Cortisol…also known as the “stress-hormone” is what our bodies produce to deal with stress. It’s produced anytime the “flight or fight” response is triggered and allows us to rapidly respond. Once the response has happened the levels of cortisol drop.
But what about chronic stress?
Chronic stress is mentally taxing but it can even impact your waist line. When we are under constant stress our cortisol levels remain high. Studies show that elevated cortisol levels increases our appetite and cravings for sugary/fatty foods. This, on top of altering how and WHERE your body stores fat leads to packing on fat, specifically around the abdomen. So how do we fight it?
- A good night rest – A lack of sleep is stress to the body. Make sure you are getting adequate rest.
- A balanced diet – Complex carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats…all necessary to promote total health and combat stress.
- Keep moving – At first your body’s respond to exercise is to increase its production of cortisol. However, regular exercise can change how your body responds to stress and ultimately leads to a reduction in cortisol production. This with the all the other added benefits of regular exercise…it should be a no brainer!