Why are you not Losing Belly Fat ?

Cortisol Hormone / Stress : Why you’re Not Losing Weight ?

Why are you not Losing Belly Fat ?

Excess belly fat is extremely unhealthy. It increases the risk of diseases manifold. These diseases include metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer. The medical term for unhealthy fat around the belly is ‘visceral fat’ which refers to the fat surrounding the liver and other organs in your abdomen. Even normal weight people with excess belly fat have increased risk of health problems. Having sugary food, excess alcohol, trans fat, inactivity, low protein diet are some of the reasons for this excess belly fat. However, there is one factor which affects the belly fat in a major way. It is the stress hormone also called as ‘Cortisol hormone’. Stress is one of the most prominent reasons for anyone to gain weight. This stress could be mental, physical or emotional

What is cortisol ?

  • Cortisol is a hormone that’s essential for survival
  • Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and is also called as the stress hormone
  • Cortisol helps your body to mount a stress response
  • When released in excess, cortisol can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdomen area
  • In many people, stress drives overeating but instead of excess calories being stored as fat all over the body, cortisol promotes fat storage in the belly
  • In case of women, if you have a large waist compared to your hips, you are likely to produce or secrete more cortisol when stressed

What does the cortisol hormone do ?

  • This hormone converts everything into glucose, which increases insulin and your body weight
  • Cortisol carries fat from different parts of your body and deposit it around your belly
  • This is done to protect your vital organs like kidney, liver from shock / stress
  • This leads to increase in belly fat also called central obesity
  • In short, cortisol basically tries to create a survival mechanism which leads to increase in central obesity
  • It may lead to increased heart rate and high blood pressure

What are the symptoms of high cortisol level ?

  • Excess belly fat
  • Tendency to overthink and being forgetfull
  • Getting up from the bed fatigued, morning blues
  • Excessive acne and skin allergies
  • High cortisol levels at times may lead to increased snoring especially in people who are prone to snoring
  • Weakness in joints and joint pain

Side effects of high cortisol

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Low bone density
  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Mood swings
  • Untimely craving for food
  • Stiffness in the body
  • Facial hair and stretch marks in women
  • Fluid retention
  • PCOS / PCOD in women
  • Memory loss
  • Bloating
  • Excessive acidity and heart burn

Excessive secretion of cortisol also has adverse effect on the hunger hormones which are ghrelin and leptin

How to reduce cortisol level ?

  • Exercising in the right manner is the perfect way to reduce cortisol levels in your body
  • Exercises can include yoga or walk
  • Please remember that the type of exercise you do should depend on your body type. Mix your exercise schedule instead of sticking to one particular regime
  • Get good quality and sufficient sleep
  • Vitamin D is very beneficial for your body. Go out and spend time in the sun
  • How to respond to your relations is also very important. Keep away from toxic people and things
  • Lessen your salt and sugar intake
  • Get outside and spend time in the fresh air
  • Do things which make you feel happy. Indulge in your hobbies
  • B complex vitamins are very important for your health. Include them in your diet
  • Include antioxidants, omega 3 in your diet
  • Laugh with people who make you feel happy. Watch comedy. Do things which relax your mind and body
  • Make sure you include food from all food group in your diet

The amount of effect stress can have your body is phenomenal. The most prominent side effect of stress is secretion of the cortisol hormone which is the prime cause of excess belly fat. This excess belly fat apart from causing discomfort can also cause a number of other disorders. These medical disorders can be avoided by keeping the stress levels in the body under check. Do things which make you feel happy. Surround yourself with people who are positive and make you feel happy.

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