Your Body Wants You to Be Fat (If You’re Doing These Things…) : The 5 Undeniable Laws of Lasting Weight Loss

Wednesday Jan 4 | BY |
| Comments (55)

de-stress lose weight
If you want to lose weight, you might want to take a lesson from Jonny 5’s book… chill out – often – when you find a warm, soft spot.

Under normal circumstances, your body does its best to keep your weight in its genetic sweet spot.

This simply means that if you’re eating foods that your genes like to eat, then you’ll stay healthy.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be cut up like a fitness model, it means that your body will be a weight that is associated with your genetic background and you’ll be ridiculously healthy.

The reason I’m stressing genetic background here is because of my experience with at least observing the diet of our Q’ero family in Peru. The Q’ero traditionally live high in the Andes and eat more potatoes then Ronald McDonald (I imagine that’s what he eats…), but they maintain their health even though they tend to have a short and stocky build. The females tend to store more fat as well. So according to their genes and the food that they eat, stocky is healthy.

So, eat your natural diet and stay healthy – and likely relatively trim.

But, there are instances where your body wants you to be fat. I’m going to explore two of them in this third Undeniable Law of Lasting Weight Loss.

Law #3 of The Undeniable Laws of Lasting Weight Loss: Mess with Stress and Get Fat Fast

If you stress, you’ll probably get fat.

You may not blow up like a balloon, but you will have areas of unsightly fat that will make you feel uncomfortable in a bathing suit on your next vacation.

There are three ways stress (or hormones) can interfere with your ability to lose weight that I want to focus on here today. These are testosterone production and stress, and stress, insulin regulation and the hunger hormone stew (Mmmm, sounds yummy.)

I talk a lot about blood testing and – more specifically – testing your hormones, but if you gave me a line up of 10-15 men and women who were between 5-30 pounds overweight and asked them to pull their shirts up to reveal just their bellies, I could – with relatively good accuracy – tell who has low testosterone and who doesn’t.

The reason why is because belly fat is very closely linked to low testosterone – in men and women.

So maybe your testosterone is low, but how did that happen?

Chances are it’s because the pre-hormones that you need to produce the testosterone are being used to create other hormones – and in our modern world, these are undoubtedly stress hormones.

When you stress, your body releases hormones that ramp up some systems and shut down others. Sex hormones are the first to suffer.

In the past – long and distant – if you were being chased by a lion, your body would slow the production of sex hormones because at that moment you wouldn’t likely need to be worrying about snuggling up with your sweetie.

These days, this isn’t the case.

Normal testosterone levels keep your body firm, strong and tight. Low testosterone levels make you soft, pudgy and doughy – so your stress is making your body naturally gain weight.

How do you build up your testosterone?

Obviously, decrease your stress – but that’s easier said than done. I use EFT to help decrease my stress levels. I also go out for a run.

Exercise will not only decrease emotional stress, but it can also increase your testosterone levels.

If you’re having trouble raising your levels to optimal, you can work with a practitioner who’s well trained in natural hormone replacement therapy.

Please note, for women who are concerned about “bulking up” because of higher testosterone levels, don’t worry. Your bodies won’t allow it.

The second lesson inside of the fat / stress connection is that if you have excess cortisol in your body, you will store fat.

The connection between stress, insulin, sugar and cortisol have been studied fairly significantly – the conclusion – if you have excess cortisol in your system you tend to crave sugars, your insulin levels spike and you store more fat.

When you stress you crave sugars because your body is looking for an energy boost. Your body also craves all foods, because excess cortisol can dilute the effect of leptin and ghrelin which are hormones that tell you if you’re hungry and when you’re full – causing over or under-eating which can be more simply defined as binging. That’s the hormone hunger stew I was talking about before — not so appetizing.

When you start to binge, you eat too much sugar (in any form) and you release excess insulin to store it away as fat.

This – again – during times long ago, is likely related to times of stress when the body was equipped to store and food it got in a time of famine. I could be wrong, I wasn’t there, but it makes sense.

So the equation (loosely) goes like this…

Stress + Cortisol + Food + Insulin = Fat

It’s not super-scientific, but I’m also assuming you’d probably secretly try voodoo dolls if they could guarantee you’d lose fat to fit into your old pants. ๐Ÿ™‚

But in all seriousness, thinking along the lines of this equation, you can very clearly understand that your stress is causing your to store fat… and not only that, based on the first part of this article, it’s lowering your testosterone as well which is keeping you fat around the waist (and most likely messing with your sex life as well.)

So maybe it’s not really you who’s not able to lose that extra weight, it is a mixture of your hormones that are biologically causing you to stay fat.

Something to think about.

Anyway, the best way to figure out if this is happening to you is take the visual clues – pudgy, soft belly – and combine them with solid blood test results for your testosterone and blood glucose levels and a good health practitioner will be able to give you a good protocol to follow.

But chances are if you step up your exercise routine and cut the stress (and some of the excess processed or non-processed complex carbs), you might just see results within weeks.

Your Question of the Day: What exercise do you like best?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didnโ€™t change the way he was living โ€” he might go down that same path. Since then, heโ€™s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, heโ€™s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols โ€” including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more โ€” to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog โ€” which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. steve says:

    PLEASE!!! Start doing videos again. Take a poll and you will be surprised to see the results, Iโ€™m sure of it, this is why more people watch TV then read booksโ€ฆ Since you (My Mentor) cut back on the vidโ€™s I have been backsliding. Please continue the videos! Your Bud Steve

  2. Patty says:

    My favorite exercises are hip hop dance, jazz dance and zumba. I love to exercise because of the way that I feel afterwards. It completely changes the way I feel, my body image and my mood.

  3. Winter Fey says:

    Hula hoop, ballet, jump rope, walking/jogging (outside) salsa/latin dance, and Irish dance. I have to admit, I hardly exercise now that I have a desk job! I also like yoga, but I don’t exactly consider that exercise (even though it is) because it’s so soothing.

    Great article btw. Thanks <3

  4. vickie says:

    A great way to boil it down to the essentials. Keep up the good work. Regarding video’s-I am often out of town with my laptop without sound so I prefer keeping to the write-ups most of the time.

  5. Paula says:

    I jump on my little rebounder. I have been battling rheumatoid arthritis, which came on suddenly & I believe was caused by the stress of watching my daughter go through chemo and death from breast cancer (or the chemo). I put on weight also. I have started to overcome it now thanks to eating healthier, good suppliments and exerciizing. The rebounder is much easier on my joints, but I have been walking also.
    Thanks Kev & Anne marie for all you do.

  6. Paula says:

    Also, thank you for inrtoducing me to the Gabriel Method! I am doing the program and I feel something shifting after only 2 days.

  7. Jo says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Did you know Kevin may be a Celtic name for Kindness. I think this fits you very well.

    So, all mush aside and in answer to your question, I love Zumba, walking/hiking and Yoga in particular. I used to enjoy line dancing, but find I get too many lower back aches, and knee problems.

    My concern is that I really don’t have much stress in my life (retired and loving it), although I did have stress during the years I put on this extra 30#s with belly fat, etc. I do really feel this is a hormonal problem and especially in light of trouble sleeping as well.

    I don’t have any insurance right now and am not willing to spend lots of money on visits with a physician or for expensive tests. I also am really in the midst of a dilemma about eating meat. If I could really get the balanced protein/carbo/fat easily without meat, I would be perfectly content to do without it. Over the years, I have found being a vegetarian has not helped me to keep the fat off or to lose it. I seem to crave cheese and crackers/pasta, etc. when eating as a vegie. I was a lacto/ovo vegie for 8 years at the time I pack on these extra pounds.
    I do think there are ways to eat as a vegan and vegie that will be balanced and even help reduce fat weight, but they seem to take an incredible amount of kitchen (preparation time) to be satisfying. I can’t realistically see myself eating salads with oil and vinegar dressings and steamed vegies all day everyday, but don’t feel like I want my life to be all about preparing vegies dishes to make the diet interesting.

    I know this may sound like a bit of a mess, but I guess I just need some help.

    Thanks for all you do, and to all the people who offer such good advice. This is one of my favorite spots for health info.

  8. Morgan Wellinger says:

    Nothing beats a long walk/hike in the woods with my dog. Pilates and bike riding are always nice too.

  9. Tara Burner says:

    My favorite exercises are yoga, kettle bells, running, biking

    The yoga is awesome for my back issues and destressing

  10. Neille says:

    I have tried to force myself to do every sort of exercise out there. I have finally reached the conclusion that if I don’t enjoy myself I won’t do it. I love to dance and have found many classes to keep me busy and fit. I do enjoy hiking, walking, yoga and biking but I do those activities only when I am in the mood and don’t force myself anymore.
    Hope this helps!

  11. Kaila says:

    Thanks for the articles! It helps to be able to read what I need thoroughly and completely. I enjoy yoga immensely, but am noticing that yoga alone won’t keep the weight off. Yoga is great for alleviating stress and balancing systems. I also find swimming to be extremely enjoyable :/)

  12. Season Naify says:

    My favorite exercises are the Five Tibetan Rites, hands down. If I do nothing else but these exercises in a day, it shifts the way I respond to stress and also the balance of energy expenditure and pacing of my day. The regime has a very centering effect too, all in just about 15 minutes.

    I also love Yoga, but who doesn’t?

    And for cardio, creative interval training, where I play around moving quickly with the staircase and some burpees and other spontaneous monkey movements. And of course, dancing!

  13. I like rebounding, weight lifting (static contraction) and jogging. Also hockey for us Canadians, eh. For keeping stress down I have found that being part of a men’s group ( check out )helps me tremendously. Provides an outlet for the stress, anger and whatever is going that is causing the stress.

  14. Tabata! 20 seconds high intensity, followed by 10 seconds or rest. It is getting me fit- finally!

  15. wendy green says:

    full on, daily (6 days a week) ashtanga yoga self practice. at 50+++….feeling strong, bendy, agile and balanced!!! <3

  16. I love to dance. Every morning I wake up and spend my first 30 to 50 minutes dancing. There is no specific form and sometimes I don’t even have music, just the songs playing in my head. It’s always fun, with or without music, and it allows my body to move and stretch and get really warm in a free-form and natural way.

  17. Barbara says:

    I love rebounding to music with a good beat and walking outdoors. I was a normal weight until I had to go out to work at age 40 which as a quiet recluse I found very stressful. Over the next 10 years I gained 40 lbs even though my vegetarian diet actually improved – more salads, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts, less bread and cheese, and I cut out sodas, cookies and sweets. I’ve never been a big eater. I always suspected stress played a part in my weight gain. I read recently that people who are blood type O react to stress by producing adrenaline that won’t make them store fat, but blood type A (like me) and A/B react to stress by producing CORTISOL which damages the hypothalamus – a region of the brain that functions as the main control center for the autonomic nervous system by regulating sleep cycles, body temperature, APPETITE, etc., and that acts as an endocrine gland by producing HORMONES. When your hypothalamus doesn’t function properly your metabolism goes out of whack. Perhaps this is why some of us gain weight even though we don’t eat much, and we don’t lose weight even if we exercise more and improve our diets. Can you tell us how to heal a hypothalamus?

  18. Ed says:

    STEVE, child please!!! Kevin is too nice a person to give you the kick you deserve,your backsliding is a choice that is not related to how many videos Kevin produces.Eating is the biggest cause of disease,disabilites and death in the does not force that on you,maybe you should hire a coach to be your “Bud” but he might want you to read a book. Kevin,Annmarie what you give us is a blessing Thank You

  19. Sue says:

    My favorite exercise is walking! I love getting out in the fresh air and sunshine!

  20. Christine says:

    Tango! And walking. Some machines at the gym for upper body.

    I love the write-ups, that way I can quickly get the information.

    One thing that needs to be mentioned is menopause – it seems that many women I know gain a lot of weight, regardless of diet/exercise/stress.

    Or can that also be controled?

  21. Georgia Barnwell says:

    hey! I am coming down on the other side of the read/watch video thing – I MUCH prefer the written info – I can scan it quickly and decide what to focus on much faster than watching a video. I tend not to bother with videos. but thanks for doing what you do – it’s all great,

  22. Karen says:

    I get on my rebounder every day. I also go to the gym a couple times a week, and I always be sure to do Dr. Mercola peak fitness system.

  23. Gwen says:

    Hello Kev,

    I truly admire you and yours wife’s team!! You are doing what you love to do and sharing your expertise on so many different levels with thousands of people so that they can live their best life ever!!

    Man, you’re the best. May you continue to soar in 2012 and beyond.

    I’m hoping that one day I can do what I love so that I have less stress and less weight.

  24. I do Bikram yoga, hike and walk.

    Can you please do an article on how to get the best hormone/blood test?

    I’m clueless on this important subject!

    Peace! Sarah

    I like the articles better btw : )

    You are a great writer – the videos are great too, but I seem to like reading better – it sticks more

  25. maca says:

    Very interesting article, especially about low testosterone being linked to belly fat. But why does testosterone get low? Asian men are usually slim but UK and US men get fat around the belly. So is the food they eat lowering their testosterone? And what are Asian men doing to keep their testosterone levels up?

  26. Roni says:

    I’m with those who like the written info – it’s much easier to scan words than having to wait through the slowness of human speech in order to get to the meat of the information. I’ve only got so much time you know! (uh oh, there go my stress levels…)

    I like walking, hiking in the woods and, less enjoyably, interval type training.

  27. Ruth says:

    I wish I could get rid of some stress, but my husband is an expert at generating stress!

  28. Theresa says:

    Great article, Kevin. Thank you. And if we are taking a vote, as Steve suggests, I vote for the articles. Videos are great, fun and informative, but your articles are thorough and address topics with greater coverage which I greatly appreciate.

  29. Sally says:

    Me like running, jogging, cleaning, ( if its considered exercise ) and yeah.

  30. laura says:

    I love trotting along the beach with my dog (who runs circles around me)!
    Weights and Pilates for muscle tone.

    I, too like the written word, so I can go over things and ruminate and my own pace.

    And, thanks for all that you do

  31. Lori says:

    I like rebounding and I love horseback riding. Thank you for the in depth articles, I prefer them and most often skip the videos.

  32. Mark says:

    Running! Almost every day for 29 years now. Nothing else makes me feel as good afterwards, nothing else feels as though I really worked out and can feel it.

    Hey Jo, sounds like you need to add LOTS OF FRUIT during the day and the troubles you seem to be experiencing will most likely go away. Can’t get enough satisfying calories from veggies, and probably why you’re having cravings. Increasing your greens can also help a lot with cravings as well. This was my mistake and as soon as I followed these two I’ve been doing awesome for going on 8 years now.

    All the best!

  33. Mailet says:

    Jogging/running Has proved to be the most effective and beneficial excersise. The truth about humans is that they were born to run just as they were born to eat and live. Running needs not be strenuous nor require any fancy equipment, because truth is the more simple the better. Stay away from expensive shoes and gadgets, go as barefoot of a feel as possible because the soles of your feet are the best and naturally occurring sensors that allow the rest of your body how to hold your body and step as you run to avoid fatigue and injuries. The goal should be running for fun and mere joy. The length or speed do not matter it’s the relaxation and time to metidate and clear ones mind and body of unwanted things that does matter.

  34. Rachael says:

    YOGA! Running, walking, soccer, tennis, and hiking!

  35. Bruce says:

    BEEROBICS: lift, drink, release;)

  36. Velda says:

    Interesting article. Since people seem to be voting, I would vote for the videos ๐Ÿ™‚ Strange thing about exercise and me …. I don’t like it and never have. I have never felt better after exercising – only worse. Don’t know why. Even as kid in school, I did not feel better after exercise. If I had to choose, I would say walking – I do like to walk – but do not go for walks very often. I have a rebounder and have been promising myself that I would start by doing 5 minutes a day on it …. still promising myself ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel like rebounding is good for the lymph nodes and feel like I need to do it. From what you said in your article, I have too much cordisol and not enough testosterone. No matter how thin I get, I still have the belly fat …. and the last 5 months or so, I have gained over 20 lbs. Thanks, Kevin for a great article. Love you guys!!!

  37. Michael says:

    Spinning is my favor, I also like the elliptical

  38. Jane says:

    I vote for the articles too. I love to print it out and read whenever I have time i.e. waiting for appointment, before bed time, at coffee shop etc. I don’t like to be tied up in front of a “box”. And I don’t watch TV much.
    Thanks for all the great articles. I LOVE hiking, walking, yoga, pilate, strength train. But love mountain hiking the best. i.e. Machu Picchu, Denaile Park, Yellow Mountain(China), Exit glacier …fresh air and beautiful view!

  39. Brenda says:

    Hey Kevin,
    I love the videos cuz I read, read, read, read lots all the time, including your articles.
    I love to hike and dance and rebound. yep, I am in good shape. Actually, one of the things I do in my health practice is help people lose weight.
    I am loving these articles.
    Peace & hugs

  40. christel says:

    To Barbara
    Re: how to heal hypothalamus
    Hypothalamus relates to the emotional brain, meditation, on a long term, is the best way to heal. Regular practice will help you to calm the autonomic nervous system. There are lots of different type of meditation out there, read about them, take your pick and follow your heart and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Danny says:

    I like to vary and do a combination of things
    Most days I will do Tai Chi or Chi Gong (or maybe both if I am motivated).
    I have been doing the 5 Tibetan Exercises for the last few months and really enjoy them. Do up to 18 repetitions when full of energy, and maybe down to 3 when I am not too keen.
    Run up to 3 times a week – one long run of 1-3 hours, and up to 2 1/2 hour runs at a faster pace.
    And mainly make sure I have fun and enjoy myself along the way.
    Regarding your site – I prefer the articles…
    And thanks for the great job you are doing:)

  42. Satori says:

    Exercises I truly enjoy are sit-ups and push-ups. I don’t really like anything else; although, I do run, yoga, etc…

  43. erin b says:

    Videos please!!! I am a busy person and can not always read, but I can sure listen.

    Walking and light weights are my favorite.

    Florida is awaiting your arrival, it has been cool here, but is warming up. The star fruit is awesome as pretty much everything else here is. Great Farmer’s Markets with many local wonders of delight awaiting your arrival.

    Please bring back your videos, please!

  44. Cindy says:

    I like walking & dancing best. I had a mini trampoline for years, but rarely used it. The time I did get on it, I tried to touch the ceiling because my grandkids were egging me on, & I fell off backwards & damaged the ligaments in both thumbs, which took over a year to heal completely. Then about 2 weeks ago, I went roller skating with my grandkids & the front wheels of both skates locked together when I was going around a corner & I fell flat on my face. I’ll just stick to walking & dancing.

  45. Josephine says:

    Bicycling, unless I can find an ionized, not chlorinated, swimming area–or a clean bayou.

  46. zyxomma says:

    My very favorite is mountain hiking, but since I live at sea level I do the daily lymphatic activation on my rebounder, walk a few miles outdoors daily, and climb the four flights of stairs to my apartment while doing the Power Breath.

  47. […] On a physiological level, negative thoughts and beliefs create more stress for your body than it needs and can turn on your fat storing engines (see Law #3.) […]

  48. Mary says:

    I wrote the other day that I enjoy reading the text and was secretly feeling that it was a superior way to get information. however after reading other people’s comments, I remembered that there has been a lot of research done regarding people’s learning styles and that not everyone processes information in the same way.

    and also some people are very good at multitasking (I am not) and really need to multitask to keep up in today’s world.

    I realize, Kevin, that you need to do what works best for you, but I just wanted to humbly retract my secretly superior attitude.

    (if you lean towards text, maybe you could do a once a week summary of your articles on video to be able to reach more people. :))

    (the visually impaired also might be out there listening to your videos.)


  49. Pandora says:

    My favourite excercise is turning the pages of a book ….. (not speed reading).
    I also don’t mind moving the odd chess piece around the board every so often ….. but that can become very stressful!

  50. Ellen from Davis says:


    I have to say that I like the articles and videos pretty equally (I absorb each one best in different contexts). But articles might be easier for YOU to generate, thus leading to more frequent and content-rich posts…and I always want to hear more from you!

    As for exercise, in my high-powered days I favored intense treadmill intervals (power-walking on inclines) with weights, but now, underweight and adrenally fatigued, I prefer long walks in nature or just outside. They really help with stress and anxiety.


  51. Ruth White says:

    Even with hearing aids I find it difficult to hear videos or TV programs or movies, etc. so I much prefer written information. Or perhaps you could have closed caption with the videos or just do both video and written. Ruth

  52. Carrie H - Portland, OR says:

    It is amazing how many followers that comment on your posts. Decided to put some words down myself.

    I have a very high stress job and my home life is a bit stressfull too, small house and no where to put things makes at home a bit stressfull, have two dogs that are not sociable, so having company over is hard to do.

    Walk a little during the week, then 5-7 miles on the weekends, but not much other exercise. Not sure how to managing have dogs tht I love much, work 9 hours a day, exhausted when get home, have to prepare dinner, and have some time to relax.

    So, your article hit a lightblub in my brain, Yes, I could have a cortisol/testosterone imbalance. Have been semi-healthy Vegan for 8 years, but could improve, and Yes I crave Sugar all the time and my brain says, eat and eat all the time, when I know I am not hungry. Do have a weight problem lately, gained 15 lbs in the last 6 months. Humm, I think I am on to something.

    Thanks !!!

  53. Great, love your articles. I love to walk or rebound,heaing myself with adult stem cell nutrtion.

  54. Juli Lim says:

    Reading for me sticks better. Is it too much to do both video and text? That will boost yr popularity rating for sure.
    Rebounding( on a good one) – I am going to do it till the day I expire. It helps with core muscle strengthening, agility, lymphatic drainage, plus so many more benefits.

  55. rebecca says:

    Love you! Thank you for all the work that you do. Just wanted to say PLEASE stick to the articles – I cannot watch the videos on my laptop. The articles really raise you to the next level. Thank you again! Peace X

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