Cortisol and Weight Gain: Why Slowing Down Might Help Lose Stubborn Belly Fat

Cortisol and Weight Gain: Why Slowing Down Might Help Lose Stubborn Belly Fat

Shifting the last five kilos is the bane of many weight loss missions. The frustration of slogging it out at the gym every day and eating all the right things without attaining results is common for many women, and for men living busy stressful lives can attribute to stubborn ‘belly fat’ also.

Stress occurs for a variety of reasons and each of us handle it differently. But whether it be relationship struggles, work conflicts, the bills piling up or just our hectic lifestyle, excess stress can push the body beyond its comfort zone and result in a hormonal imbalance that can trigger a storage of fat as a protection mechanism.

In fact, sometimes over-activity creates physiological changes in our bodies that can lead to digestive disorders, sluggish metabolisms and, unfortunately, weight gain.

In particular, our adrenal glands are greatly impacted when we are under chronic (ongoing) stress and ‘burning the candle at both ends’. When our stress hormones remain elevated for extended periods of time, our body shifts into a constant state of panic and our main organs receive less blood and energy. Rather than burning our food as fuel, our body may begin to store food in a state of readiness for the constant demands it is under physically.

Doing high intensity work outs every day of the week, stressing about each and every thing we eat and the extreme pressure we put on ourselves to achieve our weight loss goals is enough to send our adrenals into over drive. When this is combined with the chronic stress experienced from the fast pace of modern day life we begin to experience weight GAIN rather than LOSS, hormonal imbalance and exhaustion.

In fact, not only can elevated cortisol levels leave us with hormonal weight gain (usually the ‘spare tyre’ area), but can also rob us of energy, effect our moods, lower our libido and lead to a cycle of frustration-based diets and exercise with less and less results.

So, what can you do to help reduce stress-related weight gain?

Aus Acu treatments focus on regulating hormones – particularly lowering adrenaline and cortisol – to immediately help clear waste and stimulate metabolism. More often than not, it’s actually a case of learning to relax and rest that will help you feel better, lose the last few stubborn kg’s and live a more balanced, healthy life inside and out.

Stephanie Flockart joined Australian Acupuncture Clinics (Benowa) in 2016, coming from a long history of study, clinical experience and a life-long love of natural medicine. Steph has a keen interest in Women’s Health, with a particular passion in natural hormone regulation. Steph truly practices what she preaches, and enjoys staying fit, travelling and spending time learning more about Acupuncture attending workshops and seminars. Living on the beach here on the Gold Coast, Steph is often out and about enjoying the incredible natural beauty of our surrounding environment.
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