Igor Klibanov
3 min readMar 23, 2021

I recently bought Lyle McDonald’s monumental book, called simply and aptly The Women’s Book (although the full title is The Women’s Book: A Guide to Nutrition, Fat Loss, and Muscle Gain), and it’s the single most comprehensive book I’ve ever read on the topic of nutrition for women (and as I outline in my article, on professional development, I’ve read a lot of books — about 70–80 per year).

And although I have 28 pages of notes that I took from that book, in this article, I’ll summarize the most interesting and actionable points.

Ready? Let’s go!

  • If the index finger is shorter than the ring finger, the person was exposed to more testosterone prenatally. If it’s the opposite, the person was exposed to more estrogen.
  • The magnitude of the effect of a hormone depends on 3 factors:
  • The amount of the hormone itself. The more the hormone is present, the greater its effect
  • Hormone affinity: how well a hormone “fits” into its receptor. The tighter the fit, the greater the effect
  • Receptor sensitivity: how sensitive a receptor is to the hormone
  • Estrogen improves insulin sensitivity, so during the estrogen-dominant part of the cycle, women can have more carbs. Aren’t you glad you’re reading this article?
  • Progesterone increases metabolism by 100–300 calories per day, but with it, also cravings
  • Functional Hypothalamic…



Igor Klibanov

Igor Klibanov is the author 7 books on exercise and nutrition, including 2 bestsellers. Read more of his articles at