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Cortisol & Weight Gain     

Changing lifestyles are making life hectic and devoid of exercise. Most of us are caught up in the daily routines which we follow blindly without thinking how they are affecting our lives. The biggest thing that has emerged from our hectic work schedules is presence of stress in our daily lives. Human body has not been designed to multi-task externally. Yes, our brain is a multi-tasking machine that is already carrying out millions of internal functions ranging from pain sensation to feeling happy. If we load our brain with extra tasking, it is bound to feel stressed.

Stress is deeply related to weight gain. To understand this, we must understand the process with which our system works when we are stressed. During periods of stress, body responds by releasing Cortisol hormone from adrenal glands. This hormone has one specific job which is to trigger gluco-corticoid into blood. The task of this enzyme is to convert proteins present in the body into blood sugar. This excess blood sugar is converted into fat by the body and is stored at different places. This complete process means only one thing, more stressed you are, more likely you are to gain weight rapidly.

Release of Cortisol is a pure stress related function. It is body’s mechanism against saving brain from overload by providing more energy. It does not matter if you are already taking a high fat diet or not. Once stressed, body is going to respond in the most primal manner to protect itself. The way out from this cycle is simply to develop skills to avoid stress. If you can’t do that, you can think about taking anti obesity hormones like DHEA which is also a type of adrenal hormone. This hormone works by reducing cravings and producing extra insulin. These actions help get rid of excess blood sugar while stopping intake of extra food. This is an extreme method and must be employed only after checking with a physician or even a neurosurgeon. Starting this intake on your own without analysing side effects or results can be dangerous.

It is better to opt for alternative methods like relaxation and meditation. Just like Cortisol and weight gain are inter-related, relaxation and weight loss go hand in hand. It is well known that you burn maximum calories while asleep. Thus relaxation and meditation are your sure fire methods for weight loss. Ample relaxation lowers Cortisol level in the blood thus avoiding generation of blood sugar.

Under controlled environment, it has been seen that people subjected to stress turn out to be big hoggers. These people tried various methods for weight reduction while working in same stressful conditions. Results for such people were inverse in nature. Meditation was used as a last resort and results were immediate. Meditation in conjunction with regular exercise produced amazing results. As a result, a large number of companies offer stress busting sessions while at work. This helps these companies to maintain a healthy employee profile while cutting down on healthcare bills.

You can get stressed in any condition. Waiting for a traffic jam to clear can be a great stress builder. Most people suffer from white coat syndrome where body reacts in a stressful manner when visiting a doctor. An early morning spat with your spouse is another reason for stressful day. Having a show down with boss is definitely going to send the stress level through the roof. Easiest method to get over these is by following the age old saying about “early to bed, early to rise.” A sound sleep can work wonders to relieve you from stress.

Meditation can be performed any time and basically involves regulating your breathing to infuse more oxygen in the blood. This can help lower Cortisol and weight gain can be arrested. If you have ever noticed, when you are stressed, your breathing becomes shallow. This deprives body of precious oxygen thus leading to release of Cortisol. If you ever find yourself in such situation, take long and large breaths and you will feel instant relief from stress. There is no denying that biggest stress buster to involve yourself in doing what you like. This can be as easy as listening to songs or taking long hot bath. Essentially, you must keep your mind free of stress and avoid release of Cortisol in your blood stream.


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