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Dieting is Out - Health Eating is In

by Marlene Watson-Tara(more info)

listed in weight loss, originally published in issue 208 - August 2013

Over the past 10 years in particular with all the developments on why we are ‘gaining weight’ and so many ‘silver bullet’ ‘diets’ hitting the market, there has been little movement toward any improvement and many nations of the world continue to pile on the pounds. What I am going to share with you is based on solid science. What makes me different from so many of the health gurus is that my Weight Loss Nature’s Way Course is unique in that it’s about taking responsibility for your own health and that healing and weight loss starts in your own kitchen with you in charge of what you eat on a daily basis.

Dieting is Out Healthy Eating is In
Dieting is Out Healthy Eating is In - Trainer Academy

I have compassion and understanding that so many of us are unaware of the addictive additives laced in food; my vision and mission is to inspire as many people as I can to start learning simple home remedies and cooking techniques to take control of their weight problems and health.

I am not bogged down by an overriding ‘theory’ to prove. I teach what I teach with fun and an open mind. I have a no-nonsense approach to what works because that is what I continue to see year after year with clients who adopted this way of living. The information I share is simple, direct and hugely effective. If you follow my advice you will be better for it and that is what I guarantee.

Are Your Hormones Out of Balance?

Hormonal balance is an important part of understanding how weight loss works and the results sustained. You can change everything you believed about dieting because hormones control your fat burning switch! There are hormones that create weight gain and hormones that keep you lean. I refer to this as having your fat burning switch in the on or off position.

There is so much cutting edge data now equating hormonal imbalance with weight problems. Eating a hormone balanced diet is the way forward to not only losing weight but also creating great health and vitality. My Weight Loss Nature’s Way programme is in line with the recommendations from organizations such as the Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. In this article I am addressing two major hormones in particular - one that stores fat - and one that burns fat.

So How Do You Burn Fat?

Insulin is the hormone responsible for allowing sugars to be used for energy. Insulin rises and falls according to blood sugar levels and is greatly influenced by what you eat. Carbohydrates are broken down in the digestive system and converted into glucose (blood sugar) to be used as energy in your body.

When glucose enters the blood stream the pancreas produces the insulin that allows the billions of cells in your body to open up and receive this energy to use for their various functions. If you eat too many refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, pastries and sugar rich foods, the sugars in these foods causes a rapid rise in blood sugar. The flood of sugar stimulates pancreatic production of insulin over long periods of time. This causes your cells to remain receptive. These excess sugars are stored as fat. Normalizing insulin levels is essential to stop this storage from happening. Dramatically reducing or eliminating these ‘refined’ carbohydrates is the best way to accomplish this.

Insulin has a sister hormone, and its name is glucagon. This hormone is a critical component of your fat-burning biochemistry. When you need more energy and there is not enough glucose, glucagon is secreted. The purpose of this hormone is the exact opposite of insulin’s. Glucagon stimulates the release of stored fats to be used as energy.

Reducing the consumption of simple sugars and refined carbohydrates stimulates the production of glucagon and stimulates the burning of stored fats. If a healthy diet is combined with even moderate exercise the combination of less fat storage and better fat burning is promoted. The dietary advice below describes some of the main features of a diet that promotes hormonal balance and healthy weight loss.

Balance is the key to life at all levels. Here are some simple explanations on how to balance the four hormones that cause you to gain weight and increase the three super heroes to help us burn fat.

The 4 Fat Storing Hormones

To Balance Insulin

1. Cut out refined carbohydrates

2. Remove sugar from your diet and replace with grain syrups like rice and barley malts.

To Balance Oestrogen

1. Cut out processed foods

2. Increase your daily intake of fibre

3. Cut down on coffee and alcohol

4. Do not use a microwave

5. BPA is an oestrogenic compound found in plastic cups and leaches into the food, particularly when heated

6. Assist the body in breakdown and elimination by eating a natural foods diet

To Balance Cortisol

1. Reduce stress in your daily life

2. Elevated cortisol levels lead to higher insulin levels (create hunger pangs)

To Balance Leptin

1. Cut out MSG and all commercial seasonings

2. Low levels of leptin signal the body to store fat

3. Sleep well

4. Eat slowly - chew well

5. Increase your consumption of sea vegetables

The 3 Fat Burning Hormones

To Increase Human Growth Hormone

1. Get a good night’s sleep - Sleep deprivation almost completely abolishes HGH production 

2. Eat HGH Building Blocks. These include foods high in the B vitamins, like whole grains (quinoa), legumes, vegetables and proteins, and the mineral zinc which is found in seaweed

3. Go Organic - Many of our foods are loaded with pesticides and chemicals which lower HGH. 

4. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Workouts improve your body chemistry, including levels of HGH. You can dramatically slow down the ageing process, increase your strength as you age and eliminate the many risks of so many diseases that come about through lack of exercise.

To Increase Testosterone

1. Eat Testosterone Builders - foods rich in beta-carotene (yellow and orange vegetables and green leafy vegetables, foods high in B vitamins and foods containing boron (fruits, nuts and legumes. All of these foods cause your body to produce more testosterone

2. Other testosterone boosters are amino acids. They are the building blocks of cells, antibodies, muscle tissues and enzymes

3. A diet high in fat alters testosterone levels. Good fats are important for keeping testosterone levels up so eating more monosaturated fats from nuts, olive oil, avocados and polyunsaturated fats is a good idea because they are burned for fuel and don’t make your fat 

4. Caffeine and alcohol affects your testosterone levels. 

To Increase Progesterone

1. Progesterone-enhancing foods include B vitamins in particular vitamin B6 found in beans, as well as many fruits and vegetables like avocados, spinach and tomatoes 

2. The other key nutrient in progesterone production is magnesium. Eat plenty of organic dark green leafy vegetables, and sea vegetables, almonds, seeds, nuts and beans which are all good sources of magnesium and also keep your liver healthy

3. Poor liver function suppresses progesterone.

As you will see from the above it really is very simple to adopt a hormone balanced ‘diet’ into your life and alleviate weight problems for life.

The Hormone Balancing Food Plan

  • Eat at least 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks
  • Focus on portion size, not calories - chew well
  • Maintain a constant blood sugar level
  • Eat natural foods rich in Phytoestrogens
  • Include good sources of vegetable protein; Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan
  • Drink Filtered Water, Kukicha, Sencha Green Tea or Herbal Teas
  • Eat Cooked Foods
  • Lightly cooked fresh vegetables
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Sprouted Seeds such as alfalfa and mung beans
  • Pressed salads and Pickles
  • Colourful fruits in season
  • Almonds, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • Kidney and other types of beans and legumes
  • Seaweeds
  • Shitake and Maitake Mushrooms
  • Miso/Shoyu/Tamari
  • White meat fish (if required)
  • Wholegrains – short grain brown rice, quinoa, millet
  • Soba and Udon Noodles
  • Naturally sweetened desserts (occasionally) using barley malt or rice syrup
  • Go Organic
  • Good fats and oils

Eat Hormone Friendly - Eliminating the Following Foods

  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • Processed Foods
  • Alcohol and Caffeine
  • Non-organic fruits and vegetables
  • MSG Soy Sauces
  • All commercial seasonings
  • Coffee (try grain based)
  • Sugar laden drinks and juices
  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Sugar


Foods to Use Regularly for Better Health and Weight Loss

Whole grains: Whole grains are low-calorie; complex carbohydrates that haven’t been processed or milled like white flour or white rice. This means they haven’t been robbed of their essential nutrients or dietary fibre so essential in keeping weight down.

Vegetables: Bite for bite, vegetables and whole grains provide more nutrients and fibre with fewer calories than any other food group, making it easier to control your weight.

Sea Vegetables: They are a rich source of many trace minerals. Seaweeds break down and digest slowly compared to processed foods. This actually allows hormonal balancing to occur. Research shows that seaweed is not only an amazing health food but speeds up weight loss by blocking fat intake and promotes fat burning.

Beans and Bean Products: Regular bean eaters are less likely to be overweight and have smaller waistlines than those who pass on legumes. Beans release energy slowly into the body, making them a great weight loss food. 'They are also high in protein and fibre, which satiates the appetite and helps keep you full for longer periods of time.'

Along with Fruits: Nuts and Seeds: Vegetable Oils: and the Medicinal Teas you have a winning combination.

Foods to Reduce or Avoid for Hormonal Balance and Weight Loss

Sugar Tropical Fruits Deep Fried Foods Refined Grains Highly Processed Foods with Chemical Additives Cheese and Dairy Red Meat, Pork and Chicken

My Top 3 Exotic Foods for Natural Weight Loss

‘Turn on Your Fat Burning Switch’

Sea Vegetables

Seaweeds break down and digest slowly compared to processed foods. Seaweeds are also nutrient dense, especially minerals; contribute greatly to hormonal balance too. Research shows that seaweed speeds up weight loss by blocking fat intake and promotes fat burning. Alginate the natural fibre found in sea kelp blocks the body from absorbing fat far more effectively than anti-weight treatments currently sold over the counter. A 2010 study by Newcastle University demonstrated what has been known for centuries in the Far East - Sea Vegetables are a powerful tool for weight loss.

shitake mushrooms

Shitake Mushrooms

Dried Shitake mushrooms have traditionally been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an aid to the immune functions of the body and for breaking down fatty tissue. Japanese researchers discovered that this is because of eritadenine, a substance that reduces cholesterol. Researchers S. Suzuki and Oshima found that a raw Shiitake eaten daily for one week lowers serum cholesterol by 12%.

daikon radish

Daikon Radish

This magical vegetable is superior to anything I have used for years with clients to achieve amazing results. It is a fantastic natural diuretic with a very gentle action that is excellent for managing the fluid retention that so often accompanies weight gain. The more fat cells we have, the more fluid we store. You can see me making this amazing tea using the fresh and dried version on my ‘you tube’ channel.

Marlene’s Fat Burning Tea

Daikon, Shitake and Kombu Drink

This tea helps the liver to open up and discharge smoothly.

  • 1 dried shitake mushroom
  • ½ cup dried daikon
  • 1 inch strip kombu seaweed
  • 3 cups spring water

Place the shitake, dried daikon and kombu in a small bowl, rinse and then cover with water. Leave to soak for about 10 minutes. Discard the water. Slice the shitake and place the ingredients into a pan. Add the water, cover and bring to a boil on a medium flame. Reduce the flame and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove and discard the ingredients. Drink the tea whilst hot.

All of these ingredients are readily available in natural food stores and many supermarkets.


Photo Credit Attribution

The above image is owned by Trainer Academy


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About Marlene Watson-Tara

Marlene Watson-Tara has for over 30 years been actively teaching all aspects of health and wellness. As a Macrobiotic Counsellor and Cooking Teacher she has worked with thousands of clients around the world seeking to revitalize their lives through the philosophy of a wholefoods diet and exercise. She is the international author of Macrobiotics for all Seasons, reviewed on Positive Health PH Online She may be contacted via

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