QUESTIONS? CALL 1-800-448-4919 M-F 9AM-6PM EST

Are your “healthy” habits causing weight gain?

You may not realize that many of the “go to” activities many of you turn to when you’re feeling fat are actually keeping you from losing weight. Worse, they may even be causing weight gain.

woman eating healthy but gaining weight

Our experience shows that certain weight loss strategies tell the adrenal glands to produce the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol is a big problem because it signals our bodies to hold onto fat no matter how we eat or how much we exercise.

How many weight loss sabotaging activities are part of your everyday life? Below, we identify three common habits that can derail your efforts. Once you know what’s stopping you from losing those extra pounds, we can help you get started on lasting, natural weight loss with new ideas to calm your body’s stress reactions:

3 stress-causing patterns that keep you from losing weight

1. Do you make everything a priority – except sleep? The latest science is confirming what we’ve said for years — sleep has a big impact on weight loss efforts. Skimping on sleep burdens your body and quickly leads to chronic stress — which means persistently high levels of cortisol that encourage your body to hold on to every extra ounce of fat.

Plus, when you don’t get enough sleep, the body increases levels of the “hunger hormone”, ghrelin, and decreases satiety hormones like leptin that make us feel full. Less sleep also affects insulin regulation and the way we store fat. These hormonal effects have a powerful influence over your ability to lose weight. And when you’re tired, isn’t it likely you’ll grab a “pick me up” full of sugar and caffeine? This produces more stress— and more weight gain.

We recommend women get seven hours of sleep each night. But we know that with our fast-paced lives it’s more and more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. That’s why we formulated Serinisol with sleep-promoting minerals, phosphatidylserine and calming passionflower. These targeted ingredients in Serinisol help lower cortisol levels, promote relaxation and improve sleep.

2. Are you getting too much exercise? Unlike our emotional self, our physical self doesn’t separate “good” stress from “bad.” Anything that activates our fight or flight response can have stressful effects. One good example is exercise. Even with all of its benefits, excess exercise can cause you to retain weight by putting your body under stress.

Thinking that “less is more” when it comes to exercise doesn’t mean you’re not disciplined or not trying as hard as you can. Cutting back to regular— and reasonable, or even gentle — levels of exercise may help stabilize your cortisol levels so you can lose weight.

More and more, we suggest that women re-evaluate vigorous exercise routines. Thirty minutes of exercise a day may be more effective for weight loss than a full hour. New research also supports the idea that exercising less — such as four times a week compared to six — helps burn more calories.

3. Are you skipping meals or drastically cutting calories? Eating more to lose weight sounds crazy to most of us. After all, we’ve had it pounded into our heads that it’s all about “calories in, calories out.” Is it any wonder women tend to skip a meal or go an entire day without eating?

Read more about how stress causes weight gain.

Unfortunately, during long periods without eating, cortisol is released to mobilize glucose, amino acids and fat to prevent low blood sugar. Doing this on a regular basis keeps both cortisol and insulin high, which means extra sugar gets stored as fat — primarily around the belly.

And by not eating, you’re depriving your body of the key nutrients it needs to function. Certain nutrients such as vitamin D, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, l-methylfolate and chromium are important for your body to support weight loss.

To avoid unnecessary stress on your body, eat three balanced meals a day, as well as two snacks. Timing is important too: eat breakfast within an hour of waking and dinner at least three hours before bedtime and a nutritious snack at 10 AM and 4 PM. Eating this way can give you more sustained energy throughout the day.

We’ve developed a ground-breaking specialized approach to losing weight that’s accumulated due to high cortisol and stress.

Try our Weight Loss Resistance Package with Adrenal Support.

Putting it all together for weight loss

Whether you’re just starting to consider a weight loss plan or frustrated by trying and failing to lose those 10 extra pounds, reducing the amount of stress and especially the amount of cortisol in your body can have a lasting effect on your weight. Our Weight Loss Resistance Package with a focus on restoring adrenal balance supports your body and promotes a healthy metabolism with the proper nutrients, phytotherapy and guidance for eating real food. It’s much more effective than attempting to exercise hard every day or cutting out entire food groups.

We think you’ll be surprised at the results you see from a few simple changes! And, we’re here to help.


Rosenkilde, M, et al. 2012. Body fat loss and compensatory mechanisms in response to different doses of aerobic exercise—a randomized controlled trial in overweight sedentary males. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 303(6):R571-9. URL:

Hunter, GR, et. Al. 2013. Combined aerobic/strength training and energy expenditure in older women. Med Sci Sports Exerc., Abstract (accessed 02.25.2013).

Last Updated: January 21, 2022
on top