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Are Your Workouts Making You Fat?

When it comes to losing weight, most women are under the impression that you have to follow the law “eat less, exercise more.” It’s time to set the record straight--that advice is just not true!


My client Chris was always active, but she began to feel stuck in her weight loss journey. When I started digging deeper into her routines to find out why, I realized immediately what the culprit was—her cortisol levels were skyrocketing because of the high intensity of her workouts. And when that cortisol spike happens, your body naturally goes into survival mode and holds onto fat as a buffer against stress.


Together, Chris and I modified her workouts so that they wouldn’t cause more stress and weight gain. After these adjustments, Chris not only hit a record low in her weight, but she went from stuck to unstoppable, and exhausted to energized.


I could tell you story after story of clients whose high-intensity workouts did more harm than good due to the sustained elevation of cortisol levels. I hate to see my clients put in so much work only to be ineffective in their efforts.


Are Your Workouts Making You Fat? The Connection Between Cortisol and Exercise


So how do you know if your workouts are causing high cortisol levels?


First, let me clarify: cortisol is not all bad. It’s actually necessary. It is the stress hormone that affects every other system in our bodies. It controls our blood sugar levels, regulates our metabolism and blood pressure, and it also affects our sleep.


(What a humbling reminder of how God has created us so amazingly and intricately!)


The problem, though, is that we have become acclimated to such high-stress lifestyles that our cortisol levels stay chronically elevated. Unfortunately, exercise only exacerbates this pre-existing cortisol imbalance.


Your stress response can be triggered by emotional, mental or physical stimuli and on this week’s episode of the Faith-Based Weight Loss for Women podcast, we will focus specifically on how physically stimulating your body through exercise affects your cortisol levels and, in turn, your body’s fat storage.


We’ll discuss:

  • The positive effects of cortisol, why it’s needed, and how to obtain a healthy level in your weight-loss efforts

  • Debunking the “eat less, exercise more” myth and the importance of challenging your body appropriately

  • How exercise affects your cortisol levels and identifying which changes need to be made in your routine

If you are stuck in your weight loss journey and wondering if your workouts are helping or harming your progress, learn how to develop an effective strategy to regulate your cortisol levels on this week’s podcast!




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