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Let's talk about cortisol for a minute.
Cortisol is the "fight or flight" hormone your body produces when it is under stress. It's been proven that too much cortisol flowing through out bodies can cause weight gain, particularly abdominal weight.
I know, I know...we all have stress. We have families and jobs and deadlines and super high expectations for ourselves. Those things are our lives, and we could never live without them.
But you may not have considered that you may be adding extra stress to your body in the name of health. And you may not even realize it.
The "Eat Less, Exercise More" model that you may have been taught is the golden ticket to losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight puts a ton of stress on your body. Eating so little that your stomach is growling and you are irritably snapping at your loved ones is stress. Forcing yourself to eat an entire meal consisting of foods that you don't really enjoy is stress. Obsessively counting every calorie you consume and feeling guilty when you eat "bad" foods is...you guessed it...stress.
And what about our workouts? When we believe that we have to constantly push ourselves to the absolute limit when we exercise 4 to 5 days a week, what do you think that is really doing to our bodies?
If you are currently subscribed to this model, how do you really feel at the end of your week?
A. Energized, strong, and satisfied
B. Fatigued, busted, and craving sugar and/or salt like a madwoman
If your answer is B, I have a strong suspicion that your metabolism is out of whack, and that cortisol is a major factor.
You guys, please! Let's slow it down a little.
Think about changing a couple of your workouts during the week to slower, mindful ones. Maybe reduce your reps and add more rest periods. Take a yoga, Pilates, or Barre class. Or how about a leisurely walk?
And on your high intensity days, consider shortening the duration. 30 minutes at the most.
As for eating, focus on eating a good amount of the right foods that you enjoy, and that also fuel your body. I'm not saying to go crazy, but eat enough so you are satisfied, and push aside the guilt for a bit.
Give slowing it down a try for a couple weeks, and see if it makes a difference for you.
And if you need help, let us know. We'll coach you up!