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Over consumption of calories and lack of exercise are the two primary reasons you’re gaining weight. One contributing factor that goes unnoticed is called is high cortisol, which is mostly derived from chronic stress. So What Is Cortisol. And what does that have to do with weight loss?

What Is cortisol?

Cortisol is a form of hormone from the steroid family called glucocorticoids. It is the main stress hormone within your body and is created by the adrenal glands, which reside above the kidneys. On the plus side, it is a vital factor in metabolism, helping to establish the source of energy protein, carbohydrate, or fat for your body to use. Additionally, it is a contributing factor in your body’s fight or flight response, which is important for your longevity.

What are the effects of high cortisol levels?

If you are regularly stressed out, the levels of cortisol in your body can increase substantially. There are several symptoms of high cortisol such as mood swings, food cravings, brain fog, interrupted sleep, high anxiety, and more.

High levels of cortisol might have a negative influence on your body. It usually it leads to diminished bone density, imbalanced blood sugar, high blood pressure, and breakdown of muscles. Raised cortisol levels also lead to visceral abdominal fat disposition, otherwise known as belly fat. It’s one of the most unwelcome high cortisol symptoms you’ll endure.

Cortisol leads to an increase in insulin resistance, and as such, greater disposition of fat. Further, stress has been associated with overeating, which also results in fat gain.

How do you maintain healthy levels of cortisol?

If you are worried about having high levels of cortisol and stress, think about undergoing a saliva test provided by your medical practitioner. The most optimal way to maintain healthy levels of cortisol is to reduce the amount of stress in your life and eat healthier. Several people suggest a low inflammation diet, which lowers or outright removes caffeine, alcohol, saturated and trans fats. By consuming low glycemic foods, you’ll obtain probiotic support. Regular exercise and eating whole plant-based foods exclusively will also help.

It is also beneficial to try out some anxiety and stress management techniques, including:

Going for a walk in the park, listening to relaxing music, spending time with your pet, gardening, meditation, practicing yoga, therapeutic massage, breathing exercises, dancing, cycling, Pilates, and any other fun activities that stimulate your endorphins. Eating is not one of these techniques, obviously.

Cortisol is not unhealthy. Rather, it’s an essential hormone that is required for a healthy lifestyle. There are several hormones within our bodies, and when regulated properly, they can maintain our health. The secret is to be in control of those hormones so they never inhibit your weight loss goals.

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