LUST FOR LIFE CAN EXERCISE MAKE YOU FAT?
SWEATING IT OUT ON THE TREADMILL ONLY TO FIND YOUR PANTS WON’T ZIP UP? NADIA STENNETT ASKS WHY THERE’S PAIN, BUT NO GAIN.
Rushing for work one morning, I was caught off guard when my skinny jeans didn’t shimmy on with their usual ease. I toyed with the notion they’d shrunk in the wash, but the more logical explanation niggled at me. There was just one thing that didn’t add up, though – I’d been exercising like a demon for months. In prep for a figure-hugging bridesmaid’s dress, I’d signed up for boot-camp torture before sunrise and spin-class hell pre-sunset. The only thing getting me through the ordeal was the thought of how svelte I’d look in that dress. So why were my jeans hating on me? Despite following the so-called “rules” of staying in shape (you know, 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week), many of us are left struggling with jeans that won’t slide over our thighs or a severe case of muffin top. But while we fork out a stack on gyms, the only thing growing faster than our credit card debt is our waistline. And the bad news is that our exercise obsession may have more to do with it than we think, say authors Teresa S Wiley and Bent Formby in their book Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. They suggest that chronic high intensity exercise sets off the body’s primitive “fight or flight” response, triggering a surge of extra cortisol – the stress hormone linked to increased abdominal fat in women.
SOURCE: THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) SURVEY IN 2010