The Weighting Game

by Kate

Hello Wray. I have been having trouble with my weight for over a year now. In the past, diet and exercise have always been the key, but since last September it just won't budge. Strangely, however, I fasted for two days and lost FIVE POUNDS a day; however, I do not look puffy so I do not know what that weight could have been. (edema without showing?) Then, as soon as I ate again I gained the weight right back. My doctor had been wanting to put me on Yaz since forever, so I finally agreed and started it this May. During that time, I ate little to no calories and walked to the ends of the earth and back. I went down about 25 lbs in 2 months, but the majority of that was in chunks (11 lbs the first week, then 7 lbs about 6 wks later). Does that make any sense to you? I thought, 'wow, this pill is really working,' and ate a little more the one day. I was up 4 lbs the next day. A day later? Same thing. Where is all this weight coming from??? I thought the Yaz had fixed that problem. I stopped the pill at the end of August. Before I went on Yaz, I tried using progesterone cream, but after finding this site, I realize I was probably using waayyyy too little (20 mg/day) and I gained 12 lbs in 7 days. Just for fun, I did a keto diet last month, not expecting to lose anything, but to give it a go anyway. I lost about 3 lbs water weight at the start, but then nothing. I ordered an E2/Pg saliva test in March and my Pg came back 45 pg/ml (E2 1.4 pg/ml), hence the reason I started the Pg cream. Also, last month I started seeing a ND because none of the regular dr's I saw knew anything about hormones. My ND has in fact acknowledged that I am low in Pg, but doesn't want to mess too much with my hormones. She has put me on
---->Vitanica Women's Phase 1 <---- (ingredients listed in picture of bottle) Do you see any reason why this would help? And more importantly, do you think Pg will help my weight issue at all? I have never dealt with this before- large chunks of weight coming off in 2-7 days, and such great amounts of weight coming back after ONE DAY of eating more. I absolutely cannot explain it. Nor the fact that it is next to impossible to get any weight off at all. I am down about 15 lbs from when I used the cream, but that's all because I went super hardcore those couple months I was taking Yaz. And yes, I know that was not a healthy route to take, but I was so heavy and so upset about it. Now I am back to just being regular heavy. I would be willing to try Pg cream again, at a much higher dose, if it would not make me gain all that weight back, and if it will help me to lose the weight I have been trying to lose for over a year now. But I don't know if the Pg is what's making my weight so stubborn and strange. Btw, I am back on a keto diet, just for fun. Lastly, ever since last Sept, when I was unable to lose weight, I also noticed I was having vivid dreams every. single. night. I often wake up from them 2 or 3 times throughout the night. I can't really find anything linking vivid dreams to low Pg, but I don't know what else it could be..which kind of worries me. Anyway, I have gone through a year of having no doctor really care one way or the other about my weight, but I do. I am tired of having a big belly, and not being able to fit into the clothes I was wearing last year before I gained a mysterious 10+ lbs out of nowhere. Please help?...any info/recommendations you have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Comments for The Weighting Game

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Oct 19, 2013
weighting it out
by: Kaylana

Hi, Here is a little info that might help. Grains and carbs cause an increase in the diameter of the intestines when the undigestable fibers come in contact with estrogen that has been labeled by the liver for removal. The estrogen is freed from its escort and enters back into the bloodstream. When it does it relaxes the muscle wall in the intestine. There are other negative effects as well, but the most noticeable is the weight gain due to the intestine holding more.

In the 1930's scientists used to measure the uterine weight to test the estrogenic levels of foods. The cecum (the connecting portion between the small and large intestine) of animals consuming grains was much heavier.

I've been essentially grain free for a couple of years now. Shortly after giving birth my midwife had me take linseed. Big mistake. I noticed quite a difference weight wise once I got it - and the extra estrogen- out of my body. My friends were surprised at how fast I lost the "baby" weight.

Wray will be able to give you more specific details on what is causing the weight gain and where it is occuring

Hope this helps!

Oct 21, 2013
The Weighting Game
by: Wray

Hi Kate Knowing your age would help, but as you were put on the pill, I imagine you're still bleeding. Or possibly in Peri-menopause? Weight loss is never smooth, water is always the first chunk to come off, often followed by muscle if on a low calorie diet. Although I will say the last thing you should do is cut calories, it's a useless diet, dangerous too. It's fat you need to loose not muscle. And you will put the weight straight back on again. I don't understand why you were given the Yaz, can you enlighten me? I am relieved you stopped it, all drug based Contraceptives have the potential to harm. And the progesterone, presumably you were given that because your level was low? Your ratio from those results is 32:1 which is low. You might like to see our Saliva Tests results, we run them occasionally on our cream. The level of progesterone shoots up with the ratios all being 600:1 and over. The main thing, the women felt well. The supplement you were given has nothing bad in it, except some of the herbs are oestrogenic. It's progesterone you need not oestrogen. Progesterone does speed metabolism slightly, but don't rely on it for weight loss. I would continue with the Ketogenic Diet. One month will not be enough, as it takes a good week or more for the body to begin burning ketones intend of glucose. In it's strictest form the Keto Diet is very difficult to adhere to. But this is usually only used for people with epilepsy and cancer, which it does help. It reduces glucose levels to the barest minimum, and the body uses ketones for energy. It's a very high fat, moderate to low protein and very low carb diet. Only the good fats should be used, i.e. MCT oil, coconut oil, butter, olive oil or macadamia oil. The first three are saturated fats, the other two mono-unsaturated fats. The best is the MCT oil, an extract from coconut oil. The body converts the fatty acid into ketones, in fact the brain does better on these than glucose. MCT oil forms ketones more efficiently than the other oils. The diet varies from a 4:1 ratio of fat to protein/carb down to a 1:1 ratio which is the easier to follow. Continued below

Oct 21, 2013
The Weighting Game Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Kate It's also essential to eat enough protein. This is based on 0.9g to 1.0g of protein per kg per day of lean muscle mass. Contrary to what is generally believed a lack of protein leads to bone loss. Get hold of Gary Taube's book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. It's an excellent book which explains the role carbohydrates and insulin play in our body. And how damaging both are when in excess. Ignore his section on oestrogen, totally wrong! Two other excellent books are Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health and Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers. Both are available via Kindle too. Finally you might like to see this comment for encouragement Update on using Progesterone Creme and Weight Loss with Low Carb diet. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Oct 22, 2013
Re: Weight
by: Kate

Thank you both for your comments :) I really do not think I'll have any luck with my weight till I get my hormones balanced, though. At least I hope that's the case because if raising Progesterone levels doesn't help, I won't know where to turn. My brother's wife did the Keto diet (20g carbs or less a day) for 6 months and had EXCELLENT results. She's 30 or 40 lbs less than she used to be. I like to try out the diet because it keeps me from eating bundles of junk food. I'm 27, and haven't been able to lose weight since last September. Yet last spring the weight was just "melting off" as they say. 20+ lbs a month. Lots of walking. I think I burnt out my system from doing so. I was put on medication that made me gain back a lot of weight, and have not been able to get it off. And no, it is not the medication that is keeping me from losing weight. I put myself on progesterone cream this spring because I didn't know what else to do. All the doctors would tell me is, Your hormones fluctuate. And wouldn't test for anything. They said to take Yaz for these unknown hormonal reasons, but after coming off 4 packs of the stuff, I believe it's only made my issue worse. I'm going on a 5 week cycle and my period is showing no signs of coming any time soon. Does this sound like a progesterone problem? Not many people write about not being able to lose weight, except when they are on the cream. But my body IS of about 3 years ago I am no longer able to get tipsy or drunk, and caffeine has no effect on me (but I do wish it would!!!). And also, strangely, my hair is flat as paper and won't hold a curl anymore no matter how much product I put in it. But now, can't lose weight?? That's where I draw the line haha. So I'm hoping I'm just having a lesser known effect of low Pg. And these DREAMS...will they ever end??? I hate the strange feelings I get waking up every morning from some oddball dream I can clearly recall. I go back to my ND Dec. 4, after 7 weeks of Vitanica Women's Phase 1, and then we see what step(s) to take from there. I feel the cream is a great way to go, but I'd love to find a way for my body to produce more Pg on its own. Last spring I was having 21 day cycles which was not the norm for me, but I didn't think anything of it. I think poor diet may have effected my hormones. Maybe?

Oct 23, 2013
Re: Weight
by: Wray

Hi Kate Yes it is essential to make progesterone the dominant hormone. Oestrogen causes water retention and causes cells to proliferate too. Including fat cells, which also produce oestrogen so a vicious cycle starts. Many chemicals we now produce cause weight gain, they've actually names them obesogens. All sweet, starchy carbs increase weight if eaten in excess. High insulin causes weight gain. The list is endless, it's a question of finding which one, if not all of them is affecting you. The keto diet will undoubtedly help. Your cycle fluctuation could be caused by any number of things. Your ND should be able to help you. One thing I forgot to mention, nightmares can be caused by a lack of tryptophan, please ask your ND about it. Take care Wray

Apr 28, 2014
6 Months Later
by: Kate

Hello again,

As it's been over 6 months since I wrote in to Wray, I'd like to post an update and see if anyone has any more insight.

I used Vitanica Women's Phase I from October to February, when I started Progesterone Cream. Really all the Vitanica (with Vitex in it) did was slightly raise my Estrogen, but in turn made my Progesterone:E ratio even worse (about 26:1). In December I discovered that during a certain part of the month, a few days in the Follicular Phase, I seem to have a window of potential weight loss; however, since I've been using the Progesterone cream my cycles are shorter and the window of weight loss is smaller as well. Even after using the Progesterone cream, I am not able to lose weight except for a few days after I start a new cycle.

In January my OBGYN ran tests for PCOS. All the bloodwork came back in the "normal" ranges, but an ultrasound showed I had enlarged, polycystic ovaries. So, obviously something isn't going well at ovulation. I thought I'd try using Progesterone cream to stop ovulation for a while and give the cysts some time to go away. I've been using the cream every day from February 13 till now, and have gone from 340 mg/day to 200 mg/day. I checked Wray's page on PCOS (I figured that although I don't have the diagnosis, I do have the cysts and maybe something might help my ovulation), and decided I would try using Inositol. At first I tried 3,600 mg of Myo-Inositol, which made me gain weight. I currently use about 200-300 mg of Myo-Inositol which does not affect my weight; however, I am still unable to lose weight. Last week I added D-Chiro Inostol to my regime, at a dose of 600 mg/day. I have seen studies showing that the body is less sensitive to insulin during the second half of the menstrual cycle, and thought maybe that was what was hindering my weight loss. Hoping inositol would remedy that situation, I continue to use 600 mg DCI and 200-300 mg MI, along with Progesterone cream. I am still unable to lose weight. (I also tried using 1200 mg D-Chiro Inositol and the next day I had gained over a pound).

Apr 28, 2014
6 Months Later Cont.
by: Kate

My next plan of action is to stop the Progesterone cream at the start of my next bleed, and start it back up when I think I've ovulated. Maybe the inositols will help me have a strong, successful ovulation and that will for some reason allow me to lose weight from ovulation to the start of my next cycle? I am not just retaining water or anything during the second half of my cycle-- if I was just simply retaining water and still losing weight, my weight would come down after I started a new cycle. That is not the case- I do not lose any weight at all unless I do a lot of exercise during the few days my body will allow weight loss (which I am never able to predict exactly when those days will be).

My question now is, Do you have any idea what is only allowing me to lose weight a few days of my Follicular Phase? It seems that there is some fluctuation (of hormones?) going on, and something is too high/low from ovulation through the Luteal Phase. Is there some correlation between, say, SHGB or GnRH and weight? I have been trying and trying to find some sort of clue. I have seen every type of doctor in the book, and they have no idea what is going on. My only clues that something was amiss (when this started in September 2012) was that I started spotting a few days before bleeding started, which did not use to happen, and I could not lose weight no matter how hard I tried, which never was an issue before; I was losing weight just fine in August of that year, and then out of nowhere gained 12 lbs.

I understand Wray is taking some time off, but does anyone else have any idea on this?? I've only got a few more tricks up my sleeve, those being Taurine, Saw Palmetto, and Cinnamon. After I try those, I don't now what else to do!!!

Thanks for any ideas/suggestions.


May 28, 2014
Six Months Later
by: Joy

Hi Kate

Whilst Vitex is beneficial in many ways, it can cause estrogen levels to rise because of it’s estrogenic properties as you found out. Your switch to a progesterone cream was a good one, but what cream are you using and how much? If the incorrect progesterone concentration is used, it causes problems such as Estrogen Dominance symptoms, weight gain is certainly one of them. Wray has mentioned the Ketognic Diet a few times, have you tried it? Have you had your insulin level tested as you could be suffering from Insulin Resistance?

If your test results came back as not having PCOS, then you probably just have cysts as I did on my one ovary. All caused by too much estrogen. Once progesterone became the dominant hormone they all went away and I have not had any since, that would be about 15 years ago now. I also suffered from cysts on my breast, those too cleared but only once I used progesterone correctly and the correct concentration. I have never heard of Inositol causing weight gain, it certainly has not caused it with me and I take a high dose.

As you are 27 and experiencing problems, I suggest that you use progesterone every day until you feel stable and your cycle and bleeding returns to normal. Ignore any bleeding/spotting/clotting that may occur. Positive results are normally felt after 2-3 months, possibly longer depending on how severe symptoms are. As soon as things settle down, you can use by following your cycle again. Please read How to use Progesterone Cream. As you have been using progesterone for six months now, perhaps you are not using progesterone correctly.

What is you Vitamin D level? A deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone.

Hope this helps you.

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