Cortisol And Stress

The effects of cortisol and stress can be devastating to your bulging midriff - you need to de-stress for cortisol reduction.


Life is demanding, and for most midlife women, that plethora of demands is ultra-stressful.

Are you juggling home, work, partner, kids, your own ageing parents? Do you frequently feel out of time, out of patience and out of energy?

How does stress affect health? It's because these kind of daily stresses lead to high cortisol levels.

If you're wondering what is cortisol, it's a hormone, and when you're anxious, fraught or wound-up your body releases it - in theory, to help you cope with the threat that your body perceives from your responses to whatever is stressing you out.

Why high cortisol levels matter

Cortisol raises the levels of sugar and fat in your blood, preparing you to sprint out of danger.

But unless you use up that energy supply with physical activity, it simply ends up being stored as, you guessed it, FAT. This is why you must de-stress if you want to achieve weight loss in menopause

As if that wasn't a bad enough effect of our super-stressed lives, those elevated cortisol levels don't drop back straight away. They can stay raised for a while, sometimes days - and if you are constantly switching in and out of a stressed state, your body simply carries on topping up with cortisol, so you end up with constantly raised levels of this hormone in your bloodstream, which in turn means that you are continually laying down stores of fat. That's why stress leads to belly fat.

Cortisol and food cravings

Not only that, but cortisol also makes you hungry, and urges you to stoke up on fats and carbs - the foods you'd need to fuel your energy if you were constantly faced with danger.

That's why wanting to comfort eat is one of the symptoms of stress. If you're stressed, chances are you'll want to nibble - not to say wolf - food most of the time - and it's no good suggesting a nice green salad.

Nope, when you're stress eating, because of your high cortisol levels, it's cakes and buns, cookies and sweets that you turn to. And alas, any weight you gain from this kind of unhealthy food will also be deposited around your middle, the area nearest to your liver, so your fat stores can be speedily turned back into energy if you need them next time you're under stress.

Cortisol reduction is essential

That's why an essential part of your plan to tackle your fat belly, that typical mid-life apple shape body, has to include finding ways to relieve stress.

Cortisol and stress are so closely interlinked, and cortisol so damaging to your waistline, that there is no other answer if you want to lose belly fat.

Go back to the top of Cortisol and Stress. Or go to the Home Page of Beat Menopause Weight Gain.

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