Is dropping weight a source of frustration and confusion for you?  What if your frustration is the source of your inability to lose weight. It’s a vicious circle you can end when you focus on getting your cortisol and blood sugar in check. Ann Maria Tom has decade of experience as a registered nurse in the ER, ICU and Dialysis plus she holds certifications as a personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and a holistic female hormonal health practitioner.  Ann overcame her hormonal imbalances and emotional eating through the powerful Metabolic Mastery Method. Her story is similar to many of the clients I see and her before and after transformation pictures are impressive.  I enjoyed my last conversation with Ann Maria and had to bring her back to talk real life in the trenches tales of hormones and weight loss. In this episode Ann Maria Tom and I talk about our own experiences with weight and hormones plus Ann Maria shares how she’s helping clients balance their blood sugar and hormones to lose weight. 

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What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

  • setting idea weights
  • importance of body fat % over number on the scale
  • you don’t need a doctor’s diagnosis because your body shows signs of hormone imbalance
  • role of insulin level regulation on hormone balance
  • timing of sugar cravings and solutions for each
  • why it’s crucial to have higher amounts of protein the first meal of the day to balance your blood sugar
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Podcast Transcript

2:41 – Getting real with yourself and taking a look at your lifestyle to start optimizing your health

5:00 – Ann Maria’s transformation health story

8:00 – Using a scale

10:24 – Focus on body fat percentage rather than weight

12:16 – Ann Maria’s programs

14:25 – Most common hormone imbalance pattern in Ann’s practice

18:22 – Common symptoms people come in with

20:23 – Signs progesterone is dropping

24:36 – Helping folks with insulin sensitivity balance blood sugar throughout the day

30:13 – Breaking your fast

42:41 – Meal prepping

44:37 – Get your blood sugar balanced and get your stress under control

45:33 – When to go in and see a practitioner

50:22 – Mid Life Makeover Protocol

[Intro] Hey, Health Fix junkies, it’s Dr. Anna Marie from the Happy Full You Podcast.

It’s a podcast where I talk about all things brain health, mindset, and holistic wellness.

Check out episode 454 on the Health Fix Podcast where I talk about how to transform your biology

by changing how you think.

You’re listening to the Health Fix Podcast with your host, Dr. Jannine Krause.

JANNINE: Hey health junkies on this episode of the Health Fix Podcast. I have Ann Maria Tom back on and

we are going to be talking about probably one of the biggest sources of frustration and confusion

that’s possibly keeping women from losing weight in this vicious cycle that goes around

and around with cortisol blood sugar and the scale. So Ann Maria Tom and I talk about our

experiences in real life with our own hormones and weight but then we also dive into what

Ann Maria is doing with her clients to help them finally end the battle with blood sugar,

hormones, all that jazz to help folks lose weight. So this is the fun one. Don’t want to miss out

on this, especially if you are sick and tired of trying to figure out what in the world is going on

with your hormones and your weight. Ann Maria Tom has you covered. Let’s get on with the podcast.

Hey, health junkies. I have Ann Marie on and we are going to be talking about hormones again.

Last time we were talking about weight loss, but in particular, we had a lovely live on,

I don’t know, was it two weeks ago now? I don’t even know. Time flies.

And we were talking about just, you know, hormone questions that we get. And of course,

since you’re working in the weight loss space, there’s always the question that I get from people.

I’m curious if you get this one. Do you get the question of like it has to be my hormones doc?

I swear, you know, or like it has to be Henry. I swear it has to be my hormones. What do you think?

What do you think is this? ANN MARIA: Oh my god, like I don’t know how many times people slide into my DM’S and say this thing like

I am doing everything I possibly can and I cannot

Get rid of my weight, you know, so many things I’m trying and I know for sure it is my hormones that is playing

a role I’m and I’m not denying the fact that hormones is playing a role but one thing I want to

reiterate is that hormones are maladaptive to your lifestyle and it’s not the other way around.

Okay, so if something is going on within your body within your hormones you gotta look at what

your lifestyle is. What are you even doing with your lifestyle? You know and then we need to,

I know people doesn’t like to hear this but this is the truth and I hope that resonates with you

and you talking to your clients as well when they come with a similar situation in terms

of hormones particularly.

JANNINE: Yeah, it happens because I mean, we all want the quick fix, right?

We were just like, if it was just like I could have a thyroid hormone pill and I could have

like my female hormones dialed in, everything’s going to be better because of course there’s

like, I would like to honestly find the one person online that like is out there saying

like they tried hormones and their weight dropped off and they felt so much better.

’cause I don’t see the magic like that in my office.

And I’m guessing you probably don’t see the magic.

You see people like they’ve tried different things

and they’re still like, and here’s my way.

ANN MARIA: Yeah, unfortunately there is no magic fix for it.

You know, the weight that you guys put on

and this is true for me as well.

I’m just saying it as general,

I’m not pinpointing anyone.

What I’m saying is the weight that we put on

took years to build up, right?

So what makes us believe that

It is just going to go away in matter of like weeks or months,

even if like we were giving you the most potent hormone that is going to put

everything else into place like today.

It’s still not going to happen.

Weight loss should happen as a byproduct of you changing your lifestyle habits

that actually got, got you to that point.

That’s how I see weight loss as.

Um, and then the more you stay away from quick fixes,

I believe the easier it is going to be for people to lose weight.

and importantly keep that off without putting too much effort

into the maintenance part.

JANNINE: Yeah, yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s,

you know, it’s just a culture, I think that we have

of the quick fix and the quick pill.

And we forget that, yeah, it took time, you know,

you didn’t gain weight overnight,

it didn’t happen like this.

Now, I saw your before and after pictures

from your transformation and I was like, wow, wow.

Like when things were really like at the turning point for you,

were you also thinking about hormones?

Were you having hormones, stuff happening?

Like what was going on for you at that time?


So my estrogen and progesterone was all over the place.

Like I had PCOS, I was not ovulating regularly.

I was not getting my monthly cycles regularly.

Sometimes I get more than one cycle on a monthly

and with heavy periods, heavy bleeding

and excruciating pain.

After giving birth to two babies,

I literally made this connection.

Oh my God, all that pain that I was experiencing

in my 20s with menstruation was similar to my labor pain.

That’s how painful was.

I don’t know if anyone listening to this conversation

can resonate with it.

That intensive of pain was similar to the labor pain

I had with my two babies.

Yeah, so there were so many irregularities happening with me for my hormones.

And my turning point was actually ditching the quick fixes.

Cause I went after quick fixes for years and years and years.

And I felt, okay, this is going to be my breakthrough.

This is going to be my breakthrough.

And I always relied on external circumstances to help me get that breakthrough,

give me that breakthrough, right?

Like looking into myself and understanding,

okay, what am I doing wrong here?


What is my actual goal here?

Is it to just drop 10 pounds?

Or is it actually, I don’t care about the weight,

but I really want to feel good about myself.

I really want to have my menstrual cycle back.

I really want to have my ovulation back on track.

What was my goal?

So my goal changed in the first place.

It was not about weight anymore for me.

So that’s when I stopped looking at the scale.

I was like, let the scale be there.

I’m not going to look at it.

OK, maybe like an year from now, two years from now,

I’m going to go look at it and see if I’m at my goal weight.

But I’m going to shift my goal from losing weight

to actually balancing out my hormones

and changing my lifestyle from scratch.

And that’s what that’s where the breakthrough actually

happened for me.

And hence, I’m so passionate about teaching this to people.

But I don’t think–

and I’m not sitting here and blaming others.

but I don’t think we have that patience.

We live in this world of instant gratification.

We want to see results like right away.

We are not allowing us or giving us those permission

to experience that journey as is

and then just go with the flow.

I believe that’s what’s lacking

and more people needs to get on board and that.

And that’s when you’re going to see that breakthrough

that you’re looking for.

JANNINE: Yeah, yeah, no, it’s true.

You have to get to that point where you’re like,

All right, I’m so done.

I’m so done with all of this other stuff.

Right now, I’m actually working with a coach

because we are working on having me bulk up

and do some fitness stuff.

And what’s funny is I’m back to the scale thing

’cause we’re looking for little changes and I’m like,

oh, I left this go so long ago.

I don’t wanna, I’m like, now I’m like,

I don’t wanna do it, I don’t.

ANN MARIA: Yeah, yeah.

Scale is a little bit scary.

I don’t ask my clients to weigh themselves like every day or something.

I know some people weigh themselves like twice a day and your weight is going to fluctuate

a lot.

Like you can go up to three to four pounds throughout the day.

That doesn’t mean that you’re gaining fat in just a few hours.

No, you’re not.

Your hormones are fluctuating pretty regularly and frequently.

So that is going to reflect on your scale as weight gain and the number doesn’t really


Like it doesn’t mean anything.

unless we put some meaning to it, right?

So I don’t ask my clients to weigh more than once a week.

And I don’t even want them to weigh more than once a week,

but I know people are so anal about seeing that number

change on the scale.

Yeah, I just do that just for my clients

to feel better about them.

So okay, I’m seeing some kind of progress here.

But yeah, I don’t do that to myself personally.

I don’t weigh myself because it’s frustrating sometimes.

JANNINE: Yeah, yeah, because you’re like, huh, yeah, it’s so crazy.

I don’t know, I probably set a weight,

like a magical weight number in my head in high school.

And it’s stayed in my head all these years

and you’re like, where does this come from?

Do you feel like you did anything like that

or any of your clients are doing stuff like that?

ANN MARIA: Oh my God, I personally love that to myself too.

Like I always wanted to be 45 kilograms

and 45 kilograms for me is underweight.

JANNINE: Yeah, I’m like– 

ANN MARIA: I don’t even know.  

JANNINE: That’s no even 100 pounds.

ANN MARIA: I know, yeah, 45, you know, that came from my broken mindset that I created or due to

all the starvation and things that I did in the past 45 kilograms.

I wanted to be in the 45 kilograms because when I was in my 12th grade, I was 45 kilograms

and I was looking so thin with a flat tummy and all that.

But as we like age, you are going to put on weight, you need that weight to support your

organ system and everything, right?

But that part of me did not really understand why like having a healthy weight was important.

So for me always it was okay, if I’m not in like 45, then I’m doing something wrong,


So it took a lot of time for me to finally come in terms with, okay, so you just have

to be in your normal basal metabolic index.

Wherever you fall in that, that’s fine.

It’s not about the weight.

It’s all about the body fat percentage.

How much body fat percentage you have?

And where are you carrying your fat is the most important thing.

So once I shifted my focus from looking at the scale, looking on like a certain number

to actually the body fat percentage, that’s what helped me even like shift that mindset.

And this is true for 99% of my clients too.

They’re so stuck on the number, you know, sometimes we can see so much of a difference

in their body composition, right?

Their body is shrinking.

Fat percentage is just coming down, but that’s not going to reflect on the weighing scale quickly.

If you’re someone who’s like strength training, building a lot of muscle to on the process

of losing weight, but people don’t understand, they’re like, even though I’m strength training,

I wouldn’t be like putting so much off muscle mass all of a sudden, right?

I mean, there should be some difference on the scale.

And yeah, that’s true.

There should be some difference on the scale.

one thing you need to keep in mind is that your muscle way more than your fat.

Fat doesn’t weigh that much, but fat takes a lot of space.


So when fat percentage comes down, you’re going to shrink, you know, you’re going to

shrink, right?

And then you’re building muscle on top of it.

So for that to even out and for your scale to move, you just have to be consistent

and just do keep doing what you’re doing it, but you might not get there in six months.

But I’m sure if you do what you’re doing, you will get there eventually in one or two

and I don’t like, I don’t know.

I am sure people don’t like to hear when I say,

okay, it’s gonna be that you’re gonna be there

in the next couple of years.

JANNINE: Yeah, yeah.

ANN MARIA: But that’s what the reality is.

JANNINE: It is, it is.

Do you have people that work with you for years,

or is it like, do you have folks,

like you get them to a certain point

and then they just make like,

it’s their job to maintain, like what is your program like?

ANN MARIA: Yeah, so we do have different hires to our program.

So when we initially take on clients,

What we do is, again, it really depends on how much weight they have to lose and, you know,

how bad their metabolism is and how much work we need to put on and things like that.

So, ideally, we don’t take any clients for less than three months. We need to work with you for

minimum of three months to help you reset that metabolism first and then start the fat loss.

So, the metabolic reset is usually the first four to six weeks of the coaching. And again,

this will depend on how long you have been dieting for, how hard is it for you to

increase that food intake and things like that.

So the, and your consistency of course is also gonna matter.

So four to six weeks.

So once that four to six weeks is done,

that’s when we go into the active fat loss phase, right?

So if someone wants to lose 50 pounds,

then fat loss, even if they’re able to lose two pounds a week,

they’re not going to lose all that 50 pounds in three months.

They need a little bit more time than that.

So if someone is coming to us for like example,

for three months coaching,

they’re gonna follow the same process.

they might lose like up to 20 pounds in three months, let’s say.

And if they want to lose more, they feel like I haven’t learned everything.

I really want to learn more.

That’s when we have the next level coaching.

We call it next level metabolic mastery.

So what happens there is that we will teach them how to get rid of that fat


And then it’s all about building that muscle and getting that aesthetic

figure that most women want these days.

So that’s our next level coaching.

That is like a 12 month coaching.

But there is no, like, we do not put people directly

to the next level, they go through the metabolic mastery first,

make sure that their body is ready to take it

to the next level.

Once they are there, then we offer them the next level.

And if they want to, they move forward.

Yes, we do have clients that do next level with us, for sure.


JANNINE: Gotcha.

I mean, in those cases, because you’re working with people

longer time, I’m sure you see some of the hormone stuff

kind of throughout the whole thing,

What do you think is the most common hormone imbalance pattern that you see

within your coaching practice?


The one is irregularity with your menstruation.

Like we track people’s menstrual cycle.

Um, and we see that sometimes it is, if it is like two or three days delayed or,

you know, within that, you know, 25 to 35 days, we know that’s fine.

But then sometimes people have less erratic cycles, right?

Some of them do not have cycle one month.

Some might have like two cycles.

So that’s something that we see.

And another thing we see is that not enough people

have enough protostarone.

They’re not ovulating.

So we check people’s base body temperatures too.

And again, this can be like not very accurate

because not everyone follows everything to the tea.

But there are some people who are like really interested

in keen learning about their hormones and those things.

So the other things we see is also the decrease

in amount of progesterone and signs of estrogen dominance.

And this is especially true for women over the age of 35

that is entering into that perimenopausal

transition time period.

And the other thing we see a lot now these days

is Hashimoto’s.

So many people, I can’t even believe 10 years ago,

there was only like 25 autoimmune diseases or something.

And now we have 100 and we are counting.

So, and Hashimoto’s is a very popular autoimmune condition.

So we deal with a lot of people,

or we work with a lot of people that has Hashimoto’s.

I’m not the one who’s Lupus,

and Lupus is very like all over the place.

Like not everyone is going to have the same symptom for Lupus.

Like we have a client, I still work with her.

She started an year ago,

And her symptoms are all over the place,

like systemic inflammation.


One week she’s able to work out,

the next week she’s on bed rest.

It’s, I know, it’s crazy.

Her doctors are not even able to figure out

like what is exactly going on symptoms wise for her.

She’s only like 36 or 37, very young.

And it is so, you know,

heart wrenching to see a young woman

going through that and not able to enjoy,

enjoy the life to the fullest.

But yeah, so those are some of the common ones

and hypothyroid for sure, are some of the common

things that we see nowadays in terms of hormonal wise.

JANNINE: I would agree that that’s what I see too.

I think it’s across the board, I think it’s across the board.

And I think these are the folks who are really

obviously looking for help, right?

‘Cause Hashimoto’s is gonna mess with metabolism.

The estrogen roller coaster, oh my goodness.

Do you get like questions on repeat a lot from folks in terms of certain things related to the

hormones? What kind of things do do folks ask you about? ANN MARIA: Yeah, so how do I know if I have a

hormonal imbalance, right? Like my GP is not testing my hormones and when they do the blood

test, everything looks fine on the paper. Like how but I do have symptoms. So how do I know?

So what I would say is that for perimenopause, it’s not diagnosed after testing your blood.

That’s not how it is diagnosed. It’s purely on symptom basis, right? So even if your GP says

your estrogen and progesterone is fine, this has to be checked at certain times of the cycle.

And of course, when you have erratic cycles, then it’s not there is no consistency in there,

in the first place. So then how are we even going to diagnose if there is no consistency in the way

you’re producing your hormones. So that’s one thing. So don’t just depend on your just

look at your symptoms, right? So if you have symptoms and there are 50 different symptoms

for that suggest that you could be in perimenopause and you could be having a low estrogen, I’m

sorry, high estrogen or low estrogen and a low progesterone. There’s so many different

symptoms from thinning of your hair, falling eyebrow hair, the outer one, third of the

eyebrow hair, if that is thinning out, then that’s another sign. I’m always feeling cold,

you know, when the estrogen levels are dropping, your hypothalamus is not really getting that

temperature regulation signal. So it’s not performing the way it should be performing.

So that’s another one. Hot flashes. What else? Breast, you know, some people say my breast

looks odd, you know, because estrogen does really help with breast growth and also

mammary gland function, but that and then infertility is another one.

Very difficult for you to get pregnant.

Um, even if you’re only like 32 or 33, it’s so hard for you to get pregnant.

Shouldn’t be that hard, right?

From 30 to 35, it shouldn’t be that hard, even though your fertility is like

decreasing once that you are 35, 36 and above, it becomes a little bit more


But if if you are like 32, 33 and it’s so hard for you to get pregnant,

and that could be it.

Your nails getting brittle, your skin looking saggy,

wrinkly, not feeling good, like brain fog is big.

Like brain fog, not able to concentrate.

I know, I don’t know how many times women,

the women that I talk to say, oh my God,

and I don’t remember what I wanted to say.

I was like literally wanting to say something to you.

And she was like literally talking to me about it.

And she was like, oh, I don’t remember

where am I going with this, right?

like your estrogen is neuroprotective, right?

For memory, concentration and all that,

you need your estrogen.

And when that is dropping and fluctuating,

that’s when you feel these kind of weird things

with your brain, like loss of memory, loss of libido.

And things, so many different symptoms,

like 50 different symptoms that we can actually sit here

and talk about all day, every day that suggests

you could be going through perimenopause

And also low progesterone, that is another thing too,

that women don’t understand.

Like how do I know I have low progesterone?

Well, are you getting short-tempered all of a sudden?

Your mood is going all over the place.

That is a good sign that your progesterone could be dropping.

And do you have aches and pains all of a sudden?

Because your bone, maintenance, and all that progesterone

plays a good role in that too.

So many different things.

you don’t need a doctor’s diagnosis to find out

if you are going through hormonal changes.

Your body’s, it’s self is gonna say

and weight gain on top of everything.

It’s like cherry on top, right?


That’s the bonus.

Now, you know, I agree with you.

We don’t necessarily need to have a diagnosis.

And most of the time we won’t get one

because things shift so much.

But for the most part, you know, we kind of know.

And I’ve almost started to be like blanket statement.

Like you figure if you’re getting to be closer

35 and above, you probably are going to have some, you know, somewhat some symptoms.

So when you work with folks and you’re like, okay, we have these symptoms, do you start to see symptoms

decline as you’re getting someone in a better state in terms of health and routines and lifestyle

kind of things? ANN MARIA: Yeah, absolutely. I don’t want to say like all of them is going to feel so much

better because again, like when people come into a program, they are only going to be,

most of them are only going to be with us for shorter periods of time. But for these kind of

lifestyle changes to implement in that to work, it is going to take longer than that, right?

But one thing we can see for sure is that everyone that comes through with our coaching program,

what we do is we check their perceived stress scale. So just to understand where the cortisol

is at, and we compare and contrast that on a monthly basis. And surprisingly, people’s

stress level comes down when they are like eating the right kind of food, putting the right kind of,

of less toxic things into their system.

Now their body is not in constant stress or flight

or fight response anymore.

The cortisol is trying to balance out.

And another thing is we also do a gut questionnaire

to all the clients that comes through.

So gut is so, so, so, so important.

Especially if you have autoimmune Hashimoto’s

and things like that, having a gut microbiome

And really preventing that leaky gut, you know, permeability is so important.

So we do like so many things like cortisol assessment, your gut health and things like


And we compare and contrast that on a monthly basis that paired with what we are seeing on

the in terms of weight loss on scale, interest, you know, difference in the picture.

So there are so many different variables that we look at when people are coming through

coaching and of course there is going to be improvement in terms of scale, weight and

things like that. But then another part of it is also there, the way they are learning

to regulate their insulin levels because insulin and stress is connected, right? So once they

learn how to do that and the cortisol doesn’t need to be on board all the time, it starts

to balance out tomorrow in a diurnal pattern rather than being in a constant, you know,

like always up kind of situation. So yeah, we look at so many different things and even

though people only come in for a shorter period of time, I can see that that’s like massive

improvement that we see from where they started to where they are after the coaching ends.

But with our long-term clients, we’ll be able to, you know, get more data in terms of what

what their hormones are doing because we’re working with them for long term.

But yeah.

JANNINE: Makes sense.

Makes sense.

You know, I think the insulin is such a huge factor.

And I think for a lot of women, that’s kind of some of the crux of the blood sugar, you

know, even related to whether they have PCOS or whether they have, you know, elevated

estrogens, it seems like that if the body can kind of find a little bit of better balance,

we have less issues there too.

I know in our previous podcast,

we had talked about the PGX fiber

and different things you guys are doing

to help people with their blood sugar.

What’s kind of some of the other things you do

to help folks with insulin sensitivity

and trying to really help them balance

their blood sugar throughout the course of the day?

ANN MARIA: For sure.

So one thing we do is a proper assessment

to find out even if they have

like insulin sensitivity in the first place, right?

‘Cause most of them do not even know that.

And some of them does come in with a history.

Like if you have PCOS, then there is insulin sensitivity

in their resistance in there.

And then if you’re prebiotic,

sorry, not prebiotic, prebiotic.


Yeah, if you’re pre-diabetic,

then yeah, the insulin piece with some kind of resistance

is already there.

So that’s already there in the picture.

And unfortunately with the lifestyle

that we are currently having,

more than like 70% of women after the age of 35

is like pre-diabetic, unfortunately.

So, but if the none of that is like evident things are not, not there, then another thing that we look at is, is their cravings, right?

Most people like more than 95% of women that we work with has cravings, okay?

They say, I eat healthy all the time, but when it’s dinner time, I crave for that sweet, I crave for that sugar salty thing.

It’s it’s bad or lunchtime hits after just after lunchtime. I ate a heavy lunch or whatever two hours into

After lunchtime. I’m feeling this intense craving

Another thing is also that I’m waking up in the middle of night. That’s just a big red flag that is telling that okay

Your blood sugar is dropping and it shouldn’t be dropping like that in the middle of the night

Then that has to do something got something to do with insulin sensitivity, right?

So my I’m waking up in the middle of night around 2 a.m

Feeling hungry some some might not even know that they’re feeling hungry, right?

They just wake up and they cannot go back to sleep. This could be either your cortisol level, okay?

And it also can be your your insulin, your sugar is dropping.

So if someone comes to us saying that like, okay, my sugar is dropping at the in the middle of the

night, then what we ask them to do is after your dinner, we usually ask people to do it early

dinner so that we are giving enough time for our liver to do the detoxification process.

It usually happens like around 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. or our liver starts detoxification.

At that point in time, you do not want to be putting so much fat and other food into

our system, making it so much hard for the liver to do its work, right?

So we ask people to, “Okay, make your dinner two hours, okay, before your bedtime, you

shouldn’t be eating anything before that.”

you two hours prior to your bedtime and then you go to bed. But if someone comes in and say that

I’m waking up at the middle of night feeling hungry and if they’re going to bed at 10 p.m.

then we would say right before you go to bed maybe around like 9.30 maybe you can have some

cheese and crackers or like a sandwich or like peanut butter toast or something that is like

good carbohydrate and also like good fat and protein in it. You don’t have to count or anything.

just eyeball it, it has to have fat, it has to have protein, it has to have carb.

It shouldn’t be dominant in any of these things, but in balance and eat it, right?

So what we see is that when they’re doing it, they’re not waking up at the middle of the night

with a sugar spike, okay? So that would fix that. Now if you’re having like

cravings right after lunch and like before going to bed, you’re want to eat that sweet,

then that has to do more with how you’re eating your food during the day time.

Right. So for them, what we would say is always start your day with a savory

breakfast that to a protein heavy breakfast. Okay.

If you want to eat a little bit, you can still have carbs and I’m not saying to do

low carb or no carb or anything. Just, just make sure that you’re eating at least

30 grams or minimum 30 grams of protein in there with your breakfast. Okay.

It has to be like good protein heavy. Right. Um, and then,

And then a good amount of calories should come from your breakfast, meaning eat a heavy breakfast.

I believe in the North American culture, it’s the other way around.

We eat a light breakfast, then the next heaviest thing is the lunch and then there’s a heavy dinner.

Putting so much Prasarnia liver to detoxify all this.

So flipping the script, right?

That simple shift is going to make a huge difference when it comes to the craving.

Heavy breakfast, if you can have like a 600 calorie big breakfast in the morning, just go for it.

Okay, break your fast with savory rather than a sweet breakfast.

So protein pancakes with some syrup on it compared to some avocado toast and some eggs.

I would choose the avocado toast and egg because it’s savory.

We don’t want to break our fast by putting some sugar into our system, which is going

to increase the cravings later on during the day.

That’s like the biggest tip.

I talked a lot.


I had to say all this.

JANNINE: You’re fine.

You’re fine.

No, it’s good.

I think for a lot of people, you know, we’ve been, we’ve

been all conditioned, right?

To eat the cereals and the oatmeal and the 


JANNINE: All those


And now we’re like, Oh, wait, we’ve, we’ve been taught all wrong,

you know, or we’ve been, you know, brainwashed, kind of in a way,

to think that there are certain types of foods that you eat for


And I love, I love the avocado toast.

Like since that took off, I’m like,

get people behind that one a little bit better.

I’m sure you’re probably noticing that too,

that’s a little easier to get people behind

a different breakfast by tweaking things

a little bit towards that side of things.

ANN MARIA: Yeah, absolutely.

And like some people I know doesn’t like to eat breakfast at all.

I’ve talked to so many women,

they’re like, I don’t wanna eat a breakfast, right?

And but I’m having so many cravings throughout the day.

And I’m like, so how do you break your fast?

That’s all the breakfast is.

like if you don’t want to eat breakfast first thing in the morning at seven o’clock,

don’t. But when are you breaking your fast next?

Make sure the meal that you’re breaking your fast with is a high protein,

savory meal. That’s all it is. Okay.

Don’t go and eat a glass of milk and some cereal.

Like that’s plain sugar that is going to dictate the rest of the day for you.

And if you want to implement a lifestyle where you’re starting your day with the

breakfast that is going to take some time especially if you’re someone who

hasn’t ate breakfast your entire life I’m not saying that you should start that

right now but if you feel like that’s a best strategy for you to do start simple

right take small steps at a time but that’s fine that is not going to hinder

in or stand in the way of you losing weight you just have to keep in mind

that whatever food that you’re using to break your fast has to be a high protein

you know good balance of carbs and fat food that is savory so that you’re not

craving for the rest of the day. 

JANNINE: I think you brought up something really important because a lot of

people do think, well, if I’ve been fasting all these years and then I start adding another meal in,

what’s that going to do? To my weight, what’s it going to do to my hormones? It’s a tough one


ANN MARIA: Yeah, your hormones, it is going to be happy because our body needs fuel, right? And food

is fuel. But there is a difference between eating whatever and being intentional with your eating.

If you have been someone who learned or been fasting your entire life,

skipped your breakfast and you’re when you’re starting to introduce

breakfast back into your life and you’re starting that with a smoothie, I don’t

think that’s a great idea. I would rather stick with fasting and eating

and grade meal rather than just starting your day with some smoothie or or a

banana or like a chocolate or something. I don’t know if someone eats chocolate

I don’t like this, but– 

JANNINE: I may have a few times in my life.

I mean, you know, it happens.

Um, but you know, totally aware of what I’m doing.

I’m being like, Oh my God, this is bad.

But let’s, let’s, you know, it is.

Let’s go to the smoothie thing because the smoothie craze, I think, might have

masked with people just as much as the cereals and breakfast foods.

You know, we’re, we’re thinking like, Oh, the smoothie.

Well, what if I add protein powder to it? Does that help?

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JANNINE: You know, or what’s your opinion on protein powder smoothies?

Do you think that helps or do you think that it’s better to do the savory foods?

What’s your thought?


I would say like everyone’s lifestyle is different.

So if your lifestyle calls for you drinking smoothie first thing in the morning and that

if that’s the best thing that you can do, do it.

You have to put food into your system and if you are a busy mom or whatever, that only

can drink smoothie in the morning with some protein powder in it, go for it.

Is it the best option?

Probably not, but I would say something is better than nothing.


Just skipping a breakfast and starting your day with just a Snickers or some kind of, you

You know, unhealthy thing, you know, smoothies is comparatively better.

But one thing you need to keep in mind about smoothie is that it’s very convenient.

That’s a great thing.

But the things that you’re putting in the smoothie like fruit, so even if you put spinach or

like celery or whatever that is, it breaks down, right?

In the process of blending, it really breaks down and it really strips the vitamins and

minerals and the fiber out.

So you’re not really getting so much of benefit from the smoothie itself, the way you might

be thinking, right?

But when you think about whole fruits, spinach and everything, it is so rich in fiber and

minerals and vitamins and all that.

But this gets stripped out when during the process of juicing.

So you’re not going to be getting that much amount of fiber and vitamins and everything,

the way that you think that you might be getting from drinking a smoothie.

If that makes sense.

And protein powder is a fast release protein, meaning it is going to be available to your

body like right away.


So unless you are someone who likes to do a heavy workout in the morning and then drink

a protein smoothie, that makes sense because your body needs that protein right away to

your body for your body, right?

But if you’re someone who’s like not working out in the morning or what not, but just drinking

a protein smoothie, it’s not going to do too much.


the protein is going to be there, but what is the protein even going to be used for?

Nothing. So it can get stored as fat depending on what you’re going to do for the rest of the day in

terms of calories. Any type of calorie that is more than what your body needs that can process is going to be

going to be deposited as fat into your adipose tissue.

So I would say like if again, like go all all goes back to what what your lifestyle is and what you’re doing with your

lifestyle and if all you can do smoothie, go for it, but don’t expect it to give you all

the benefit that whole food can give, right? That you won’t get from a protein shake.

If you can replace a protein with eggs or egg whites, that is going to be much more,

you know, gut friendly and everything friendly compared to just a protein powder, which is

going to be very quick, release to your bloodstream, not going to use it, getting, going to get

stored as fat. Whereas if you can sort of whole food, egg and stuff like that, it is

going to be released to your bloodstream on a much slower pace compared to the other things.

And the sugar spike and the sugar dip that you’re going to get from a whole food is

going to be much less compared to you drinking like a smoothie or protein powder and things

like that. But again, if you’re working out, it makes sense. You can do that for sure.

JANNINE: That’s a good distinction because I think a lot of people don’t put that together. I mean, obviously,

yes, do you think it’s going to strip out the five or so now it’s just like sugar water?

You know, for lack of a better term there. And unfortunately, that’s been associated with

the pillar of health, which I don’t know how we got there. But we did. And the smoothies,

you know, I think a lot of people don’t realize that yeah, protein powder is meant to be a quick

uptake protein. ANN MARIA: Yeah. Yeah. Nowadays, like, I don’t know, people put protein powder into so many

different things like they would make desserts of protein protein powder and protein powders are

not designed to go into a dessert. It’s not, you know, there are so many other ways you can

incorporate protein into your routine. And if you’re again, this all comes back to the quick,

right? I’m looking for a quick alternative and okay, powder is sitting there. It’s very easy. I

can just throw it in some water, shake it and drink it. But think is that how is your body even

utilizing it, right? What are you doing in terms of workouts and other things and how it is going

to be actually used up for your cells and metabolism and things like that. So that’s something that

you need to look into deeply before considering like blindly drinking protein smoothies or like

eating protein cakes and so many of the things that we see nowadays on Instagram.

JANNINE: Oh, you can pretty–, yeah, you can find a recipe for all kinds of desserts with protein

powder in it, but like you’re mentioning, this is something I don’t think a lot of people,

and I know I haven’t talked about on the podcast before, but like something a lot of people don’t

think about is like protein powder is designed for workout situations. And so I know a lot of

people myself included when I’ve gotten lazy, let’s be real, when I’ve gotten lazy in my office,

and I was seeing patients back to back and just trying to get people in and out and keep

up with my patient load, I would drink protein smoothies throughout the day.

And it’s when my weight really started to go up.

And so I know that you probably have seen this with your clients, they’ve probably described

it and you’ve seen it happen over time too.



Well, it doesn’t matter.

Like, even if you’re drinking like good amount of protein or it’s the best quality protein,

What has calories in it too?

And protein, but if you look at it depending on what kind of protein, there’s so many different

kinds of protein.

There is lean protein, there is mass gain of protein and the amount of calories per scoop

is going to be different.

So the protein that I take now, nowadays is for is mass gain because I’m trying to build

some muscle.

But when you look at the ingredient or the district, yeah, the ingredient thing, you look

at it says per scoop, it is, let’s say 27 grams of protein, but that has like 500 calories

in it.

So say for example, I’m just drinking protein because that’s convenient for me and you’re

putting 500 calories like for each meal and then you are maybe probably by the end of

the day since you’re not getting enough carbohydrates from the protein powder.

Most protein powder these days are very like lean, less carb, less sugar and things like


So your carbohydrate requirement is not being met throughout the day.

So what’s going to happen is that you’re going to get home feeling so hungry and starving

and feeling drained and the first thing that you’re going to grab is probably a very processed

carbohydrate food, a very convenient one, right?

So all the protein shakes you did in the morning, right?

It’s not going to do anything because you’re now you’re going to eat the most unhealthy

carbohydrate leftover food or whatever, not really thinking about it.

And that can really have an impact on the way your body is going to initiate a detoxification

process throughout the night, the way it breaks down sugar and things like that, most of it’s

gonna get stored as fat. So this process keeps going on and on and on, right? So it’s not about

just randomly throwing things in their body, it’s being intentional. I know sometimes we can get

so busy, I do that too. When I’m busy, the best thing I can do is drink a protein shake, I always

compare. So what is the best thing I can do right now in this situation? The option I have is getting

I’m getting a big Mac from McDonald’s or do I drink my protein shake?

Of course, I’ll go and drink my protein shake if those are my two options, right?

But that’s how I always do.

If my option is to drink a protein shake, but if I have like 10 minutes to make a meal,

even though I’m lazy, I don’t want to do it, but just thinking about the long term, I would

like, “Huh, I’m just going to make that meal.”

Or I’m going to make sure that during the weekend, I’m preparing enough food and putting

in the fridge so that when this situation happens, I have something sitting in the fridge that

I can easily go and grab rather than just blindly drinking protein powder.

That makes sense.

JANNINE: Oh, 100%.


I think for a lot of people, you know, that’s going to resonate and maybe be a hard pill

to swallow because I do think that is one of the pitfalls in the, you know, trying to

lose weight, but also trying to keep my hormones in track, trying to balance my blood sugar

that we fall into where the protein powder gets relied on a little bit more heavily than

I think that our body can handle, like you said.

And sometimes it might be going negative against us.

And that’s a really big thing.

It goes back to meal prep, meal prep.


It doesn’t have to be like so much extra bag and meal prep that we see on Instagram these


know, I don’t know people are making like, I don’t like five star

restaurant type meals on on there’s my feed is filled with like

five star restaurant type meals and I’m like, I don’t make these

kind of meals at home. I don’t have the time for it. Like, we got

to set some expectations there. Like, what is our lifestyle like?

And there’s so much difference between a real and real life,

right? Like, do what’s best for your life. And if that’s just,

I don’t know, for me it’s like rice and some curry and some veggies on the side.

That’s my typical lunch. But I make sure that my plate is done right, right?

So that I get enough of all of it. And if I want to eat a piece of cake after,

then I’m not feeling guilty, right? Because I’m feeling my body right and eating that piece of

cake after that is fine. So it’s all about like learning how to do your plate and being intentional.


JANNINE: For sure. Yeah, I’ve seen those. I look at that. I’m like, yeah, no, no, I am very like,

I’m basic. A lot of my patients are like, you don’t want to make the gourmet meals. I’m like,

do you think I do that? Because it’s not like that. Like I’m seriously like super basic.

ANN MARIA: Yeah. Yeah. Oh my God. I don’t know if anyone will have the time to do that.

I don’t know. Maybe some do, but I don’t like with my lifestyle working 12 plus hours a day,

two kids now, not for me. 

JANNINE: No, no, I don’t think really, I mean, I don’t know, I have

to always remind people that reels are, are ideas, ideas. Imagine, imagine these ideas

and maybe once in a while it happens. But yeah, it’s, it’s crazy. It’s crazy. So if we

had to like kind of put it all together, some advice for folks about hormones and hormone

balance, it does seem like the number one thing really does boil down to get the blood sugar

balance. Like number one. ANN MARIA: Yeah, get your blood sugar balance, get your stress under control.

That’s so important. Your cortisol will go against everything you do if it’s not in balance.

No matter how great workout program you have, how much of whatever food you’re eating or how

restricting you are, cutting down carbs, eating high protein, doing all that thing. But if your

cortisol level is not in check, it’s not going to do anything for your scale. It’s not going to

to budge, you’re going to be in the exact same spot two years from now.

So get your sugars back on track, get your hormone level,

especially your cortisol in check.

The third thing you can do, especially if you are a female watching this,

is that make sure that you’re ovulating on a regular basis.

And if you’re not ovulating,

take some steps towards finding the problem behind why you’re not ovulating

and do some research,

see a practitioner, whatever, and get your ovulation back on track, right?

’cause menstruation and ovulation is just not

for fertilization alone.

There’s so many different things.

We have estrogen, progesterone receptors

and through our entire body.

And even for weight losing,

you need to have a proper ovulation.

So again, like going back and talking

about basal body temperature,

check your basal body temperature, right?

And if you’re ovulating,

your basal body temperature would go up

to one degree Fahrenheit or 0.3 degrees Celsius.

And if that’s not happening on a monthly regular basis,

and if that’s like a consistent thing

that you’re facing, go see someone.

I would recommend you’re going

seeing a functional medicine practitioner

rather than a mainstream medicine,

because mainstream medicine always concentrate

on acute things, right?

If you have a problem now,

they have a solution to fix it,

to help save your life.

That’s what acute medicine is for.

okay it’s not preventative, right?

I worked as a nurse in the ER for 10 years, for 10 years.

And I’m not against acute medicine or anything.

We love it.

We love it.

Because if there is an emergency,

you need acute medicine.

But for preventative purposes,

I would say functional medicine is the best.

Okay, so go see a practitioner

that is going to help you out with that.

So three main things.

Get your blood sugar under control,

get your cortisol into control,

make sure you’re getting your cycles,

especially you’re ovulating on a monthly basis.

And if you are a woman over the age of 35,

This is very important.

You can experience some fluctuation.

There are so many things that you can go and do about it.

And Dr. Jannine’s Instagram feeds always talks

about so many different things that you can do about it

as well that I’ve seen with so much information.

But those three things are big hormonal advice belief.

If there are things that you like to add, Dr. Jannine?

JANNINE: I think you covered them really well.

I mean, that’s my big thing.

Of course, fitness is the other thing.

And I know you definitely recommend that as well, and being able to burn the calories

a little bit, a little, you know, and with motion.

But otherwise, no, I do really believe that the root of a lot of the hormone stuff comes

from cortisol being out of whack and the blood sugar is kind of falling behind.

And especially when it comes to weight, it’s just they trace right behind each other.

Now before we sign off, you know, I think a couple of people might have some questions

about testing.

And within your guys’ practice, are you, you’re doing, you said something about saliva


And and– ANN MARIA: saliva cortisol?


Um, so we do test that.

But the one thing to keep in mind is that it’s like, it has to be done privately through

the labs.

Um, or if you want your health, um, whatever coverage to cover it, then it has to be done

through your doctor.

But of course you can see a private practitioner, whoever that you’re going to work with and

they will be able to order a saliva testing,

or whatever they feel that is important

to find out what the cortisol level is,

as well to just analyze where you’re standing.

But the blood cortisol is not going to give you

a whole lot of a picture.

There’s a lot of range difference gap

between the blood and from the saliva

or from the testing on those aspects.

But yeah, we do that as well.

But then the way I like to use my knowledge

around hormones and things like that

is geared directly towards weight loss.

So I don’t really take any people personally

and test their hormones.

If they are through my questionnaire

and it’s pretty extra vague,

and let’s say that the questions I asked to find out

what their cortisol is at and their stress

perseverance is at.

So if they are ranking high,

then we automatically assume that they have a very stressful lifestyle.

And let’s give them some tools to bring their stress down and on a monthly, we, we see, okay, this is, she was at 30 last month.

And this month, she’s at 25. That’s a good thing, right? So what, well, work well for her.

Let’s do that again in the coming month and bring that down even more. So that’s how we work.

But yeah, functional medicine, practice, it’s so really great if you want to get some testing done to find out what your cortisol is.

JANNINE: It makes sense.

Now I like the surveys because I mean, yes, we can pretty much tell.

If someone’s cortisol is high versus low versus up and down or all around, it makes

perfect sense.

And so yeah, I was thinking a couple of folks might wonder that.

I’m curious on your opinion with folks that come in with the levels, continuous glucose

monitors or if people, if you found that to be helpful at all in your particular way

you’re working with folks with weight loss? ANN MARIA: Yeah, so it’s certainly great to have data,

right? Like accurate data. But at the end of the day, what are we going to do about it?

It’s going to boil down to what are we going to do about it, right? So if you’re symptomatically

showing that you might have insulin resistance or you’re coming in with a blood result saying

that you have actual insulin resistance, saying with cortisol as well, right? If you are like

ranking very high on the cortisol scale or you’re coming in with a test that says your cortisol level is chronically elevated it boils down to what your intervention is.

Right, what are you even going to do about it? So what I do is, again, like I really depend on my assessment with my clients and I don’t really do blood tests and things like that.

But I, whatever, like I assume if 35 years and up, if they have the two or three symptoms as, you know, as a stated above and they’re experiencing weight gain, they have all these things and cravings and all that, then they do have some kind of thing happening with their insulin

or the uptake by the cells or, you know, the way their cortisol is being released.

So I automatically implement the mid-life makeover protocol is what I call the protocol that we use on women like this.

I automatically implement that protocol into the nutrition and exercise part of things, and then we reassess automatically.

JANNINE: Makes sense, makes sense.

I mean, I think there is a lot we can do

and just using our intuition and our results

if we’re surveying folks often.

I mean, I think that’s good as good as testing

with the questionnaires ’cause you’re gonna find out

one way or other there.


JANNINE: Cool, cool stuff.

You guys are doing great stuff.

I really like what’s happening and I like that you’re also

taking your account the hormones and definitely I do agree

like blood sugar, blood sugar.

Blood sugar.

– If you guys didn’t get that by now, blood sugar.

Just saying.

ANN MARIA: Blood sugar, yep. Mmhmm


JANNINE: So tell folks where they can find you, of course,

and where they can hook up with you guys,

you and your husband,

’cause I know he’s not on today,

but tell us a little bit about where folks can find you,

how they can get in touch with you to get into your programs.

ANN MARIA: Absolutely.

First of all, Janine, thank you so much.

I’m really honored to be back on your show yet again.

And to all the folks that are listening to us today,

We talked a lot about glucose control, stress and all that.

And stress was something that stood out, you know, speaking out and loud.

And most of us do go through these episodes of stress since we are like 30 years and all.

We have kids.

We have so many other things happening.

And it’s really important for you to see weight gain and also in terms of weight loss and

in not also in terms of symptom management.

So it’s very important.

So since you guys listened up to the end of the podcast, I do want to give out the stress

toolkit that we give to our clients absolutely for free to you. All you need to do is go find

out me on Instagram. My handle is Ann Maria Tom and send me the keyword Jannine. Then I’m going

to be sending you that stress toolkit that I talked about. Okay. So DM me on Instagram and

Maria Tom send me the keyword Jannine. Then I’ll send you that stress tool kit for you to work on.

JANNINE: Awesome. Thank you so much, Ann Maria. I appreciate it. Look forward to chatting more as we move forward and just helping folks out

Uh one one day at a time one day at a time here. 

ANN MARIA: Thank you so much, Jannine. Have a great day. JANNINE: You too

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Jannine Krause

Get back to your wild, active, vibrant self

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