Cortisol appears to have an influence on the way the body maintains weight, produces insulin and what types of foods we long for, but it is also one of the many factors that affect weight. Factors such as the environment, behavior, bowel bacteria and genes also play a huge role.
Cortisol is the main hormone of the stress of the body. Increases blood sugar, enhances the use of glucose by the brain and makes more substances available for tissue repair, while restricting functions that would harm a battle or flight state. It allows your body to quickly use energy in stressful situations.
The hormone is essential for our daily function. It has a reverse relationship with melatonin, starts our day and then lowers the night to allow us to rest. Cortisol has the optimal biorhythm to help us maintain our daily activities and respond to stress, but problems arise when we get too much or a little from it or the wrong levels at the wrong time.
Overproduction of cortisol can cause abdominal fat. As our cortisol goes up, so does our blood sugar. And when our blood sugar goes up, our pancreas will produce insulin.
Cortisol itself can cause weight gain, but then increased insulin can also increase weight. In addition, high stress and greater cortisol production can lead to the collapse of our muscles.
What can you do to optimize your cortisol levels?
I recommend focusing on stressful agents that you have control:
Make sure you sleep at least 7 ½ hours - and do your best to have this quality sleep.
For better sleep, experts recommend that you keep a stable sleeping schedule, create a standby routine, turn off computer screens and other devices early before bedtime, and keep your bedroom cool and dark.
I also recommend focusing on eating clean foods and limiting processed foods and sugars.
Clinically, I find that when people eat more a complete, real diet, they have less stress, their sleep is better, they have more energy. In general, they are happier, so they are able to handle these other stressors much better.
Spending time to cater to your mental health is also useful. I recommend writing in a diary, meditating, taking walks in nature, and praying if you believe. Your mental health is very important in losing weight and maintaining it!