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What Is Cortisol and How Do You Deal With It



Want to Lose Fat? Watch out for Cortisol

So you are looking to lose fat and want to be in the best shape of your life – yes?

That was me. However, there are things you need to know about your body. One of those things is a hormone called Cortisol. Now I don’t know what you have read however I want to put the record straight and provide some valuable information on Cortisol as there is a lot of misconception on the subject.

I say this because Cortisol is great for a number of reasons. It’s good for your energy metabolism. It facilitates fat burning and it suppresses your metabolism from glucose in favor of fat and protein.

A lot of people think Cortisol is bad however this is not the case unless it becomes unmanageable. If you are serious about losing weight then you need to hear this.

What Is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone that is stimulated by stress. In the days of cavemen and dinosaurs – when a caveman came face to face with a dinosaur the caveman’s stress levels would increase. Cortisol levels would vastly increase causing insulin levels to go through the roof giving hidden energy to run like crazy.

Cortisol has remained with us through the years and when we get stressed the same thing happens. However, in modern society we are not running away from dinosaurs but instead, our high insulin levels move the instant energy into fat. Of course, if this happens it’s not great for fat loss.

How This Affects You?

So from the above explanation, you can see that if we have a ton of continuous stress in our lives then we could be putting on fat.

In addition, when you go to the gym you will be increasing cortisol levels. Does this mean that you should not step into a gym – absolutely not? A few sessions in the gym are OK but if you go everyday cortisol is likely to affect your weight.

Actually this is the attitude you should be taking with cortisol. In the same way that if you eat 1 cream cake once a week would this affect your diet? – not really. However, if you eat one every day then yes it probably would come into effect and start adding body fat.

How to you Stop Cortisol?

This question has been asked many times. The answer is you can’t stop it – it is part of you.

The question should be – how do you manage cortisol? because you can do this. So here are the actions you can take to manage your cortisol levels

1. Reduce your stress levels

I know that you can’t easily control this however you should know if your stress is very high over long periods of time it’s going to have a negative effect on your fat loss venture. So plan time to take time out and chill out.

I can’t really tell you how to de-stress. You know what works for you. Whether it is watching TV, going for a walk, going for a drink, or taking time out with family and friends. Try and plan this in your day if you are suffering from stress.

2. 8 Hours Sleep A Day

Lack of sleep causes cortisol levels to increase. So make sure you do get at least 8 hours of sleep a day. The sleep you need is a “deep dream” type of sleep. Your body and mind need time to repair
itself on a daily basis. Sleep also reduces your insulin levels and therefore reduces the potential to gain fat.

3. Take adequate levels of Vitamin C

Studies have proved that vitamin C can reduce the level of cortisol, especially before a training workout. Well, these are the main things you can do to reduce cortisol however there are other things that also work to a lesser effect but are still good and worth mentioning.

  • Take DHEA supplements
  • Take in more caffeine
  • ACAI berry is an antioxidant that help to reduce some of the blockages that reduce cortisol

To Summarise

So I would like to summarise by saying – take it easy. Lowering your stress levels is the best way to control cortisol.

Your cortisol will be with you for life and levels will rise and fall depending on what state you are in. The trick is to keep it in check so that it is never something that is going to affect your fat loss venture.