If you’re someone who holds fat around their belly and has skinny legs and arms, then chances are you have elevated cortisol levels. We tend to store fat in the belly as there are more cortisol receptors there.
What is cortisol?
When we are feeling stressed or our bodies are under stress we release the hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are high it interferes with learning, memory, increase of weight, lower immune function and bone density, blood pressure, cholesterol and the list goes on.
Chronic stress and elevated levels of cortisol also increases risk for depression, mental illness and lower life expectancy.
Our lives are becoming more stressful, as we try and pack as many things into one day. We exercise and sometimes exercise too much and don’t rest enough between each session. We have full time jobs which can cause too much stress for some of us. We have kids to look after and get to school each day, shuttle the kids to after school activities, cook dinner for the family, shop for the family, catch up with family and friends, some of you may be studying as well as have a full time job and the list goes.
All this has an impact on our stress levels. If we are stressed then our body produces cortisol, when we have high levels of cortisol it communicates to our body it’s under attack and our body goes into fat storage mode.
Get more sleep
We need to seek out ways to limit stress. Need to sleep more, ensuring you get 8 good hours of sleep. Go to bed earlier, switch off the phone at least an hour before bedtime.
Reduce endless hours of cardio
Stop doing endless hours on the treadmill. Take up lighter activities such as yoga, meditation, relax in the bath or take a walk, whatever relaxes you and enables you to ‘switch off’ for half an hour to an hour, do it. And do it everyday.
For those wanting to maintain their fitness levels, train using shorter intervals and shorter sessions. Take up HIIT (high intensity interval training). Combine weights and for cardio, short sprints or skipping.
Superfoods to balance Cortisol
Working with a superfoods specialist I have created a perfect blend of plant based food and called it Vanilla Happy.
Vanilla Happy is a unique blend of superfoods that help to enhance your mood, improve sleep and immune system as well as relieve stress. It contains a combination of Siberian Ginseng, Maca Powder and Ashwagandha that help the body to:
Come on get happy! :)