How Hormones Can Derail Your Fitness Goals


It’s no secret that hormones can have a significant impact on your ability to lose weight and stay in shape. Hormones are all critical in the body. They help with metabolism regulation and fat storage. This article is about how hormones can derail your fitness goals. You will learn that they can influence energy expenditure, muscle growth after workouts, and weight maintenance.

Your Body’s Response to Exercise

Hormones can mess up your fitness goals. For example, hormones like estrogen and cortisol can stop the release of HGH after you work out. That limits muscle growth. It also makes you store more fat, usually  in your midsection.  It is a scientific fact that our midsection spreads as we approach menopause. Because of this, I remind my  class participants of the importance of lifting challenging weights and doing Boxing/Kickboxing for cardio as they are both effective means to help fight the spread of our midsection. In short, lifting heavier weights builds muscle which in turn helps to rev up the metabolism and the repetitive twisting of Boxing  delivers a direct focus on the obliques for a trimmer waistline. *Boxing is an art that requires learning how to punch correctly to get the many benefits.  If you have an opportunity to work with a boxing/kickboxing instructor a few times I highly advise it as punching is not usually what we do best.

Maintaining Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can be hard when hormones are not working. For example, testosterone can help you maintain muscle mass and prevent obesity. If testosterone is low, the ability to gain, or maintain, muscle mass is decreased  and your metabolic rate will slow down.  On the other hand, Estrogen helps us maintain healthy weight, but as perimenapause and menopause approach there can be a significant decline in Estrogen.  As the level of estrogen lowers, so too does the ability to keep the weight off. You could do everything you have done your whole life and your body responded beautifully, then all of a sudden, your body no longer responds to your lifestyle. I’m blaming Estrogen here! Therefore, because hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, (along with  progesterone, and thyroid) hormones all play a part in metabolism regulation, talk to your doctor about getting bloodwork done to get a good read on your hormone levels and how to move forward if an imbalance is detected. 

Stress Management

One way to help your body keep up with its fitness goals is by reducing stress which may be affecting your hormones adversely. Excessive stress can lead to hormone imbalances (high Cortisol levels)  that interfere with weight loss or muscle-building efforts. To reduce stress, make sure you have enough sleep – at least seven hours a night – and maintain a positive attitude. Eating healthy meals and regular exercise will also help reduce stress levels. You should also do relaxation techniques such as yoga!


In this blog post, we have discussed how hormones can derail your fitness goals by decreasing muscle growth, as well as influencing your ability to maintain a healthy weight. We also learned that one way to help the body keep up with its fitness goals is by reducing stress which may be affecting hormones adversely. To reduce stress, you should get at least seven hours of sleep per night; maintain a positive attitude; eat healthy meals; exercise regularly (but not excessively), and, most importantly, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga.

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