Tag Archives: healthy

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:

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…

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Pro metabolic snack ideas

Fruitcheese

I had a question on Instagram recently – “why are you trying to eat so much fruit?”

This was in response to one of my snack pics and caption explaining how I am trying to eat 10 cups of fruit a day.

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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.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Sorbet

ray peat, low fat, chocolate, peanut butter, metabolism

Excited to bring you the chocolately peanut buttery version of my light ice cream!

Normally I’m not a fan of chocolate ice cream, preferring real chocolate every time. But this time it’s different, somehow I’ve managed to get the intensity just right and the combo is bliss.

I’ve made it four times since the first time already! Just as well it’s super easy to make.

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Low fat custard (Ray Peat Inspired)

ray peat, protein, low fat, metabolism, hormones

So given my latest direction of Ray Peat inspired eating, custard would have to be one of the most perfect dessert foods. Milk, sugar, maybe eggs, maybe gelatin – they’re all on the preferred foods list for optimal health in Ray’s book. So it’s not like you are cheating in any way when you eat this – you’re supposed to be!

So perhaps I should put ‘guilt free’ in the title?

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Mushroom Cottage Cheese Dip (or Sauce)

ray peat, dairy, cottage cheese, hormones, health, easy recipes, healthy

While I am exploring all things Ray Peat and now low fat in particular, one food I needed to make peace with is Cottage Cheese. (Note on dairy intolerance at the end.)

Real cheese is fine, but the fat content really blows your daily limit of fat in one mouthful, so it needs to revert to ‘a taste adding condiment’ of 1 or 2 tablespoons only, not the half cup or full cup normally added to a dish.

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The Full Thyroid Panel & other blood tests – the easy way.

thyroid, t3, t4, reverse T3, blood test, health check, thyroid panel, hypothyroidism

As readers of my ramblings know, I am interested in my health, that’s why I read about it, write about it and see how things work for me by testing it out and gauging how I feel.

I can also measure if things are working by taking temperature and pulse, see how my weight is tracking, how energetic I feel as well but sometimes, you need a blood test to reveal more – like your cholesterol levels, iron levels, B12 levels and things like that. And only then, it reveals a complete and more accurate picture of what’s really happening in your body.

Hands up all those who have a cooperative doctor who will 100% test everything you would like to test? Or who doesn’t try to talk you out of it or have an argument about why you don’t really need it.

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