• Chronic stress makes your body produce cortisol, the hormone that triggers your body to store fat, especially around the waist. Ergo, people who are happier and stress-free tend to have smaller waists!
  • PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). A hormonal imbalance that causes irregular menstrual bleeding,hair loss, and a host of other issues including difficulties conceiving. Most women with PCOS gain weight and keep it on, even if they don't eat heavily.
  • Insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that activates your body to use sugar from carbohydrates in the food, keeping your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). When your body is resistant to insulin, your metabolism does't work efficiently to burn calories. 
  • Hormonal changes in women. As women, we tend to gain weight when our bodies experience hormonal changes, such as during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. That's because our metabolism goes haywire with these imbalances, making it less efficient in burning calories.

What you can do