Do you ever find that you just cannot seem to lose weight? Your diet is in-check. You’re following your workout routine, getting eight hours of sleep every night, and staying hydrated. However, that stubborn pudge above your jeans just won’t budge! So, what gives? You’re doing everything right, yet you just can’t lose weight, or are you?

Have you evaluated your stress levels? Stress is a major factor in determining your body’s composition, your weight, and the ways your physique changes. This impact is due to the cortisol hormone. real housewives of orange county work GIF

Created by the body’s adrenal glands, cortisol is known as a steroid hormone, and aids many critical functions of the body including the regulation of metabolism.  However, when a person encounters high amounts of stress, cortisol levels rise. This rise then creates higher insulin levels which results in the stressed individual having cravings for higher fat, sugary foods.

So, what can you do?!

First, evaluate the amount of stress in your life. Identify what causes it and how you cope.

Then, work on changing your habits or creating new routines. For instance, if you find yourself reaching for a chocolate bar in stressful situations become aware of this habit. Then, actively try to change it. Instead of indulging, go for a walk, do yoga, or simply take a step back from whatever it is that is causing you to feel this way.

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Next, take time out for yourself. Find activities you enjoy doing such as reading, painting, or exercising, and make a conscious effort to incorporate them into your routine. You don’t have to spend hours doing these activities. Instead, start small. You’ll find that it truly does not take much, just a short break, to relax yourself so you can return to the stressful situation with a clear, relaxed mindset.

By taking time out for yourself, you’ll feel worlds better. You may even be more productive, and you’ll most likely start seeing the results for which you so badly yearn. So, if you think you’re doing everything right, but just can’t seem to lose the weight. Ask yourself, am I really doing everything right? Don’t be afraid to take time out for yourself. Work, your family, friends, and fitness will all be there waiting for you when you’re done.