Cortisol: The Hormone Accused of Giving you a Gut
With the development of cortisol-suppressing drugs, this “stress” hormone has been a buzz word in the weight loss world. What is this hormone? Does it deserve to be blamed for your extra inches?
The research that had “fat hormone” headlines blaring showed that women who responded to stress with a spike in cortisol had proportionally more abdominal fat, even if they weren’t overweight. Let’s remember that hormones have a complex overall impact on your body. Researchers discover more about how they work every day, but there is still much we don’t know about the subtle ways they work together.
The Good News
Cortisol is a hormone that helps! Let's start out by talking about the positive things that cortisol can do.
-Cortisol has anti-inflammatory properties (similar to hydrocortisone)
-Part of your body’s natural stress response
-Cortisol gives your body a burst of energy during emergencies.
-Helps your body break down fat into energy
-Increases your blood sugar for energy
-When in balance, cortisol gives you pep in the morning and drowsiness at bedtime.
The Bad News
It is only in elevated levels that cortisol becomes a problem:
-People with high cortisol levels have increased amounts of visceral fat
-Most fat is subcutaneous, or directly under the skin
-Visceral fat surrounds the organs, and is associated with heart disease and diabetes
-Every two extra inches around your waistline increases your risk of early death by 17%!
The Latest News
There has been a lot of “buzz” around cortisol. Let’s not forget that cortisol is a naturally occurring hormone in your body. The key to a healthy lifestyle is balance in all things! We call too much cortisol “Cushing’s Disease” and too little “Addison’s Disease”. Don’t be swayed by all the hype. Cortisol and its effects are fascinating and warrant further research, but it is not the single factor keeping you from better health.
Is cortisol responsible for your expanding waistline? Correlation is not causation! Just because high cortisol levels are correlated, or associated, with abdominal fat, that does NOT mean that high cortisol levels CAUSED the belly fat. In fact, the abdominal fat could be causing the high cortisol levels! Unless you want to sign up for the randomized clinical trial where researchers raise your cortisol levels and see what happens, a lot more research must be done to find the true cause and effect relationship between stress, hormones, and fat.
But the association is there. We all know that not everyone gains weight under stress. Some people lose weight when life gets hectic! If you’re worried about visceral abdominal fat, a more comprehensive solution addresses the fat and calories you eat!
-1. Reduce your stress
-2. Create a more healthy lifestyle
to learn more about a great multifaceted product that can help reduce abdominal fat
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