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Cortisol Effect on Fat Metabolism

Cortisol Effect on Fat Metabolism

Stress is familiar to all of us. It can be the tension before a big presentation. Did you know that stress can impact the body’s fat metabolism? Stress triggers the hormone called cortisol, which can have a very negative impact on our body as well as the body’s fat metabolism.

About Cortisol

Cortisol is also called the stress hormone, and that’s for a reason. It activates in response to different stressors in different stressful situations. When you get face to face with a stressor, cortisol gets released into your bloodstream, leading to your body being prepared for a fight-or-flight response.

How Does Cortisol Affect Fat Metabolism?

How exactly does cortisol affect fat metabolism? Cortisol influences the way the body manages its energy resources, which includes fats as well. When it gets released, cortisol prompts the breakdown of glycogen which is a form of energy into glucose to provide energy immediately.

Chronic stress, on the other hand, leads to huge cortisol levels in your body staying for quite a while. High cortisol levels can increase your appetite and “activate” cravings, especially for sugary and unhealthy foods. An example of this is cravings for chocolate, for example, or ice cream when you’re stressed out.

Is High Cortisol Bad for Weight Loss?

High cortisol is not just bad for weight loss but for your overall health too. When it comes to weight, the calories from unhealthy foods get stored as fat around your abdomen. This visceral fat leads to a higher risk of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. Cortisol ultimately encourages your body to store fat and makes it harder to drop pounds in the long run.

How to Reduce Cortisol Levels?

You can reduce stress and cortisol levels by meditating, practicing yoga, deep breathing, and many more. One of the best ways to relax is to go in nature for a walk or just enjoy the fresh air outside. This will significantly improve your mood and help to reduce cortisol in the end.

Running, walking, dancing, jogging, workouts at the gym and overall regular exercises can help too. Also, make sure you get a proper amount of sleep, preferably 7-9 hours each night.

Conclusion

Cortisol affects fat metabolism by encouraging your body to store fat, activating cravings for unhealthy foods, and in many more ways. In other words, stress is bad for your health, and also if you’re trying to lose weight.

You should try to minimize stress as much as possible; you can try exercising, running, jogging, walking, or simply enjoying the fresh air in nature and being exposed to the sun.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3602916/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27345309/

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