Exercising, eating well but can’t shift any weight? Could be because your levels of cortisol, aka the stress hormone, are too high.
Cortisol is a hormone naturally realised by your adrenal glands when your body it’s under stress e.g. the fight or flight mode. But when you’re continually stressed and your glands are pumping out too much cortisol non-stop your body starts to burn less energy and this encourages your body to store fat – especially belly fat.
Other signs your body may be under too much stress:
- Digestion issues
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain / can’t lose weight
- Memory and concentration problems
Ways to keep you stress levels and anxiety levels in check:
- Stop the strict dieting – depriving your body of certain foods or even for long periods of time cause stress on your body and any stress increases cortisol. Ever been Hangry? Yup you know it. Stress.
- Listen to your cravings – When you are craving certain foods it’s more then likely you are lacking in a certain vitamin or mineral (or dehydrated!) and putting stress on your body. Giving into cravings isn’t a bad thing as long as you don’t over do it.
- Choose decaf – Sorry folks stress and caffeine doesn’t mix very well especially when you’re stressed. The combination of the two increases levels of cortisol in your body even more. If you’re under stress just lay off the caffeine for a while.
- Sleep well – When you’re not getting enough sleep at night you’re already starting the day off on a bad foot. Make sure your getting enough rest for your body to recover, recuperate and balance out those hormones.
- DON’T OVER EXERCISE – Might surprise some but when you exercise you put stress on your body and when you’re exercising too much and you’re not giving your body enough time to rest and recover this increases cortisol. Make sure you have allow enough rest days for your body and mix up your workouts so you’re not stressing out the same part of your body all the time.
TL + TEAM X
[photo cred: wholefoods magazine]