Are you wondering why you can’t seem to lose weight no matter how hard you try to workout and eat well?
Here are 5 probable reasons why you are gaining and not losing weight, and how to counteract it.
1. You’re Stressed Out
You’ve probably heard that cortisol can make you fat, but it’s not quite that simple. Cortisol is a performance-enhancing stress hormone that serves an important function in survival situations. (Ever heard of the “fight-or-flight response“? That’s cortisol kick-starting the burst of energy you need to fight/outrun a saber-toothed tiger back in the day.)
Nowadays, that saber-toothed tiger is life: traffic, work, family, more traffic, chores, etc. When you’re under too much daily stress, your body shifts into a state of chronic high alert/cortisol release, which may have a variety of repercussions, including water retention and accumulation of abdominal fat.
On that note, the beginning of a diet and/or exercise program is a “survival” situation, thus causing cortisol release. But before you swear off fitness, keep in mind that while temporary water retention isn’t uncommon at the start of a new workout, the chances of accumulating abdominal fat while doing a well-designed fitness program the way it was intended to be done are almost zilch.
In addition to exercise’s psychologically calming effect, your body should adapt to the stress, and your metabolism will be elevated, leading to weight loss.
What to Do: Be patient, grasshopper. There’s no hard-and-fast timeline on how long it will take your body to adapt. So don’t freak out if your friend or workout partner is losing weight and you aren’t; your body will adapt when it’s good and ready.