It is now known that stress can actually stop you from losing weight, especially around
your middle, which we ladies know isn’t what we want! The problem we have is that stress can cause your body to secrete high levels of cortisol hormone into your bloodstream, because of your body’s “fight or flight” response to stress. The impact that has can either be psychological (mental and emotional) or physical.
So what is Cortisol?
Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands and is actually important for the regulation of blood pressure, the immune system, and many other functions.
Cortisol can actually be good in small amounts but high levels can lead to an increase in abdominal fat, which can lead to heart attacks, and strokes and can also increase your bad cholesterol levels and decrease your good cholesterol levels.
High levels of cortisol can also decrease your bone density, leading to osteoporosis and loss of muscle tissue, which will also slow down your metabolic rate, and it can also, increase your blood pressure along with other problems. Eek!
Each of us will react differently to stress; some of us will produce more cortisol to a particular stress while others will produce less. It has been found that those of us that produce more cortisol will actually eat more food as well, in particular carbohydrates.
What’s the solution?
What you need to do to combat producing too much cortisol is to learn ways to relax and also to consider changing your lifestyle. Relaxation can be achieved in a number of ways either by exercising, mediation, yoga, or breathing to start with, but I can’t express enough how important it is to try and reduce your stress levels as much as possible.
Maybe one of the easiest and simplest ways is breathing. This is done by gently breathing in through the nose, gently expanding your abdomen, and then gently expelling the air through your nose pulling in your abdomen at the same time.
Whilst breathing out the air you need to focus on that breath. After several breaths in and out you should start to feel yourself relax. You need to practice doing this exercise a few minutes a day to start with building up to ve minutes in the end.
You can also practice this when you are feeling stressed or when things are getting on top of you. Just a few minutes can slow your body down and help it to feel relaxed.
Lifestyle changes can include a variety of different things, like changing your eating habits for a healthier diet, getting enough sleep, or even organising your time more efficiently so that you do
not feel so stressed. Also looking after your body will help your body to cope with stresses that you come across during your day. So if you are exercising frequently and eating properly but still not losing any weight especially from around the middle then maybe you are suffering from high
levels of cortisol caused by stress. Look at ways to solve the problem by working with a healthcare professional and hopefully then you should see a difference in your weight and around your middle.
If you are interested in booking a FREE initial health Consultation to discuss your Health & Wellness goals, you can click the link below to book your consultation.