Stress, Hormones and your Mind

Your mind plays an important role in your weight management. Once I decided I not to worry about the number on the scales (and that I was NOT going to look at my belly each morning in the mirror either, like I had been doing) I have actually felt leaner. By stressing, and thinking about that belly fat (which is the last place it goes from on me! There and my hips… grrr) this can affect your cortisol levels.

Cortisol is the stress hormone. It rises when you are stressed, worried, or doing things to stress the body (e.g. hours of steady state cardio is pretty stressful on your body… yep too much cardio can actually be very detrimental to your fat loss – mind blown or what??)

When your cortisol levels are high, your body finds it very hard to burn fat, and will do what it can to hold on to it. Fat loss will stall, or sometimes even weight gain will occur (cue water retention again) and this will make you even more stressed that your plan isn’t working, usually promoting you to cut more calories and/or do more cardio, thus magnifying the problem and making the whole situation worse. I know, I have been through it and it is extremely frustrating!!

Worrying about not losing weight, and especially thinking about problem areas non-stop can actually make it more difficult to lose the weight. If you instead focus on the journey, and trust the process, weight loss will come naturally. The most important thing to remember is that consistency and moderation are the keys to success. If you consistently go to the gym x amount of times each week, and consistently eat what you are supposed to (most of the time) then this is what gets results.

By not worrying or stressing about numbers or having to lose weight by a certain time and instead just enjoying exercising and eating well you will feel happier. This will help balance your hormones, and you will look and feel better for it. If you create a lifestyle that is sustainable, with foods and exercises you enjoy you will never have to worry about your weight again.