4 Reasons you may be killing your results!

For years we have been forced to believe that if we eat well and exercise, we will lose fat. If we are still struggling to get it off just eat less and train more and we will see results. Sounds like a simple solution, right? Just eat well and train hard, and we will burn fat!

If this was the case then we should ALL be walking around with the body of our dreams, right?

Unfortunately, fat loss is not that simple. One of the main reasons I see so many women struggling to lose body fat even when they are eating well, and training hard is stress.

Lets be real, we live in a stressful world. Our jobs are more demanding, we work long hours (sometimes 6-7 days a week), we are always on our phones/tablet/laptop, there is financial stressors and family/relationship stressors.

When we are stressed our body releases a hormone called Cortisol. This stress could be from emotional sources, physical sources, training stress, dehydration, anxiety, or sleep deprivation. Cortisol plays a key role in energy production by breaking down different types of tissue in the body to convert to glucose, which will give us more energy to get through a stressful situation. In small bursts, cortisol is actually great, and it can help us to build muscle and burn fat. But, the issue becomes when cortisol is always elevated.

Here are 4 issues that occur when cortisol is elevated for long periods of time that will kill your results.

  • Insulin Resistance
    When cortisol is elevated all the time is dumps glucose into the bloodstream. Insulin is then secreted to remove the glucose from the bloodstream (as it is toxic in there). Over time, insulin receptors will stop working which means glucose stays in the bloodstream. This makes fat loss very difficult and means more fat will be stored around the hips / midsection.

  • Digestion Issues
    Cortisol decreases the permeability of the gut wall. This means food particles can ‘leak’ through the gut wall and into the bloodstream. Causing a lot of digestion problems. If you struggle with digestion issues it may be due to stress. When digestion issues are present fat loss will be stalled.

  • Emotional Eating
    Stress influences us to satisfy the pleasure centers in our brain in an attempt to reduce stress. Cortisol can also work to increase appetite, to ensure there is enough energy for our body to deal with the stress. A study found women with high cortisol consumed more calories on days of higher stress, with most of these excess calories coming from sweet foods. So high levels of cortisol mean increased hunger and cravings for foods high in sugar and fat.

  •  Abdominal Fat
    Studies have shown over and over again that highly stressed women have higher levels of abdominal fat than low-stress women. If you are struggling to lose fat especially around the mid-section that is tell-tale sign stress is an issue for you, whether you know it or not. This is when you need to take a step back to think about the potential stressors you have going on - or care to admit them. 

Basically, stress does weird things to peoples’ bodies. It can affect anything from your menstrual cycle, digestion, muscle recovery, fatigue, your skin, thyroid function, and much more. Any of these underlying issues will directly affect your ability to get results.

I hope this gives you a rough understanding of how stress can be holding you back from getting the results you want. I know how frustrating it can be to think you are doing everything right but it still isn’t working. 95% of the time I find by addressing stress with my clients we can get them the results they want!

But remember..!

If you are eating less and exercising more or too much - you will  not lose fat and plateau. We need food to recover the work that has been done from exercising. If you don't fuel your body it will only stay under consistent stress to repair itself and you will not gain any more muscle or lose body fat! 

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