Tag Archives: belly fat

Belly fat and cortisol.

belly fat, cortisol, stress, fat

 

You can’t stress your way to good health or long term weight loss.”

We’ve been told that cortisol contributes to stubborn belly fat, but what is it, and how is it creeping into our lives?

“Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands which sit on top of each kidney. When released into the bloodstream, cortisol can act on many different parts of the body and can help:

  • your body respond to stress or danger
  • increase your body’s metabolism of glucose
  • control your blood pressure
  • reduce inflammation.

Cortisol is also needed for the fight or flight response, which is a healthy, natural response to perceived threats. The amount of cortisol produced is highly regulated by your body to ensure the balance is correct.”

Source: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/the-role-of-cortisol-in-the-body

So some cortisol is good, it has regulatory functions in our body like waking up; this apparently is a person’s normal flow of cortisol in a typical day:

For the average person (i.e., somebody who rises at or around 6:30 a.m.), cortisol levels peak at:

  • 8 to 9 a.m.,
  • noon to 1 p.m., and
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Source: https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/scientists-just-discovered-best-time-of-day-to-drink-your-first-cup-of-coffee.html

So it’s not that you are trying to eliminate cortisol altogether, but rather not raise it unnecessarily or keep it elevated for too long because in addition to weight gain, it can also cause:-

  • high blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • disrupts other hormones
  • impairs sleep
  • impairs brain function causing brain fog
  • hampers the immune system
  • irritability and depression
  • inflammation

So if you have stubborn belly fat or any of the above symptoms, are you doing any of these things and keeping your cortisol unnecessarily high…

  • Waking up early without adequate sleep – persistent inadequate sleep leads to sustained cortisol levels.
  • Exercising first thing or early in the morning.
  • Exercising early in the morning on an empty stomach – double cortisol body shock
  • Exercising at any time of day on an empty stomach
  • Exercising early in the morning and drinking nothing but coffee – triple body cortisol
  • Dieting – going hungry for too long
  • Fasting
  • Difficult and/or prolonged cardio – like running, HIIT, Cross fit
  • Coffee first thing in the morning
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Low carb diets
  • Artificial sugar or sugar replacement like stevia – read my post specifically about this here.
  • Racing around, stress at work, stress at home, trying to do too many things and then on top of that pushing yourself to do stressful exercise like cardio, cross fit & HIIT.

Too many stories I’m reading where people are complaining of belly fat but then proudly say…

  • they workout first thing in the morning without food and have been doing it for years.
  • Or doing cross fit and love it but still can’t shift that belly fat.
  • Or had a stressful day at work, raced home to feed the kids and then went to a HIIT class?

All the while thinking they are doing the right thing to be healthy and pushing themselves to do hard exercise even when they don’t feel like it – because we’ve been told this is what we should do. Then they say something like “I didn’t feel like going but I’m so glad I did, I feel great now.” You only feel great because of stress hormones; whereas in actual fact your body is suffering and breaking down.

So your body can run on stress hormones for a certain amount of time, it may even be years but you are progressively damaging your body and heading for an eventual breakdown of health.

Stress itself hampers weight loss and raising cortisol is one of the ways it does it. So are you guilty of any of the above and hampering your own health and weight loss efforts?

Awareness,

 

Kristy x

 

Other resources:

Dr Ray Peat beginners guide to high metabolic eating & exercise

belly fat, ray peat, metabolism, exercise, weights, thyroid, hypothyroid

I’m coming across more and more people who are health damaged by keto, low carb, paleo, veganism, intermittent fasting and even excess exercise, so I just wanted to make a summary post of all my articles so far, that talk about my journey back to health via the Dr Ray Peat guidelines.

Just this past week a friend with weight issues tested her waking temperature and came in at 36.1C (97F) – so it’s not diabolical but whatever she is doing is contributing to her metabolism decline, which will only get worse if she doesn’t address it now.

Another follower on IG complained about not being able to lose weight any more, she had lost and regained a few times in the past but just couldn’t budge it any more, despite still eating low calories and doing heaps of cardio. Her temperature – 35.0C (95F) and pulse 60 bpm – which is pretty bad and the level I was when I realised I was heading down the wrong path.

Then two other people where a dietitian and an obesity specialist both recommended low carb/keto diets!

So there is no surprise that the US currently has a thyroid dysfunction epidemic and Australia will soon follow, given the popularity of keto/low carb and quitting sugar at the moment. What controls the metabolism…the thyroid gland!

So if you are already in the damaged state, these articles will give you an insight as to what you may be doing wrong and the steps required to fix it.

Understanding PUFAs

Why knowing your waking body temperature is so important.

Fast metabolism

Metabolism update

Sugar is actually good for you

The switch from Low Carb to Pro Metabolic – what to eat

The switch from Low Carb to Pro Metabolic – what NOT to eat

Low Carb and hair loss

Hair loss, low calories and excessive exercise

Carb loading to restore metabolism

Pro metabolic eating awareness

Testing your thyroid

Drinking coffee correctly

Where you may be sabotaging your metabolism

Pro-metabolic snack ideas

Weight loss troubles with standard advice

Exercise that preserves your metabolism

Dr Ray Peat inspired recipes

So this is a snapshot of the pro-metabolic direction for optimising your health and hormones with food and exercise. (I don’t know anything about the supplementation side of things because I didn’t need to do that. I do take about 4000mg of Vitamin C a day though, just because it makes me feel better and it actually reduces cortisol.)

After two years now my body temperature has increased from:

A waking temperature of 35.3C (95.5F) – and after exercise/walking was 34.3C  (93.7C).

To now, just in the last few weeks, I’ve reached 36.7C (98F) waking and goes right up to 37.7C (99.9F) after food. (I credit my new light weights exercise program for this last boost.)

When my body fell into a heap two years ago with a pile of hypothyroid symptoms, I had also put on about 6kgs (12lbs) since my lowest low carbing weight, but I didn’t put on any more while switching to Peaty foods. This was because I ignored most of the advice to drastically increase calories to help the body heal, namely because I researched the forums first and everyone who said they did this put on loads of weight. Honestly I don’t think it gets you there any faster, your body needs time to learn how to process carbs again properly, and clearing the fat out the way was probably the most effective tool for me.

Anyway, please join us in the private Facebook group where we discuss more about this and share ideas and experiences:-

http://bit.ly/SlimbirdyFBGroup

Please start on the super easy One Ten Toned exercise program to make sure whatever exercise you are doing now, is not sabotaging your healing efforts:

http://www.onetentoned.com

I show some of the exercises on my YouTube channel:

http://bit.ly/YouTubeSlimbirdy

Having muscle tone helps your body burn fat at rest, shifts around the belly fat, and just helps with circulation, posture, and puts the spring in your step.

And please share this post with anyone you feel is suffering the effects of wrong diet and punishing exercise, so we can help as many people as possible get on the right track.

A big thank you to Dr Ray Peat whose wisdom is helping so many people regain their health.

Happy, healthy and now on the right track.

 

Kristy x

Exactly why EAT LESS AND EXERCISE MORE is bad advice for long-term weight loss.

Runningnotgood

You hear this line thrown out everywhere – “Just eat less and exercise more” – as the magical answer to everyone’s weight issues. The problem is it doesn’t actually work if you do it incorrectly (which most people do) and makes the issues worse, as you will see in this story…

Continue reading

Skim Milk and the haters

skim milk, barambah organics, grass fed

I’ve seen it a couple of times now on social media where health bloggers and an even more famous, healthy living personality have dissed skim milk, labeling it as highly processed, devoid of nutrients, not real food blah, blah, blah. And they took pride in saying they don’t drink milk anymore anyway!

Despite wanting to answer on those posts and give a different view, my response would be too long, so I’ll come over here and have a rant on my blog instead!

Continue reading

I’m not doing anything differently but I’m putting on weight!

metabolism, ray peat, running, weight loss

I had lunch with a friend recently, who like me, has been into the whole losing weight, trying to be healthy thing for years. She had tried everything too but had been in a good place for quite a while, believing she had found her perfect mix of exercise and eating without too much drama, and she had maintained her 20kg (40lb) weight loss for the longest time.

Until now.

Continue reading

What’s your temperature? And what does it have to do with weight loss?

temperature, pro thyroid, pro metabolic, healing, nourishing, metabolism, ray peat

Do you know what your resting temperature is?

How about 30 mins after you eat food?

Why does it matter anyway?

Well turns out your body temperature and heart rate are like a little window into your metabolic system and gives a good indication if it’s cranking properly or spluttering to a halt. Health professionals are using these measures along with blood work and checking a list of symptoms, to give a true picture of what’s working, what’s not and if your hormones and thyroid may be out of whack.

Continue reading