Our bodies have many hormones that regulate regular bodily functions. All hormones influence the body mostly positive, however, there are hormones that aren’t 100% to our benefit. Cortisol is one of those hormones that, in moderation, is good; having too much of this hormone is not good at all for us. In certain amounts, cortisol controls blood sugar, regulates metabolism, control blood pressure, etc. When we have too much cortisol, it is not good for our bodies at all.
Cortisol levels, when they are too high, have negative effects on the human body. It is called “the stress hormone” for a reason, and that reason is because it causes a ton of stress to our bodies that you may not even know you are carrying. When we stress, we tend to bloat, carry extra water weight, gain fat, etc. When your levels are increased passed the normal level, it boosts insulin levels which drops blood sugars and makes you hungry for fat loaded sugary foods like cake and cookies. The downfall is that these foods cause more cortisol and you can begin to see where this bad cycle can occur. With all that being said, how can we get rid of cortisol, lower stress, and stop the weight gain from hormonal issues?
A huge way to lower cortisol levels and reduce the stress that your body experiences is to clean up your diet. A nutrient-dense diet with a decent amount of protein will curb this process. A good exercise regimen will, also, help with these levels. Go to a gym and get a minimum of 100-120 minutes of exercise a week. Take ways to vent as well; if you need to meditate to release held stress, or go for a walk to take in the pretty sites to reduce cortisol. A huge way to curb the stress you are holding is to have a support system that will keep you accountable for when you have these stressful times.
This support team consists of people who you trust and will help you whenever you need it. Cortisol is a hormone that, generally, is good for you in helping you regulate body functions. When the levels go above normal, however, is when we start to experience the negative side effects including weight gain. The best way to combat this “stress hormone” is to have different paths in place to reduce the stress and move on with your healthy lifestyle.
Ricky Rice – CPT