT also going overweight. It's insane, but this is how much their dieting has shut down their thyroid gland.

Chances are, you've been there yourself or seen many women who have. It's important to note that 'diets' aren't always inherently bad, and they can work really really well - for women with normal physiology who DON'T have leptin resistance. So let's get into the specific diets you may have tried and take a look at why they failed you. If you prefer to just jump to the sections that apply to you, that works too!

+ Whole Foods Diets

What It Is:

Eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods and mostly cooking from scratch. This can vary anywhere from 70 - 100% of the time depending on your goals and the specific diet, examples being Whole30 or The 21 Day Sugar Detox.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

MOST women do a whole foods diet without creating any caloric deficit. While this is great for your overall health, you won't lose fat. And typically with a hormonal imbalance, you need to create a MUCH larger deficit than the average woman to lose weight - so much so, that you go low on vitamins and again low in thyroid functioning - and again - lose muscle mass, giving you that shitty low metabolism picture.

A whole foods diet is great - for the maintenance portion of your life, but in and of itself, it won't create lasting weight loss because it fails to specifically target all of your hormonal imbalances in a way that creates lasting weight loss.

Whole foods diets can help with insulin resistance because they contain fewer processed carbs, but they don't reprogram leptin, the adrenal glands, or the thyroid. They do give nutrients back to these glands, though at a rate SO SLOW, it could take over a decade to restore them from food alone.

+ Let's Get Into A Limiting Belief That Keeps Women Like Us Fat: Food Alone Can Heal Me

Let me ask you this: did you gain weight STRICTLY because you ate non-whole foods?

Or, did you gain weight because you ate processed foods, were exposed to medications in your lifetime, drank alcohol, breathed in the fumes of off-gassing paint and furniture and exhaust from cars; drank tap water rife with chlorine and fluoride that impacted your thyroid levels; missed out on sleep here and there; exposed yourself to electromagnetic frequencies from technology; exposed yourself to light after sunset from screens or light bulbs - which we know messes with hormonal flow?

If you answered YES to option #2, then how are you expecting FOOD ALONE to address your imbalances? Chances are you've spent 10, 20, 30 or maybe even 40+ years derailing your hormones from a variety of means. Expecting a simple change in foods to replenish what has been taken from you just doesn't make sense.

My one doctor friend Talia always gives this example. To replenish zinc if you are clinically deficient (meaning, deficient on blood testing), the clinical dose is 100mg a day of zinc picolinate for at least 3 months. To get that from food alone, you'd need to eat 5 ounces of oysters every single day (best source), or 100 packets of oatmeal a day, or 43 ounces of beef a day, or 1.3 kilograms of pumpkin seeds per day. It just doesn't make sense.

The whole false belief that "Food alone can heal me," even though I've effed myself up through many more avenues than just bad food, JUST DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!

This is by far the most limiting, damaging belief I encountered with patients in private practice. You want to eat 1.3 kilograms of pumpkin seeds per day? Be my guest. They will also cause inflammation and weight gain while you're at it.

So here's the thing. Simply switching foods without a caloric reduction means you’re not even giving your body the chance to burn calories of fat. And, if you do reduce calories - meaning you eat whole foods AND you eat less calories - without addressing the leptin resistance like we mentioned before, your body will go into starvation mode and make you feel very hungry to try to regain the lost weight and calories. Eating whole foods is important but it isn’t the whole story for women like us. It still misses the boat on correcting leptin functioning. Even though it has lower carbs and less inflammation - two of the causes of leptin resistance - simply decreasing the cause of resistance doesn't address the resistance that is already present. Or at least it won't - for a decade or so. If you eat perfectly every day for the next ten years, that is. Sounds like a pretty long and miserable path to weight loss if you ask me.

And DON'T get me wrong - eating whole foods is important, and THE type of approach you should take to maintain your new weight, but it misses the boat on getting you to the goal.

The women who get this right take on the Goddess Body Guidelines and use specific, targeted supplementation for a short period of time to correct their underlying imbalances, which we'll get into in more detail in the next video. Suffice to say that they get to enjoy weight loss at a much quicker rate, seeing 25lbs or more leave their bodies in 6 - 9 weeks - instead of ten years. IF that even happens for those 10-year folks.

Another Limiting Belief That Keeps Women Like Us Fat: I Can Use a Maintenance-Style Nutrition Plan To Lose Weight

This is really important to address here because I did this myself and it cost me so much time and suffering.

You cannot eat a maintenance-style nutrition plan, and expect to lose weight. The weight loss period and the maintenance period are two distinctly different things.

Let's look at some examples of how getting to goal, and maintaining goal, are VERY different:

To become a doctor cost me over 8 years of my life and close to $200K in money. To MAINTAIN being a doctor cost about $3000 a year and 20 hours / continuing education credits.

To build a house can take many months and lots of money. To maintain that house takes a bit of time and effort each day and year, and a bit of money on an ongoing basis.

To invest in a car is a lot of money upfront. To maintain that car is a bit of money and time each month and year.

To build up muscle mass is a lot of work and working out. To maintain that muscle mass is much easier and much less work.

What I'm trying to show you is, the pathway to get to the goal is much different than what you need to do to MAINTAIN your results once you have that goal.

Anyone who thinks that they can just switch to a certain way of eating, and have that be THE thing that gets them to goal weight, is usually trapped in a limiting or false belief. This strategy does not deliver results.

If you possessed no medical education whatsoever, and thought you could go spend $3000 a year and do 20 CECs and call yourself a doctor, does that make any sense? No, you never went through what it took to reach that goal. You can't jump into maintenance and bypass the actual process to attain your goal.

I'm not saying it has to be 'hard,' but I am saying the process to LOSE weight, and the process to MAINTAIN weight loss, are actually two very different programs. Thinking otherwise will cost you a lot of wasted time - still being fat. Trust me, the suffering I put myself through was unnecessary and based on my stubbornness; that does not have to be you.


+ Back to Diets: The Keto Diet

What It Is: One of the most common diets women on the Goddess Body Guidelines tried before coming to us, and it currently is a big buzz word. Keto means keeping your daily carbs low - between 20 - 50g per day, to maintain a state of ketosis, where you are in a higher fat-burning mode. Ketosis is measurable via urine strips or even blood testing at home.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: Eating too few carbs, for women like us, actually causes WORSE leptin resistance. Leptin functioning exists at a sweet spot with just enough carbs - not too high, not too low. Inducing a keto diet worsens your leptin functioning, making it hard to burn fat for fuel, and more likely that you'll be hungry and crave carbs.

Being this low carb also damages adrenal health, leading to more cortisol weight gain problems, and the inherent progesterone issues and thyroid issues that come along with that --> more imbalances!

Healthy leptin - for women like us - requires balanced carbs. Not too many, not too few.

Because of this ongoing leptin resistance, women will often lose weight at first on keto and then completely stall after a month or two, never to lose weight again. Without carbs, happy chemicals like serotonin start to decrease as well, causing mental issues like moodiness and possibly depression. It's not uncommon for people on low carb diets to be moody, angry, and have rage issues. Perhaps you know what I'm talking about.

There is a time and a place in the world for the right people to do keto, and in fact a lot of Graduates from the Goddess Body Guidelines LOVE being keto a few days of the week to easily maintain their bodies because it works for them; but women with hormone imbalances aren't one of them.

+ The Atkins Diet

What It Is: A specific keto-style diet that focuses on a lot of animal proteins and dairy. It still keeps carbs low, around 20 net grams per day for the first few weeks, and this increases in number afterwards but the focus on protein and fat remains.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: Everything we've already discussed about the keto diet above is also true here, plus a few additions.

The Atkins diet is very rich in meats and dairy products, and this can contribute to a more sluggish digestion and detoxification process, which in turn can cause slow metabolism for women with hormone imbalances. Again Atkins tends to be one of those phenomena where some short term weight loss is created but isn't sustained.

It's also important to note that Keto and Atkins tend to work much better for men.

+ Intermittent Fasting

What It Is: Intermittent Fasting (IF) involves going without eating for 12, 16, or even 24 hours, 1 - 2 times per week for health benefits and potentially weight loss.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: There is a lot of research on the benefits of IF, and for health in general there are many positive effects. It's been shown to increase life expectancy and decrease aging as well as risks of chronic disease. BUT - and this is a big one - it's also been shown to be detrimental for women's weight loss when hormonal imbalances are present. Often times doing IF causes a surge of cortisol to be released which is damaging for female adrenal glands. In the presence of this cortisol, women are then more likely to store stomach fat. Again, IF can work for the first month or so, then negative side effects become apparent, like hair loss, low energy, shakiness, and a plateau in weight. And once again - studies show Men typically do better on IF than women do, especially for weight loss.

One more I'll say there is a time and a place and a person for whom IF is suited and actually beneficial, but for weight loss for women with hormonal imbalances - this just isn't one of those times. The hormones MUST be addressed first before taking this on.

+ The Paleo Diet

What It Is:

The paleo diet has nothing to do with macronutrients - you can vary your carbs, fats, and proteins in whatever way you want. But, the premise is to eat ancestral foods: fruits, veg, animal protein and healthy fats; while abstaining from processed food, white sugar, alcohol, grains and legumes.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: The common theme is emerging: The Paleo diet like many of the above has multiple health advantages. But simply going paleo - even WITH a caloric deficit - is like going whole foods which we spoke about above. It still fails to properly rebalance the underlying leptin resistance and other hormones which can't be impacted by food alone. Or at least not impacted THIS DECADE by food alone.

The paleo diet can be helpful for many but chances are, weight loss - if any - will eventually stall as it did for me and many women doing the Guidelines. These diets can only take you so far before the blatant underlying imbalance needs to be addressed.


+ The Vegetarian Diet

What It Is:

Abstaining from eating meat and fish.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

Simply going vegetarian or vegan alone is not enough to lose weight, you’d need to also create a caloric deficit, but if you have stubborn weight due to hormonal imbalances, this actually makes them worse.

That’s because the carb content of a vegetarian diet is high by nature of lacking animal protein, and any protein sources in the veg world, come with a fair amount of carbs - this wreaks havoc on insulin systems AND those carbs convert to the bad fat palmitic acid, making your brain more leptin resistant.

Not to mention, the vegetarian diet is very low in or completely lacks:

  • Selenium - needed for thyroid functioning
  • Iodine - needed for thyroid functioning
  • B12 - needed for metabolism and mitochondrial functioning so you can burn fat as a source of fuel instead of carbs
  • DHA and EPA - good fats needed to form hormones - all vegetarian sources of these fats are extremely poorly absorbed (only 0 - 14% of people properly absorb them and that's a generous estimate)
  • While these vitamins and nutrients can be accounted for by things like brazil nuts, sea vegetables, and supplementation (except for the EPA and DHA), the biggest issue is simply the carbs.

Every vegetarian protein source comes wrapped in carbs. Think about it:

  • Nuts - very high in fat and carbs

  • Legumes (including soy) - very high in carbs

  • Grains - very high in carbs

This would all be fine, for lean men to take on with a fast metabolism. But it's impossible to get sufficient protein on a vegetarian diet without also over-saturating carb intake. This is where overweight begins.

The other issue is that two things critically help leptin sensitivity:

  • The biggest one is animal protein, straight up - from any source - reprograms leptin and fullness beautifully

  • The second biggest one is the fats specifically found in coldwater fish

Both of these things are not vegetarian.

I'm not saying it's impossible to lose weight on a vegetarian diet, but I AM saying that for women with hormonal imbalances - especially leptin issues - it's going to be very, very, very difficult and time and energy consuming.

When we re-train the brain to recognize leptin, animal-based foods make you feel fuller faster, leading to fewer calories taken in, and healthy leptin levels in your body and brain. Our approach does not work unless you’re willing to eat meat, and in fact we have had several vegetarians convert to our method and lose 25 - 30lbs in only six weeks.

+ A Regular Foods Diet with Lower Calories

What It Is:

Eating the same foods you normally do but reducing calories

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

Again it lacks:

  • Targeted leptin rebalancing

  • Targeted insulin rebalancing

  • Might be inflammatory to your adrenals, causing an imbalance in adrenals, progesterone, thyroid gland

  • Lowers your thyroid metabolism - permanently unless you target the thyroid health

  • Lowers muscle mass - lowering metabolism and causing easy fat gain after the diet is over

+ Why Working Out Surprisingly Doesn't Work!

What It Is:

Exercising on your own, in a bootcamp, at a gym, with a trainer, or to a workout video. Whether it's cardio style or lifting weights.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

While this sounds shocking, most of the women that go on to follow the Goddess Body Guidelines know EXACTLY what I'm talking about first hand. And I do too - because it happened to me.

You work your ass off at the gym. You buy the membership. You go regularly. You invest in DVDs like Beach Body's 21 Day Fix, or Brazillian Booty Lift. You spend hours on the treadmill. You might even do a bootcamp 3 times a week or work out with a trainer one-on-one regularly.

And sure - you're stronger, you feel a bit better, and you have more endurance. But your weight is basically the same.

This was me 10 months after personal training, 1-on-1, three times a week, for ten months. TEN months! Thats an investment of over $10K. I am by no means a unique snowflake here. Three of the women at my gym, going through this same thing, also became stalled and stuck and lost no weight - until they took on the Guidelines after I did (they saw my miraculous results after 10 months of BS and had to join me on the bandwagon!). Two of them lost 30lbs in only 6 weeks and one lost 15lbs in 3 weeks and decided to stop there at her new sweet spot - one she hadn't been able to attain for YEARS.

Not only that but - workouts became easier for myself, these 3 women from my gym, AND the other women undertaking the Guidelines. How much easier is it to move around your new body that now weighs 30lbs less? Another Guideline follower was so thrilled that working out was no longer miserable. She used to judge her fatness in the mirror every time she saw her reflection. After she lost 25lbs off her already tiny frame, she noted that when working out, she could see muscles flexing and bulging and sculpting her sleek, sexy figure. Working out became fun. Another Goddess Body participant noted she could now do arial yoga because she was so light, after practicing yoga for years and previously being unable to lose weight.

For women like us, while exercise burns calories, it also drives appetite way, way up. This means no caloric deficit is created - you become calorically neutral, so weight more or less stays the same. And building muscle is an extremely slow process for women, so it's not often happening that muscle is replacing fat as our trainers always tell us. Building muscle occurs at the rate of 1/2 a pound per month in the BEST of us. Never mind those with deranged hormones.

Now if you're performing chronic cardio (cardio over 20 minutes) multiple times a week, this is actually now been shown by research to drive up cortisol production and inhibit fat loss.

Working out a big, heavy, overweight body in general can burn out the adrenal glands. It's often more effective to actually take off weight first, pairing that process with slow, easy cardio like walking that won't damage joints or yoga or swimming; and then move on to other types of exercise to maintain the new weight.

I'm not saying exercise isn't important - because it most certainly is. But it has to be the RIGHT types of exercise for hormones. In the Goddess Body Guidelines, its actually recommended to Not exercise or take it a bit easier for the first 6 weeks so you can allow your hormones to heal without the onslaught of muscular damage. Activities like walking, hiking, swimming, and yoga are favoured instead (or an easier version of your weight training regime). After losing 25lbs or more, the next 6 weeks and beyond can incorporate physical activity - in a way that works.

I'm also not saying you can't lose weight with exercise - because you can. However, the amount of effort it takes to overcome the thyroid's low metabolism is so high, you will also burn your adrenal glands out in the process, so you keep yoyoy-ing between hormonal imbalances. Correct one and get another. It also fails to address leptin resistance, so your appetite stays high even when you've lost the weight - as it seeks to get you back to that level of fat.

I do recommend exercise, I am a former Clinical Kinesiologist and Certified Personal Trainer, but I think it has a more appropriate place after you’ve taken a bulk of the excess weight off and aren’t stressing your joints and heart and hormones so much. My thoughts on this are very much rooted in Eastern Medicine philosophies like Traditional Chinese Medicine, Taoism and Tai Chi. These 5,000 year old sciences believed that harsh exercise was detrimental to the body if it wasn't in a healthy place to receive it and be resilient with it. We now have the hormonal proof that shows this to be true.

+ Dr. Bernstein's Clinical Weight Loss

What It Is:

A very-low calorie diet paired with weekly B12 shots done under the supervision of a Medical Doctor or Nurse. Another popular one among Goddess Body participants - that failed all of them in the long run.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

  • The Very Low Calorie Diet induces a starvation response in most women because it doesn't concurrently correct their leptin imbalance. This means these women will always feel hungry on maintenance calories and are likely to regain the lost weight because of that (no one wants to ignore hunger signals forever!)

  • Doesn't address other hormonal imbalances in any way

  • Lot of lean muscle tissue is lost, leading to low metabolism

  • Thyroid functioning permanently lowers again, leading to low metabolism and easy fat gain after the diet

One woman, Jenny Ruhl, an author of the book Diet 101: The Truth about low carb diets, says Dr. Bernstein reports that many of his patients develop thyroid problems months after starting the low calorie diet. What I found interesting is how many patients I tested in private practice that had done Bernsteins, came in with a very high TSH, meaning totally shitty thyroid functioning and damaged metabolism. All of them reported never feeling the same after doing Dr Bernsteins, to the point they could not eat normal foods without their weight blowing up again. One of the women in the Goddess Body Guidelines clients named Shannon had this to say:

"After the birth of my second (last) child I was around 215 lbs and decided to try Dr. Bernstein. B12 injections and 700 calories per day, in 5 months I lost 65 lbs. At 150 lbs, I looked frail, gaunt, and I ended up gaining 5 lbs. in order to look a bit healthier. I went on the maintenance program started to gain weight right away…in order to maintain I had to eat no more than 1000 calories per day and in 1 year I gained about 30 lbs. back and by the second year off the program I was back up to 220 lbs. I tried several other programs in the meantime and did not yield any weight loss, along with a personal trainer who after 6 months told me he couldn’t help me anymore as I was not losing a pound or inches doing his program.

My ND tested my hormones and they were extremely out of balance. When it was suggested that I would go down to 150 lbs on The Goddess Body Guidelines I remembered back to my Dr. Bernstein days and said I had no interest in being 150 lbs and that I would be happy to be 160. I started the incorporating the Guidelines at 220 lbs and by March I was 160 lbs. and decided I could afford to lose a few more. By the end of April I was down 150 lbs. and not only am I going to do the program again to try on 140 or less. My skin looks amazing, my body shape is healthy and muscles tone is great, and I don’t look skinny and frail. Such a different experience losing the weight and maintaining will be even better because we are working on more than just calories, my hormones are all in the normal range and my body does not gain weight eating 1200 calories or more and my mindset is that I don’t have this love/hate relationship with food. It is all love now."

  • Shannon Stark

Here is a picture of Shannon today:

Screen Shot 2017-12-23 at 10.17.25 PM.png

+ Weight Watchers

What It Is: A point-based program consisted of mostly normal food, including processed food, and potentially group meet-ups and weigh-ins in person or online.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

  • Doesn't address mindset issues; many women save up points for processed foods like Skittles, starving themselves all day, leading to further insulin and adrenal imbalances - one of the Goddess Body Guidelines participants did this! She lost 0.5lbs in a month, so without the results to show for her efforts, her willpower waned and she quit

  • Doesn't address food addictions and emotional eating like this

  • Doesn't address digestion, detoxification, hormonal imbalances

  • Mostly only focused on caloric reduction

While this program has some benefits like community support which is favoured by the research, it's more suited to women without such blatant hormonal imbalances and other wholsitic factors working against them, like being overly toxic, sluggish digestion, imbalanced hormones, or mindset issues like emotional eating and food addictions.

Speaking of the Goddess Body Member that used to save her points on Weight Watchers for Skittles, here's what she had to say 11 months in to using the Guidelines:

If you want to learn more, you can see her interview on our Client's Result Page under Jenny.

+ Jenny Craig

What It Is: A low-calorie diet based on pre-packaged food you order, for portion control.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: While it may at first seem convenient, it relies on all prepackaged food. In general, women who are attracted to taking on the Guidelines tend to prefer natural, clean, whole sources of foods (with of course, the occasional treats), as opposed to weird frankenfoods in boxes.

There's another issue with eating a fully processed diet. One review states that, According to a 2010 study (20) from the University of Melbourne, those who only consume processed foods are much more likely to suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, and general emotional distress. This has been noted about the Jenny Craig diet as one potential downfall. Not to mention, it doesn’t address hormonal imbalances, and can be Quite expensive: they state on average it takes a year to lose 25lbs at which point you’ve spent over 5 grand on their food. The question to ask after the weight loss - if you even make it that far is, is this sustainable? Are you going to keep buying their food for life? We've seen a few recovering Jenny Craig women go on to be successful with the Goddess Body Guidelines instead - and save a lot of money on groceries.

+ Herbal Magic

What It Is: A whole-foods low calorie diet paired with supplements, typically between $100 - 300 per month, recommended by a weight loss coach.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: Oh, good old Herbal Magic. This was my first job when I became a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and I promptly quit in my first two weeks because it lacked so much integrity for me. I also remember my mom wasting hundreds of dollars there and not losing any weight. Sure, she was happy she got to sit down and talk with someone every week (again - fits into the Bandaid on Cancer idea), but it didn't get her any results, so she eventually quit.

Talking is nice. But results are nicer.

The issue with Herbal Magic is that while it means well, it again misses the boat on addressing leptin resistance. They DO have a focus on insulin which - thumbs up for that. And they do focus on caloric restriction - so that means thyroid drops, muscle mass drops, metabolism drops, and it's easy to fatten up again. And there's nothing there to really target leptin, not to mention it leaves out deep mindset issues.


+ Shake Diets & Cleanses

What It Is: Isagenix, Shakeology, Metagenix, SlimFast, etc - diets where you replace 1 - 2 meals per day with a shake either for the short or long term to lose weight via caloric reduction and detoxification.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

I worked with over a dozen patients in private practice that had felt swindled by shake diets, be it Isagenix or Shakeology. The typical investment in an Isagenix program is over $500 / month, and these women had seen literally zero weight loss results.

When I tested their thyroid levels, all of them came back with hypothyroidism, which again confirmed to me that - while these shake diets can be wildly effective for some people - women with hormonal imbalances simply do not lose that kind of weight (if any) on them. Instead they feel hungry and imbalanced, and while this approaches does focus on detoxification, it does nothing to address cornerstones like hormones, emotional eating, food addictions, or mindset. Women with hormonal imbalances are left in the dust. One woman, LR, came back with a high TSH and positive for antibodies that were attacking her thyroid gland which is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. She went on to lose 15lbs in 3 weeks of hormonal rebalancing using the Goddess Body Guidelines.

These diets also fail to teach people how to eat real world food, and instead make them reliant on consuming two shakes a day - for life. This may not be sustainable, or realistic, or enjoyable for most women. I personally actually LOVE Shakeology, but more so for a post-workout shake in maintenance and beyond for recovery and muscle building, not for weight loss.

+ Detoxing to Weight Loss

What It Is: Any kind of 'cleanse' meant to deliver weight loss.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

Women on the Goddess Body Guidelines have also felt swindled by boxes on nutrition store shelves of 'cleanses' that claim to help with weight loss so it's important to address why it didn't work for them - and possibly for you either.

While detoxing its an important part of a weight loss program, detoxing alone still fails to create weight loss for women with hormonal imbalances.

We spoke in depth about how critical detoxification is for weight loss - in Video #3 on Digestion and Detoxification.

We talked about how your body will lose fat more slowly when it isn’t primed to properly break down and excrete toxins as they release; this is the entire premise behind programs like Isagenix or Wild Rose. If you optimize your detoxification channels, it means your body is more comfortable with breaking down a lot of fat, more quickly. However, a detox program alone, like Wild Rose, or any other packet that you grab from the health food store, while they can be great for optimizing detoxification channels, they lack the wholistic approach to rebalance your hormones. So while they have benefits, they only offer one piece of the puzzle and lack the wholistic aspect needed.

Detox PLUS: Digestion + Hormonal Rebalancing + Mindset Support + Proper Nutrition and eventually proper movement, are the critical combo for women with stubborn, persistent, hormonally-imbalanced weight.

+ Ideal Protein Diet

What It Is:

Again based on low calorie, pre-packaged food.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

Like Jenny Craig, it doesn’t teach you how to eat in the real world. It also lowers calories quite drastically without simultaneously addressing hormonal imbalances, which can lower thyroid functioning, meaning metabolism takes a permanent hit, lowering itself unless you proactively do something to raise it. One Registered Dietician, Kara Lydon, author of Nourish Your Namaste and the Food Dietician Blog says: “Diets that are as restrictive as the Ideal Protein Diet will help you lose weight short-term, but will not help you keep the weight off in the long run." Studies have shown that minimally processed foods—as opposed to the pre-packaged meals offered during the first phase of this diet—are key to losing or maintaining weight, says Lydon. While this approach does aim to rebalance the hormone insulin through food, it doesn’t do anything for leptin, adrenals, thyroid, or female hormones.

+ NutriSystems

What It Is:

Pre-packaged low calorie diet like Jenny Craig and Ideal Protein Diet.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

NutriSystem falls prey to the same issue as Jenny Craig and IDP which is the 'prepackaged food' category, which begs the question of sustainability.

Often times women that choose these approaches tend to abdicate themselves to victim mode, assigning responsibility of portion control to someone else, like an outside source such as NutriSystems. Whereas on the flipside, the Women who engage in the Guidelines have stepped into a place of power and don't find it difficult to navigate choosing portions for themselves out of real food from the store. This is also because their hunger has transformed dramatically because their leptin has been corrected. While there are benefits to the insulin control and portion control that NutriSystems offers, it still fails to correct leptin resistance, meaning a lot of women with hormone imbalances are left to feel starving on this approach. This means their willpower is likely to wane, and the entire program will be unsuccessful for them.

This approach can be moderately expensive, as they quote it would take up to 25 weeks (basically half a year) to lose 25lbs, which is about $2100. It then begs the question again of, will you now need to stay on NutriSystem food for life to sustain these results? If you could even achieve them - in the face of leptin resistance and major hunger - in the first place?

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+ SlimBand / Gastric Bypass Surgery

What It Is:

Gastric bypasses or SlimBand are surgeries to reduce the size of the stomach so that less food can be consumed. In general if you are moribidly obese your doctor can put you on the waitlist for a gastric bypass, which can take up to 5 years but will be covered by Insurance, or, you can pay out of pocket for quicker surgery or for SlimBanding surgery which is more common at small clinics.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: It's obvious that this is not a wholistic approach - it fails to address why a woman needs that much food to feel full in the first place. Is she eating for emotional reasons, or food addictions, and just can't stop herself? Does she genuinely feel that hungry all the time because her leptin doesn't tell her she's full? These problems go unaddressed with this approach.

And yet it becomes a necessary approach for some women who are just terrified that nothing is working and they will continue to gain weight if they don't do this.

This is obviously a very invasive approach to weight loss. Studies from weight-loss clinics indicate complication rates from gastric banding of as high as 39%. One recent Belgian study reported 50% of patients requiring removal of the band, though in a similar British study just 7% did. There is no record of any peer-review research published by Slimband in academic databases(16). Severe complications are rare. But another former company employee who underwent Slimband’s surgery alleges it’s more common for patients to simply not lose much weight, or to tire of unpleasant side effects. She claims there is little mention of this possibility in advance.

Slimband’s marketing “gives this idea that it’s going to be this magic pill, and you don’t have to worry what you put in your mouth any more,” this former employee said. It’s not unusual, she said, for patients to have trouble with stomach noises, and suffer frequent vomiting. “They’re not telling you that.”

In Food Junkies by Food Addiction Specialist and Medical Doctor, Dr. Vera Tarman says, "The sad reality is that a significant percentage of patients never even lose 5 - 10lbs, and for those who do, only about 40% are able to maintain it to the 5 year mark. 1 - 2% die during surgery and 5% more in the year following (so 7% die in total). And, 6 - 8% develop alcoholism within the year of the surgery, indicating an underlying food addiction now being replaced by alcohol. Although initial weight loss can be dramatic — gastric-bypass patients typically shed around 70 percent of excess weight — patients gradually regain 20 to 25 percent of what they lose. For people with extreme obesity, defined as having a body-mass index of 40 or greater, gastric bypass often merely shifts them into the obese category. Obese patients can drop to overweight status (a BMI of 25 to 29.9). Yet fewer than 10 percent of patients achieve a normal BMI of 18.5 to 24.9."

Given the scary potential for side effects, paired with the high cost (approximately $20K), paired with the possibility of not losing any weight at all - as experienced by two patients I worked with - or the 90% chance of never achieving a healthy weight - it's easy to see that SlimBand and Gastric Bypassing are not the attractive option once believed to be. Never mind the lack of wholistic approach.

+ LipoSuction

What It Is: A surgery involving inserting a tube into the skin, usually under anesthesia, to remove fat cells under the skin - but not deeper fat cells in the body, which is where 50% of fat is stored.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: Liposuction is often one of those 'dream' methods of losing weight. Many women don't realize liposuction is done to reshape or contour areas and is not for actual weight loss. It can only reach and impact fat under the skin, which only accounts for 50% of body fat. The other 50% is below the skin, in between our organs. And failing to get rid of that, while just getting rid of surface pockets, is like putting icing on a mud pie. It just doesn't make sense. Not to mention it's a costly investment: Liposuction on the abdomen alone ranges from $4000 - 8000; otherwise it's about $3,000 per body area.

I'm pretty sure it goes without saying that this approach doesn't address mindset, lifestyle factors, or hormonal imbalances.

+ CoolSculpting

What It Is: A method of cooling fat cells so much that they freeze and die. They then take about 4 months to be broken down and metabolized by the body. Can only be done on fat under the skin, not fat between organs.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us: CoolSculpting is currently all the rage and I have no problem with it, I think it’s a great add on for contouring. I met with a CoolSculpting technician in Yorkville, Toronto to discuss the benefits and implications and she told me that a) its not for everyone, it has to be grab-able fat. B) It does nothing to reduce body fat / body weight and C) It can reduce fat cells 25 - 40% in that area, but it only targets fat under the skin, not the fat below the surface which is in between organs and still gives the appearance of overweight.

So there is no real fat loss with CoolScultping. In fact the technician told me they make clients sign significant waivers stating they realize they will not lose weight. So again - if you're very overweight - this is like putting icing on a mud pie.

The technician stated that CoolSculpting really works best for people who are 10 to 15lbs away from their lower weight range (meaning they are ALREADY a healthy weight). Otherwise it will only make surface differences and can take many treatments to get those small results. It costs an average of $2000-3000 per area to treat and generally 1 - 4 sessions are needed per area. It will create some contouring results, but does nothing to impact hormonal health, wellness, or weight loss.


+ Weight Loss Medications

What It Is: Medications prescribed by a Medical Doctor for weight loss. These include Orlistat, Lorcaserin, Phenteremine, Topiramate, Buproprion, Naltrexone, and Liraglutide.

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

This is a rarer category altogether but there have been some women that try weight loss medications as prescribed by their doctors. To date, the results have been dismal in the research.

According to a recent 2014 review study, even prescription weight loss pills don't work as well as hoped. On average, they may help you lose up to 3-9% of body weight compared to a dummy pill (18) so if you’re 180 lbs that looks like losing 5.4 - 16.2lbs.

Another study shows Orlistat causes 6lbs weight loss (17), which is really nothing to write home about if you're significantly overweight.
I know, I know, I'm a broken record when I say it obviously fails to address hormones, emotional eating, food addictions, mindset, exercise, and healthy eating for life.

Not to mention they come with some unsexy side effects, like pooping uncontrollably.

+ The "Dr. Oz" Supplement Approach to Weight Loss

What It Is:

I call these the "Dr. Oz Methods" because when I used to work at a health food store while I was still in undergrad, people would come in asking for whatever Dr. Oz had recommended that week for weight loss. This includes natural supplements sold at your local health food store. Notably:

  • CLA

  • Bitter Orange

  • Green Tea extract

  • Glucomannan

  • Green coffee bean extract

  • Raspberry ketones, and

  • Garcinia cambogia

Why It Doesn't Work For Women Like Us:

  • Garcinia cambia - study of 130 people found no difference between placebo
  • Raspberry ketones - no human studies, and the rat studies used massive doses that we would not be able to replicate
  • Green coffee bean extract - makes people lose 5.4lbs more than a placebo, in 3 studies
  • Glucomannan - can help people lose 8 - 10lbs, shown in 3 studies
  • Green tea extract - can help increase fat burning and fat loss from stomach, in at least 4 human studies, though I have to say I've never seen it happen in private practice nor have my colleagues
  • CLA - a 2012 study found you can lose 3lbs versus a placebo

None of them are wild results. All of them are sort of bonus add ons, if you will. They don’t address the foundation, the root of the problem. They are the approach someone takes if they’re super naive, thinking this is actually a magic bullet, which we don’t have; or, someone whose wanting to say they did something for their weight loss without actually committing to it more than 14 bucks at Walmart. It creates that false notion of having taken action. And some people do it just for shits and giggles like, 'Hey let's see, 14 bucks is not a big loss if it doesn’t work out.' By and large, I've never in my private practice across hundreds of patients, ever seen anyone lose fat or lose weight from these products. Nor from the people that came to our nutrition store in undergrad. Most said it was a waste of money.

Though I'd be SUPER interested to see if these products perform better in women whose hormones have been rebalanced. Now THERE'S a good idea for a study!

+ A Weight-Loss Cop Out: Did You Ever Do This?

Here is another limiting belief when it comes to weight loss that I'm sure we've ALL engaged in: The Bandaid Approach.

One of my Business Coaches said, "When People do this, It's like putting a Bandaid on Cancer."

I'm sure that generates some visual images.

What it means is, you stay stuck in the "Information Gathering Stage" of a goal, like weight loss, or take very small, ineffective actions, like buying a $14 weight loss pill at Walmart for shits and giggles. What happens is that your brain registers, "I've taken action toward my goal," even if that means you just wrote it down, or bought another book you won't actually use, or bought another workout DVD, or a gym membership, that won't help in any way. Mentally, you feel good knowing you did something toward that goal, but on a physical, real-world level - you actually got no where nearer the result you truly want: Weight Loss.

Engaging in this behaviour keeps us stuck, fat, and unhealthy. It's a huge way to sabotage our goals and our lives and not only do I see it all the time, but I've done it a lot myself before learning to identify it (I STILL catch myself doing it with other goals in my life!). This is one of the biggest things that happens with those "Dr. Oz" approaches to weight loss.



What Do ALL Of These Methods Have in Common?

  •  Fail to truly address underlying hormone imbalances in Leptin, Insulin Resistance, Progesterone, Estrogen, Adrenal Hormones, Thyroid Hormones
  •  Leave women with lower metabolism than when they started (with the exception of exercise - but exercise also raises appetite significantly, leading to no net calorie loss)
  •  Leave women with less muscle mass than when they started (with the exception of exercise)
  •  Fail to Deeply Address Mindset Issues around Weight Loss
  •  Fail to Address Emotional Eating
  •  Fail to Address Food Addictions
  •  Fail to Address How Women Being Inauthentically Masculine / Not Divinely Feminine Greatly contributes to weight gain
  •  Fail to teach how to design Lifestyle to Support New Body
  •  Often fail to get women to goal weight - so they never truly enter maintenance
  •  Often fail to teach women how to properly maintain and what to do if weight fluctuations DO happen
  •  MOST of them don't educate you on lifelong, sustainable healthy nutrition (e.g. not having to rely on potentially unsustainable supplements or shakes for two meals a day for life) 


All Of This To Say.... You're NOT Crazy!

If you've tried - and ultimately failed - with any of these approaches, you're not crazy and you're NOT alone. We've seen women come from literally all of these previous approaches, and successfully lose weight on the Goddess Body Guidelines and KEEP it off. That's because our program is meant for women with hormonal imbalances, whereas the above approaches will spit out these women with no results to show for the time, money, and effort they put in. 


I also say this to educate you before you potentially lose or waste more money. It's not to say these approaches don't work, they just likely won't for you, and don't work for the women struggling with hormonal fat. 

What Can You Do Now?

  •  DO exercise, just make sure you don't feel 'destroyed' by your exercise - focus on replenishing instead
  •  DO eat whole, healthy foods to nourish yourself
  •  DO only eat when you feel truly hungry, and avoid over-eating or emotional eating
  •  DO Save your money and avoid Dr Oz supplements - unless you wanna do it for 'shits and giggles'
  •  DO consider doing a LOT of research before taking on one of the above approaches, and don't set yourself up for major disappointment  
  •  DO tune in to our next video, which goes through HOW To Put Everything You've Learned Together TO FINALLY LOSE THE WEIGHT, And WHY the Goddess Body Guidelines work for Women Like Us