Excessive exercise is not good for you or your hormones and it might be the reason why you're not losing weight if you're a woman. Exercise is stress and stress raises cortisol. If cortisol levels rise too high and stay elevated for too long, the adrenal glands may stop working properly and as cortisol levels drop below normal, weight gain occurs. 

When everything is working well, the stress from exercise will encourage the body to become stronger, but if you are already under additional stress, it can be damaging. 

Also, you may find yourself constantly craving sugar. It makes sense, no? Your body is in carbohydrate depletion so it craves more of it. When I was marathon training last year, I was always craving carbs and I ended up gaining some weight.

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For time-crunched ladies, especially moms, I recommend 3-4 smart workouts that last about 20 minutes, that also help you connect with your core, without metabolism or hormone damage.

Optimal fat burning takes place at a leisurely pace. Moderate intensity aerobic exercise raises cortisol and leads to muscle loss just as readily as fat loss. It also burns calories, but provides little hormonal advantage. I tell my clients to practice high intensity workouts combined with low intensity ones for best results. I maximize this by providing a weekly core-focused workout in my training programs and the ladies love it.

I tell my Fit Squad, that consistency is so much better than perfection. Going to the gym once or twice a week for an hour-long exercise if ok if you enjoy going and if it's more for the mental benefits, but if you want to make it a lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight, then you have to squeeze in consistent, short but smart workouts thorough the 7 days of the week.

If you'd like to learn how just a few minutes a day of total body movements along with a clean diet can help you get results, you'll want to sign up for my upcoming free 5-day Fitness FASTrack challenge that starts this Friday. For all the details go to: www.bit.ly/fitfast5 

Julia is a Morristown-based online trainer who specializes in biomechanics and core training and works with many post-partum moms in the area, helping them maintain a fit lifestyle after kids.