The Hormone Reset Diet was developed by gynaecologist Sara Gottfried, MD, with the goal of resetting metabolic hormones to promote weight loss. In order to address hormonal imbalances, the 21-day programme is essentially an elimination diet that calls for avoiding meat, alcohol, fruit, grains, and dairy.

What Experts Say

"The Hormone Reset Diet promises that you'll lose 15 pounds in 21 days. This should be an immediate red flag that this is a fad diet, and any weight that is lost will likely be regained. Although the focus is on eating healthy foods, such as vegetables and protein, this diet plan is too low in calories for most people and will probably leave you feeling hungry. In addition, there is no clinical evidence to suggest that eliminating foods in a specific order can revamp your metabolism and help you lose weight."

What You Can Eat

The main foods to eat on the Hormone Reset Diet include primarily whole foods with the exception of the food groups that are eliminated during each specific phase. The foods the diet includes (and excludes) and the phases of the diet are determined by the results of a quiz that claims to determine which hormonal imbalances you may have.

Aim to eat a pound or more of vegetables per day, sticking to less starchy, high fiber choices to stay under the required 99 grams of carbohydrates.

• Asparagus

• Leafy greens

• Zucchini

• Mushrooms

• Bell peppers

• Organic, Free-Range Eggs and Poultry

The Hormone Diet claims that non-organic, factory-produced eggs and poultry contain “toxins” that contribute to hormonal imbalance. Plant-based sweeteners are thought to be more natural than artificial sweeteners. Sugar alcohols are low-calorie and sugar-free. They do not increase blood sugar and are approved for use on the Hormone Reset Diet.

What You Cannot Eat

Certain foods are eliminated at specific times or for specific individuals, depending on their supposed effects on hormones as determined by a quiz. Eliminating meat, according to the Hormone Reset Diet, resets your estrogen levels. According to the diet, being "estrogen dominant" will prevent you from losing weight. The diet refers to all red meat as "meat." According to Gottfried, sugar is addictive and leads to insulin resistance, causing weight gain, so it is eliminated. Dairy is thought to cause an imbalance and add unwanted growth hormone, so it is eliminated. The Hormone Reset Diet also claims that dairy is addictive.

Is the Hormone Reset Diet a Healthy Choice for You?

Although the Hormone Reset Diet focuses on whole, nutritious foods, it also excludes many foods of high nutritional value. For example, the Hormone Reset Diet excludes grains. Choosing healthy, whole foods for the majority of your diet is a good idea for general health and weight loss. However, excluding food groups like dairy, fruit, and grains is unnecessary for weight loss and could be detrimental to your health and long-term weight loss success.

The Last Word

The Hormone Reset Diet may result in weight loss, but the highly restrictive and unsustainable nature of the diet makes it unnecessarily difficult to follow. If you believe you might have a hormonal health issue, speak to your doctor about the best way to promote hormone balance. Remember, following a long-term or short-term diet may not be necessary for you and many diets out there simply don’t work, especially long-term. While we do not endorse fad diet trends or unsustainable weight loss methods, we present the facts so you can make an informed decision that works best for your nutritional needs, genetic blueprint, budget, and goals. If your goal is weight loss, remember that losing weight isn’t necessarily the same as being your healthiest self, and there are many other ways to pursue health.

Exercise, sleep, and other lifestyle factors also play a major role in your overall health. The best diet is always the one that is balanced and fits your lifestyle.