Losing weight can be a difficult journey. You often need to force your body to limits you never even knew existed so you can meet your goals. One of the common misconceptions about weight loss is that you need to put in the work to lose weight. By work, that means dieting and exercising regularly, but this isn't always the case.
The truth is that weight loss is more than just sweating and eating less. It also means meticulous and continuous research into what weight loss methods work the best for your body. Dr. Eric Berg, a licensed chiropractor, has put forward a new body type categorization to support this point. Here, he uses the dominant hormones in one's body to determine what kind of body type you have, and he then enumerated four types: the adrenal, liver, thyroid, and ovary body types.
Dr. Berg suggested that your hormones play a central role in your weight gain, particularly the areas where your body accumulates fat. Naturally, it follows that your hormones also affect how you lose weight. This article will tackle why knowing your body type is vital and how to utilize this knowledge to lose weight more effectively. We will focus specifically on the ovary body type, explaining how to lose weight effectively if you have this body type.
Why should you know your body type?
The most straightforward answer to this is that it will help you lose weight faster.
People with particular body types should avoid eating specific foods. For example, people with the ovary body type should avoid cravings such as chocolate and creamy food. You can also apply this knowledge to the workouts you will be doing. You can target your problem areas, rather than doing a general routine that will not always give you the results you want.
Identifying your body type will help you understand precisely what your body needs to reach optimum health. You will enable yourself to lose weight more effectively and more healthily.
What are the different body types?
Below is a list of the typology for bodies, and a short description for each:
- Adrenal body type — This body type is characterized by lower belly fat that sags downward. Weight gain for this body type is generally attributed to heightened stress levels. Aside from weight gain, people with the adrenal body type are also likely to experience difficulty sleeping.
- Liver body type — Like the adrenal body type, people with the liver body type have fat that is concentrated on the lower portion of their stomachs. The only difference is that their bellies tend to protrude outwards and are firmer. They are also likely to experience right shoulder pain because the liver is on the body's right side.
- Thyroid body type — Most people with this body type gain weight everywhere. Their weight gain is caused by high levels of estrogen in their bodies.
- Ovary body type — Fat in the lower belly and thighs is typical for this body type. Like the thyroid body type, weight gain is also caused by female hormones like estrogen.
The ovary body type
The ovaries are two small, almond-sized glands in the female body. Dysfunctional ovary glands have been observed to cause an excess in the hormone estrogen. This has been diagnosed in men and women but is more common among females.
When understanding this body type, it is crucial to understand estrogen, the hormone that makes it all possible. Estrogen's primary task in the body is to build fat tissue around the body. If there is a surplus of this hormone, it naturally follows that the place that makes this and the surrounding areas will also gain fat.
People with this body type might notice that they have a "pear-shaped" body. This can be attributed to the fat that builds up where estrogen is produced and the surrounding areas, namely the lower belly, hips, and thighs.
Aside from fat accumulating in the lower stomach to thighs, the ovary body type is also characterized by smaller breasts. Initially, it might not make sense at all. Why would someone with a surplus of estrogen have small breasts when estrogen produces tissue?
The science behind this is evident. High estrogen levels often lead to cysts and fibroids. Rather than producing even more female hormones, these growths produce the male hormone testosterone, resulting in smaller breasts. Aside from a reduced bust size, one may also develop facial hair and a deeper voice due to the excess testosterone in one's system.
On top of this hormone dominance's physical manifestations, a person with the ovary body type also suffers from physiological problems. Ovary body types are more susceptible to issues with their menstrual cycle. They can suffer from heavy bleeding, irregular cycles, and even cysts and fibroids.
They can also suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, and night sweats. Cyclic headaches are also prevalent for people with ovary body types.
Other signs of estrogen dominance are:
- Back, hips, and/or knee pain
- Excessive menstrual bleeding
- Fatigue and brain fog
- Hot flashes
- Lack of libido
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
What foods should you avoid?
There isn't one strict ovary body type diet. Different bodies likewise have different needs. However, for the ovary body type, there are certain foods that you should generally steer clear of.
Here is a list of foods that you should avoid:
1. Soy and soy products
Soy and soy products come from soya, a legume native to East Asia. It is rich in what is called isoflavones, with about 5-30 mg of this hormone present in every 100 gm of soy.
Isoflavones are a type of estrogen found in plants (phytoestrogen). When ingested by humans, they act similarly to human estrogen hormones but have relatively weaker effects. Soy isoflavones can affect estrogen receptors in the body, either causing a surplus or deficit in estrogen.
With this in mind, you should avoid soy milk, tofu, soy sauce, tempeh, and other soy products at all costs. If possible, look for alternatives that aren’t rich in estrogen. Tofu, in particular, has the highest concentration of isoflavones among all soy products, ranking ahead of soy milk.
2. Red and processed meats
Red and processed meats have been linked to higher estrogen levels in the body, and an increased risk of breast cancer. Additionally, these meats tend to have more chemicals and synthetic hormones that have also been linked to estrogen and other hormonal imbalances.
While eating these meats once in a while won’t hurt you or cause much of a difference in your hormone levels, lifetime exposure to this definitely will. Your body will thank you for cutting out, or at the very least, reducing your intake of these foods.
White meat, like chicken, is also incredibly estrogenic. On top of this, the estrogen present in meat is significantly more potent than man-made estrogen. This means that regular and continuous intake of this food can affect your estrogen levels.
Because of the strength of animal estrogen, even a small amount of this can affect your hormone levels.
4. Milk and other dairy products
All milk, regardless of which animal or plant they come from, contains hormones. In particular, milk contains the hormones progesterone and estrogen. However, the hormones present in the human body far outweigh the ones in milk. It is still relatively safe for your estrogen levels to ingest milk and other dairy products. However, as with most things, moderation is the key.
A sugar-rich diet is a threat to your waistline. But beyond this, it also poses a threat to the delicate balance of the hormones in your body. Dietary obesity caused by excess sugar intake has been linked to many hormonal and reproductive disorders such as PCOS. The sugar doctors are referring to here includes all sugars, such as refined carbohydrates.
Aside from affecting the estrogen levels in the body, sugar can also affect your body’s compliance with insulin.
Alcoholic beverages have also been linked to estrogen imbalance in the body. Intoxicating beverages can change how estrogen is metabolized in the body, causing an increase and eventually, an imbalance in estrogen levels in the body.
Cutting down on your alcohol intake can dramatically improve the estrogen dominance in your system.
The right food and diet for the ovary body type
The list above encompasses several food groups. While avoiding these foods, you should still make sure that you’re getting enough of the proper nutrients that you need for your body type.
Here are some diets and foods that might help you in your weight loss journey:
1. Mediterranean diet
This diet is rich in plant protein and plant fats while maintaining a low level of animal protein and animal fats. Studies have found that women partaking in this diet have a healthier balance of hormones. This diet is rich in "phytoestrogens”, which can have either estrogenic or anti-estrogenic effects. It is vital to take note that there are adverse effects linked with phytoestrogen-rich diets, such as endocrine issues.
2. Plant-based diet
A vegetarian or semi-vegetarian diet has been linked with healthier and more balanced estrogen levels. This diet can reduce the risk of diseases like ovarian cancer. Fruits, veggies, and legumes help your body keep a healthy estrogen level.
3. Fiber-rich diet
A fiber-rich diet, or one that is high in whole grains, may help reduce excess estrogen. Whole grains are filled with fiber, which reduces the absorption of cholesterol, the precursor to estrogen. High-fiber diets are also associated with decreased estrogen absorption in the colon and increased fecal excretion of estrogen.
If switching to this diet is not possible, aiming for at least 30 gm of fiber a day is a great alternative to a fiber-rich diet.
4. Fresh fruit
Fruits that are rich in Vitamin C can help keep your estrogen levels in check. Grapefruits, lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory flavonoids, which are useful in maintaining a healthy hormonal balance.
Avocados are also helpful because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are crucial for hormone balance.
Eating plenty of cruciferous veggies has been proven to help in balancing your body’s hormone levels. These veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. They are rich in indole-3-carbinol, which helps the liver metabolize estrogen.
6. Natural grain and seeds
Seeds like pumpkin, sesame, and flax are rich in selenium and zinc. These two nutrients help boost progesterone production in the body, which in turn helps balance out the estrogen in your system.
Whole grains are rich in fiber. The various benefits of fiber have been discussed above.
The human body is a thing of wonder. It is capable of so many things and must be treated with utmost care. To care for your body means more than just keeping it at a certain weight. It also means knowing what your body needs and responding to those needs appropriately.
If certain hormones dominate your body, it is vital to know how to curb the high levels and strike a balance. By figuring out what diets and workouts work best for you and your body, you can better care for yourself.