Women Handle Stress Better Than Men – Shocker!

Less than 6 weeks until my book “When Calories & Cardio Don’t Cut It” is released!

If you want to understand body composition and weight loss once and for all, this book is for you. If you’re over 40 this book will explain a lot of the craziness, and if you’re a personal trainer or weight loss coach, this book will give you knowledge that goes beyond another diet or workout.

Every week I’m giving you a sample from the book, this week it’s about (what we already know) how women handle stress better than men – enjoy

You can preorder the book at www.caloriesandcardio.com (uk www.joanneleecornishuk.com)

If you want the book before September 1 I do have copies for sale www.theshrinkshopbook.com  – these are not the final draft and do include a few typos 🙂 but they are available to ship now.



The “Flight or Fight” stress response is that sudden burst of energy, that extreme focus and increased bout of strength. It is well documented that this response is entirely different between men and women.

Traditionally, studies tended not to use women of child-rearing age, and nor is it deemed ethical to use children or babies. Research was therefore limited to how men react to stress. However, it has since been found that women under pressure tend to nurture and socialize rather than run or fight. Women are more likely to spend hours on the phone talking things out with a friend, or they might join a support group for people with similar stresses. The flight-or-fight response is seen much more in men, and it is men who get ill and die due to stress. That 50-year-old CEO who has a heart attack at his desk is, invariably, a man.

Women are capable of the fight-or-flight response, usually when the stress relates to protecting their children or a loved one, or a jealous rage. Mostly women release oxytocin, the bonding love hormone (Dr. Taylor), but you go after their family, and you better be ready! Increasingly, smart employers select women for jobs that are highly stressful because it is women, not men, who are most likely to come up with a calm and measured response to a stress situation, in which a man might overreact.

We all have the same stress hormones, although stress can produce different hormone profiles. Different types of stress will elicit different reactions, depending upon the individual. The extent of the response is partly due to your perception of the stress and how capable you feel dealing with it. For a classic example, performing on a stage is the stuff of nightmares for some people, a dream come true for others.


What you might notice is water retention; puffy eyes, a ring tight on your finger or you see deep sock lines when you undress at night. Under stress your body tries to conserve water, and you stop being able to pee because vasopressin/ADH has been released. The kidneys reabsorb water, so it doesn’t leave your body. This causes your body to swell and bloat, and your urine becomes a more concentrated orangey color.













Here are a few more paragraphs from my new book “When Calories and Cardio Don’t Cut It”  I have a few copies available  (hardback or paperback) and the presale is well underway, with the release date set as September 1

From chapter 2 which is all about fat, body shape, and fat patterning…

Fat is itself an organ, wherein hormones are created and stored. We have found at least 19 different hormones in fat. Too much body fat can create a diseased state. A great many health risks can be reduced by shedding excess weight. One example of this is estrogen. There are three types of estrogen. One type of estrogen is found in fat and the more fat you have the more of this estrogen you also have. One form of breast cancer is linked to this estrogen. When we have excess fat, we may be increasing our risk of this cancer because of the increased estrogen.





Fat is future energy; excess nutrients stored in adipose tissue, aka fat. We should be grateful that we store our energy as fat because it doesn’t hold on to too much water.

Carbohydrates are also fuel, and they can be stored in our muscle as glycogen. For every unit of glycogen, we hold on to two units of water. When we cut carbohydrates, we use up the glycogen. When the glycogen unit is gone there is nothing to hold the water units. Initially, on a low carb diet, this is the weight loss you see.

If we stored all our energy as carbohydrates, we would also hold a huge amount of water. A 165lb person with 20% body fat would weigh over 240lbs if that energy were stored as carbohydrates and not as fat.

Thankfully, there is a limit to how many carbohydrates can be stored in muscle.



To understand how to lose weight remember that triglycerides are how we store fat. Triglycerides are made up of three molecules of fatty acid with a backbone molecule of glycerol.

Triglycerides are made in adipose tissue, in the liver, and in lactating mammary glands when breastfeeding or immediately after childbirth. They are made by the liver and travel in the blood; they are stored in adipose tissue. Once in adipose tissue, we sit up and take notice because, as a fat cell holds more triglycerides, our body weight increases and body shape changes.

When we gain weight, we don’t necessarily gain fat cells, rather each cell increases in volume, more lipid is held in each cell. To lose weight we must reduce the volume of each cell.

The number of fat cells we have is established by the time we are young adults. If, during puberty, we increase that number then we face a significant challenge if we try to lose weight as an adult. If you have twice as many fat cells you have to reduce the volume of twice as many fat cells. It is one reason why childhood obesity is so terrifying.

It is worth noting here that the liver makes fat, but the liver does not like to store fat. ‘Fatty liver’ refers to a condition when the liver is so overworked it is forced to store fat. This is not meant to happen.

Sadly, we now hear of children with ‘fatty liver’ – an avoidable diseased state.



BUY THE BOOK DIRECT (while available)

joanne lee cornish

Ms Olympia 1995

Someone just sent me this clip from the Ms Olympia 1995. My Olympia debut!

Hard to believe I’ve never  seen a video from this show – 23 years ago

28 years old, I’d been in the US less than 2 years and was trying to decide if I wanted to stay.

At this point I had been competing for 11 years and I had one goal – to make it onto the Olympia stage.

The sport was a little different back then. To get your Pro card you had to win as an overall champion for your country. In the UK only two people a year got their pro cards. I got mine in 1991. Then as a pro you had to place top 3 in a major show to qualify for the Olympia. The problem being that the top 3 places were always taken by the the top 3 girls who qualified over and over in the same year. To get to the Olympia stage you had to hope that someone turned up out of shape or you had to knock someone out of the running.

The sport was incredibly fun, very supportive and the federation treat us like true professional athletes.

Such an honor to compete at this level during the golden era of the sport.




When Calories & Cardio Don’t Cut It

Here’s another taster from my book “When Calories & Cardio Don’t Cut It”

For those of you, over (say) 40 and are having a hard time losing weight ….

To lose weight we have to liberate fat from its storage site. Fat that clings on our body has to be broken down into individual units so that it can enter the blood and be used as fuel. That breakdown of the fat cell is called “Lipolysis” and every “diet” has to do it.

Fat cant evaporate from where it is stored, it has to be broken down and it has to be transported. Lipolysis is that breakdown of the fat cell.

Lipolysis is a chain of reaction (a series of hormones and enzymes) but picture it as a row of dominos. When one domino falls it knocks the one next to it and it falls …and so on. Remove one domino and the cascade will stop. Lipolysis is the same way.

The chain of reactions involved in fat cell breakdown is much like the dominos. One reaction occurs which triggers the next reaction and so on, at the end of the chain the fat has been liberated and can now go its merry way in the blood.

One of the reactions in Lipolysis involves an enzyme called HSL (Hormone Sensitive Lipase). As the name suggests it is an enzyme that is sensitive to hormones. If HSL activity is fast, the fat breakdown is fast. If HSL activity is slow, the fat breakdown is slow.

As we age our sex hormones drop. With women the dominant hormone is estrogen and with men it is testosterone.

When these hormones decline HSL activity slows.

Fat breakdown slows which makes weight loss a lot more challenging.

A common complaint is that it becomes harder to lose weight as we age – this is one of the reasons.

Remember too that chronic stress depletes our hormones. You’re never too young nor too old to benefit from stress management.

When Calories & Cardio Don’t Cut it … know what influences your body weight and shape so that you can live lean for a lifetime

Presale now on (and those sales are SO important)

The hardback is in full color

Paperback B&W

Ebook also available


www.joanneleecornishuk.com (UK)

Go into any bookstore and ask them to stock it

.. and if you cant wait I have a few copies left that can be bought direct www.theshrinkshopbook.com


Please feel free to share xoxo