Menopause, ageing, behavioural issues, sleep disorders: hormones can save you or kill you. And when if comes to weight, it's the same story.
Now there's a diet designed to suit your hormone levels and - they claim - no exercise is needed.
Teri Robinson weighed 158kg, stripping 90kg in 12 months.
The food bingeing stopped, thanks to a simple blood test. It's called the Cohen's diet, operating on the belief that obesity is not about lack of discipline, rather a hormone imbalance.
By analysing your blood, they can determine how your body processes and stores fat.
Anti-ageing and wellness expert, Dr Michael Elstein, has been studying the effects of hormones in men and women and their role with obesity.
"What certain hormones do, is they're boosted by foods," Dr Elstein said.
"So, for example, if you want to increase your growth hormone levels or your testosterone levels, then you would eat more protein."
"When you actually start putting on weight, it becomes harder for insulin to work. And when that's the case, you don't burn energy so easily, you don't burn fat so easily and then it becomes really tough for you to lose weight."
Monica Mato, 33, now weighs 62kg.
"I've lost 36 kilos and I've been able to do that in five months and it's absolutely amazing, it's the best feeling," Monica said.
"I feel amazing, it's an awesome feeling to have lost this weight."
"I can vacuum the whole house now, without sitting down for a break, I can bring the shopping in from the car without huffing and puffing, anything I want to do I can do it."
The hardest part of losing weight, according Dr Elstein, is saying goodbye to the comfort foods and retraining old mindsets.
"What I tell people to do is, when you want to go and eat that cake or that chocolate, visualise it as poison," Dr Elstein said.
"It's going to poison your system. You have to visualise this poison going into you."
The number of obese adults has doubled in the last 17 years, with one in four children now suffering from the condition.
Nearly 10,000 people die every year as a result. The question is, do our obesity problems simply come down to hormones?
"It's more a secondary thing," Dr Elstein said. "It's probably more our eating habits and lack of exercise that then causes [an] insulin problem, that then causes a hormone problem.”
He isn't convinced of claims the Cohen's diet is only about hormones, but concedes any diet or weight loss scheme that motivates people to lose weight cannot be bad.
"There is no magic out there," Dr Elstein said. "It's committing yourself to changing your eating habits, to eating different foods for a long, long time."'''Cohen's Lifestyle Clinic
Phone 1300 264 367Dr Michael Elstein
Phone (02) 9337 3589'''
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