Is There a Correlation Between Weight Gain and Cortisol?

Jerome Huff
Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

For years I thought that the reason why I could not lose weight was that I had high levels of cortisol in my system.

I had no clue what cortisol actually was aside from it being a stress hormone. But I was convinced that cortisol was the root of my problems.

In reality, cortisol is a much-needed hormone produced by the adrenal gland when your body is under stress.

According to the article, The Cortisol-Weight-Loss Contrvosy on VeryWell Health, explains that cortisol is released during your body’s daily hormonal cycle.

Your hypothalamus via the pituitary gland directs the adrenal gland to produce both cortisol and adrenaline.

Adrenaline is essential for your survival helping you keep alert and increasing your metabolism.

Cortisol helps your body produce glucose from proteins which create more energy for you to use in times of stress.

This type of stress does not cause you to gain weight.

Normal cortisol production is crucial for your well-being.

The problem comes when your body starts producing too much cortisol. Excess glucose production causes your body to store this extra energy as fat.

This is one of the reasons why I love fasting so much. Fasting prevents you from using glucose for energy and your body must turn to its fat stores instead.

So instead of me blaming all of my weight problems on cortisol, I should have looked into what cortisol actually is.

Lifestyle is the real reason for excess cortisol production

If you live in a Western society, obesity is most likely a crucial issue. Unfortunately in America eating SAD (Standard American Diet) will certainly cause you to overproduce cortisol.

If you eat SAD you have a diet that is high in sugar and simple carbs, this over time may cause you to become insulin resistant.

Healthline points out the risks of being insulin resistance.

These risks include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high triglycerides

Insulin resistance is sometimes a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

When your brain stops reacting to the presence of insulin in your body, your pancreas starts to fail to pump out excess insulin.

Eventually, your pancreas may stop working altogether.

A drastic change in diet will help you reverse this potentially deadly process from happening.

Four years ago I was on the brink of becoming extremely sick. My diet was awful. I ate french fries and cheeseburgers every night.

Over time in addition to weight gain, I began to become lethargic and had this sick feeling in my stomach all the time.

I was only in my late 20’s but I felt much older.

When I finally took control of my diet, the excess weight fell off and so did my stress levels.

If I continued down the path I was going I certainly would have developed Type 2 diabetes and/or metabolic syndrome.

Live a Response Dominate Life Instead of a Reaction Dominate Life

In addition to a drastic change in diet, your whole life must change. We are taught at a young age to lead a reaction dominate life.

What I mean by this is:

  • Reacting to your alarm clock (not allowing yourself to wake naturally because of a reaction-based job).
  • Reacting to hunger instead of tuning into your body to know the difference between actual hunger and emotional angst.
  • Going by what society tells you to do instead of learning what you really want to do with your life.

When you take control of your diet you then can start to take back control of your whole life.

This allows you to experience long-term weight loss instead yo-yoing in weight.

You can do all of the sexy diets in the world but if you don't work on building a solid psychological foundation around your weight loss the weight will come back.

Developing a healthy mindset is the only way I have managed to maintain a proper weight.

I fail all the time in my goals. But by being persistent I'm able to grow into the person I really want to be.

You can do the same no matter what you are going through at this moment.

I learned that cortisol was not to blame for my weight gain and chronic stress. Instead, I began to take responsibility as hard as that was and still is.

Take the first step today and drastically change your diet to a more whole foods diet.

When you eat foods like:

  • Bison, Salmon, Wild Shrimp, Monkfish, Mussels, and Wild Catfish
  • Wild Rice, Quinoa, Black Bean Pasta, and Sweet Potato
  • Kale, Arugula, Spinach, and Watercress
  • Garlic, Mushrooms, and Onion
  • Honey, Maple Syrup, and Organic Dark Chocolate

This helps you transition into living a healthier life. Don’t blame weight gain on a normal biological response like the production of cortisol.

Stop blame and start living the life you truly want.

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I cover topics ranging from weight loss, intermittent fasting, meditation, spiritual growth, and American populism. For many years I was overweight, depressed, and allowed life to beat me up. In 2014 I took control of my life. I changed my diet to whole minimally processed foods and started a meditation practice. From there my transformation began.

Collegeville, PA

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