You’re fat and feel like crap? It’s hormonal: Part 1

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking to Sara Gottfried, a Harvard-educated physician, wife, mom, and author of the New York Times best-selling book, “The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality With The Gottfried Protocol.

If you click the play button on the video at the top of the page, you’ll be able to hear the entire podcast. But if you’re short on time – or if reading’s more your thing – I have an excerpt of our conversation here.

In the first installment (there was so much exciting information, I couldn’t fit it all into a single blog post – there will be another coming next week!) … Dr. Sara and I talk about hormones and the role they play in your health. It’s very personal to her …

Dr. Steve: How did you get interested in the role of hormones in weight loss?

Dr. Sara: I was a train wreck in my 30s. I was fat, frazzled and frumpy. Like many working moms, I was burning the candle at both ends. I was about 25 pounds overweight, so I went to my doctor and said, “I’ve got PMS, a spare tire around my waist, I don’t want to have sex with my husband, and I just feel crazy-pants, like all the time. Help me!”

I still remember shivering in one of those pathetic paper gowns. He said to me, “Well Sara, the math on this is really simple. You need to exercise more and eat less.” And then he offered me an antidepressant and a birth control pill.

Dr. Steve: Did you listen to his advice?

Dr. Sara: That was a defining moment for me. I was a stress case, but I wasn’t depressed. And I didn’t think taking a birth control pill was going to solve my problems. I also suspected that exercising more and eating less was not the answer. I was already a runner, logging 4 to 5 miles at a time, 4 times a week.

I had a hunch my problem was hormonal. And indeed my cortisol was 3 times what it should have been. It took me about a month to fix it. And that just changed everything.


Going through medical training, I was always taught that advances in medicine are the big technologies, some new laser or some new big surgical advance. But after 20-plus years of practice, I now believe that the most powerful reset you can have for your body is to change the way that you eat, move, think and supplement.

Dr. Steve: Amen, and very well said. We talk a lot about cortisol here at RealDose, so I’d like to talk about that for a bit.

Dr. Sara: In my 30s, cortisol was the dark lord of my life. Not only did it give me a muffin top and make my PMS worse, it robbed me of thyroid hormones, so I was losing hair and gaining weight. I was moody; it was making me feel less resourceful. And it was making me feel more triggered in my marriage.

Dr. Steve: Wow. For this to be happening in your 30s is crazy.

Dr. Sara: It is crazy. And not only that, I also had issues with blood sugar. I’d have crashes where I would start to get jittery and irritable and start to snap at my husband.

So I had to look at what was going on with cortisol, what was going on with insulin. I also had an issue with leptin resistance. When I took those on and stabilized my blood sugar, it made all the difference.

Dr. Steve: So what DID you do?

To find out what Sara did to balance her hormones and stabilize her blood sugar (not to mention, take off the weight), check out Part 2 of this blog post. Or watch the video above.

Steve Sisskind, M.D.

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.

As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.

Years later I discovered a better approach... based on the fundamental idea that the power of nutrition can transform your health and vitality. But there's a lot of confusion... What foods should I eat? Which supplements should I take? What does the science say?

I have dedicated my life to answering these questions... And I share this knowledge with you every day here at RealDose Nutrition.

I invite you to connect with me by joining my free private community. I've helped thousands of people and I know I can help you too!

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8 comments

  1. After 2 years of antidepressants I’ve gained 40-50 lbs, blood sugar a wreck (and who knows what else), and trying to detox from my prior medication. I will say that RealDose has been a big help (not that I endorse anyone trying the method I am using). Between healthy oils/fats and Rhodiola managing anxiety symptoms has been far easier than before. I never thought that imbalances were to blame for a lot of my depression/anxiety, but since changing my eating habits and taking your product Dr Steve I feel significantly better. Exercise, low carbs, RealDose weight loss formula #1, omega 3’s, and a nutrient rich diet has made a world of difference. Thank you for such an awesome product! I’ve lost about 8 pounds this last month without starving myself which is golden!!!!

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Junkphrases,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your experience with us! Congratulations on losing 8 pounds on your first month on the supplement! It warms my heart to know that our products has helped you with your anxiety and also facilitated your weight loss. However, the biggest determining factor of your success is you, the formula only plays a minor role, and may you continue with your healthy eating habits and lifestyle. I hope that your experience and success will help inspire our other readers and encourage them to continue with their journey to better health. Looking forward to hearing more of your progress! Make it a healthy day!

  2. i used realdose and found no changes it did nothing

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Sheila,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your experience! I am deeply sorry that you have not had the desired results from using RealDose Weight Loss Formula No.1. We understand how hard it is to lose weight and certainly know that it is more than just calories in versus calories out. That said, I want you to know that we are willing to work with you to help you reach your goals. Our Healthy Life Program is one way for us to provide you with direct support in not just seeing the weight drop but also keeping it away for longer. If you are interested or would like to know more, visit us here: blogrd.wpengine.com/healthy-life-program/

      I wish you great success on your journey to better health, Sheila! Have a healthy day!

  3. Anjeanette Grigsby

    I had a hysterectomy 5 years ago and I have gained 50lbs I need help what to do can you help me?

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Anjeanette,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! A hysterectomy can bring about radical changes to both your body and metabolism. The best way to combat these changes, and initiate weight loss, would be to adapt a healthy and active lifestyle. Losing weight, at this time, is not as simple as calories in and calories out. You may need to stick to a healthy diet, preferably with meals as close to their natural state (salads, unprocessed lean meats and dairy from grass fed beef) in order to make as little changes to your system but allow for better nutrient absorption. Getting active will cause your body to break down more body fat. In the process, you make your cells more sensitive to, and less resistant, to insulin. In addition, reducing the amount of food you eat with added sugars, including beverages, will result in fewer calories consumed and a better shot at avoiding the fructose-caused form of insulin resistance.

      Lastly, I understand your frustration and do want you to know that we offer a more direct approach via our Healthy Life Program. If you would like to get to know the program better, please visit us here: blogrd.wpengine.com/healthy-life-program/

      I wish you great success on your journey to weight loss, Anjeanette! Have a healthy day!

  4. It is so difficult to have hormones checked. I would love to have the opportunity, I did enquire once but the Doctor wasn’t keen it was for a different reason but never the less valid. I still wonder now if it would have made life better ? Possibly as a Doctor you have the respect given to you !

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Loraine,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! A healthy diet and lifestyle, including stress management and adequate sleep, are critical to maintain healthy levels of these fat-burning hormones. Achieving—and maintaining a healthy body weight—is equally important.

      Yes, laboratory tests are available for all these hormones. Most doctors, however, don’t routinely test for adiponectin or ghrelin and such tests are unlikely to be covered by insurance. Cortisol is a more common test and can be tested from a blood or saliva sample. Both have been reported to be accurate measures, but the saliva test is easier to do. Finally, blood glucose tests—fasting, post-meal challenge (also known as an oral glucose tolerance test) and the AIC test (also known as a glycated hemoglobin test) are routinely performed in a clinical setting.

      I do suggest that you speak with your personal doctor, or a reputable Endocrinologist, about these tests to know the finer details as well as patient preparation. Hope this helps! Have a healthy day!

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