We often warn ourselves not to stress it. But with the current way the world works, it is impossible not to fear it. The hectic work schedule, the busy lifestyle, and everything all at once attitude is helping none. Sometimes, we forget to take breaks or vacations, making it even more difficult. That impacts our mental health; though we may not realize it, our physical health gets compromised too.
Whenever we are stressed our body releases Cortisol which has an interesting moniker, “the stress hormone.” Cortisol weight gain is as real as it gets, Through this blog we aim to educate you about the weight gain it causes along with ways to prevent it. Read on to know more.
What Is Cortisol Weight Gain?
We have already established that Cortisol is the stress hormone. It is an important hormone produced by adrenal glands that helps in the functioning of the body. The more we expose our minds and bodies to stress, chances are cortisol secretion aggravates. When this happens, our body starts putting on weight. It would not be fast but gradual.
However, it usually accumulates around the abdominal area. For those thinking, a day or two in the gym would make a difference, we would like to tell you that the cortisol weight gain is extremely difficult to shed.
How Does Cortisol Make You Gain Weight?
Cortisol works in mysterious ways to make us gain some significant weight. It is often overt and undistinguishable which makes it worse. So in case you are stressed if cortisol weight gain is what is happening to your body, you might want to look for the following-
- An increased appetite– One of the significant ways in which cortisol weight gain attacks your body is by increasing your hunger pangs. Needless to say, this leads to weight gain and inculcation of unhealthy food habits.
- Fat storage– When cortisol level increases, the body finds it easier to store weight rather than shed it. This leads to weight gain.
- Muscle loss– When fat gets deposited, muscles don’t develop as much as they should, and hence your weight increases while the stamina goes down.
- Blood sugar imbalance– Cortisol also affects the way our body reacts to sugar levels in the blood. It often delays the secretion of insulin which can have detrimental effects in the long run.
How To Stop Weight Gain Caused By Cortisol?
Now that we have examined how cortisol can lead to weight gain, we should probably look into some ways to reduce the impact. Let us tell you this, there are multiple ways in which you can stop the cortisol weight gain. Certainly, there is no magic potion but some natural ways to contain the damage.
- Reducing stress– We know that it may sound impossible but you should find a coping mechanism to battle the day-to-day idiosyncrasies of life. You can either find help in yoga or meditation activities or there are some mind-relaxing techniques you can indulge in. Taking a break between work should be encouraged at regular intervals.
- Get regular exercise– Establish a healthy pattern and a routine. Start with some light cardio and then work your way up towards resistance training. A 150-minute combination of aerobics and the above a week can get your results. If you are unsure how to do it, you can also watch workout videos or maybe hire a trainer.
- Keep your sleep debt low– Sleep debt could simply mean the lower end of the average sleep you should be usually getting. Getting smaller naps in between is a great idea but it cannot replace a good night’s sleep. Your work could be keeping you up late but the aim is to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep as an adult. You can also practice some mindful exercises for a peaceful slumber.
- Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep cycle– Our body has a circadian clock that it follows. This means it has particular times to stay active and during the rest, it should be logged off. Unfortunately, since we don’t run on batteries the times can often overlap which causes greater problems. So the goal is to maintain a regular schedule as to when you would wake up and when you would sleep. Make sure you don’t drink or smoke before you go to bed.
- Reduce caffeine consumption– Caffeine is good for losing weight but irregular quantities of the same can affect your whole body functioning. Let us tell you how. Studies show that drinking caffeinated drinks including colas can cause cortisol levels to rise, especially in the evening and afternoon. Additionally, you should not consume them before sleeping. You can replace the caffeine with floral teas or soothing no-sugary drinks.
Many times, things that are naturally occurring can cause more harm than good. Cortisol is one such hormone. The increase in stress levels can add to its abundance, which in turn affects your body weight. It could be due to excessive hunger or by promoting snacking. In any case, it is not a nice scenario to imagine and in situations like this, you might want to gain control over your body.
Reducing stress with healthy sleep and low caffeine consumption could be the redemption you are always looking for from cortisol weight gain. Maintain a work schedule that doesn’t mess up your personal schedule so that you don’t have to compromise at all.