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How Stress Affects the Female Metabolism with Natalie Newhart – The Fed and Fearless Podcast Episode 74

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Intense workout regimens too often lead to unintended harmful outcomes. Unintentional weight-gain, hormone issues, fatigue, and more can come from excessive training and dieting. Today’s guest shares her first-hand knowledge on how to undo the damage and train for the results you truly want, without harming your body in the process.



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About Natalie Newhart

Natalie Newhart is a former professional CrossFit athlete, national powerlifter, national physique bodybuilder, and CrossFit gym owner in Vail, Colorado. She specializes in helping fitness-loving women who eat well, workout often, and are not seeing results from traditional dieting advice.

After gaining twenty pounds in two months and being diagnosed with hypothyroidism and diabetes with no answers, Natalie sought support from world-class doctors and physicians who taught her everything she wanted to know about stress and female metabolism. That was how she became obsessed with learning how stress impacts women’s bodies. She is now on a mission to get this information out to all the women that are spinning their wheels and deserve to see their hard work pay off.

The Wrong Way to Exercise Right

Natalie explains how training the “right way” often has negative unintended consequences for many women. The frustration and stress that ensues just make it that much worse. To avoid harming your body in the pursuit of fitness, it’s important to not get consumed by the competitive nature of working out. 

To help women exercise sustainably, we discuss how to actually listen to what your body is telling you about its needs. With gym culture what it is, this can be a difficult task. The important thing to always keep in mind is that you know your body best. You just have to recognize its signals and act accordingly.


Refocusing for Healthier Workouts

As Natalie experienced herself, unintentional weight gain is a common effect of excessive high-intensity training. The physical and mental stress of these workouts often increases the body’s level of cortisol and stress hormones. This constant state of stress signals the body to store fat rather than burn it.

By refocusing on what’s driving your fitness goals, you can start taking more control. Being motivated by enthusiasm, willpower, and discipline rather than anxiety, obligation, and fear will reduce the stress you put on yourself. This creates a positive experience that your body will respond to in positive ways.

How can you give yourself permission to relax and slow down? Leave a comment below! 


Got a question you’d love to hear me answer on the show? Leave me a voice message here!



  • How Natalie learned about the connection between diet, exercise, and metabolism [3:40]
  • How to engage in competitive fitness without doing harm to your body [8:40]
  • Why weight gain often accompanies intense training [15:50]
  • The connection between emotional health and body-composition [19:14]
  • The best thing that active women can do right now to improve their mindset [34:00]



“This is why you see so many women in the gym working hard and they are disciplined with their food and they’re not getting results and yet they’re told that they just need to work harder. There’s nothing more frustrating than to be putting in all that effort and not getting results.” [7:31]

“I don’t think there are enough people talking about the emotional effects that play a role on your body composition. That is just as important as exercising too much or not enough or eating too much or not enough.” [18:57]

“Just doing it from a place of passion and love will create an experience that will be completely different than that of a person who is driving out of fear and anxiety.” [33:33]



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