It doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how well you eat; if CORTISOL is telling your body that food is scarce then your metabolism will slow down and your body will protect and preserve it’s fat stores. 🤨😤😫 Cortisol is released during periods of prolonged stress. Back in the day this stress would be caused by periods of food scarcity (think; war, famine or flood). So cortisol would be released to tell our body to slow energy burning and preserve our most dense energy store; fat, so that we survived until the next meal came. These days, the ‘prolonged stress’ comes from the constant rushing lifestyle, ongoing life stressors like financial, work or relationship stressors and the ever-nagging need to be in control of and do everything (and nobody can control everything!).
This rushed, be-everything-to-everyone lifestyle, over time, increases your release of cortisol which tells your body that food is scarce (your body and hormones can’t tell the difference between the source of the stress) and hence slows your metabolism down and slows fat burning as a result. Thiiiiiiiiissss obviously isn’t helpful if your health goal is to shed some body fat and if you are KILLING your self in the gym daily and restricting your nutrition in a bid to achieve this fat loss.
Does this sound familiar? At normal, healthy levels, Cortisol is actually a very helpful hormone that assists in many metabolic and other biological processes. But if too much gets pumped out for too long, that’s when your health will start to suffer and here are just a few of the resulting symptoms
- weight gain around mid-section and upper back
- weight gain and rounding of the face
- thinning skin
- easy bruising
- flushed face
- slowed healing
- muscle weakness
- severe fatigue
- difficulty concentrating
- high blood pressure
- headaches An increase in the release of Cortisol is switched on as a result of prolonged periods of stress, often characterised by living a constantly rushed, adrenaline-driven lifestyle and or living your life on an emotional roller coaster.
⚠️Please know⚠️ If you notice that you do have some of these symptoms don’t take this post as a definite diagnosis that you have high cortisol. These symptoms might be a sign of other issues. Rather, take this blog as encouragement to make an appointment to discuss your symptoms with your GP.