Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands and is actually important for the regulation of blood pressure, the immune system and many other functions. Cortisol can be good in small amounts but high levels can lead to an increase of abdominal fat, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and can also increase your bad cholesterol levels and decrease your good cholesterol levels.
High levels of cortisol may also decrease your bone density, leading to osteoporosis and loss of muscle tissue, which will also slow down your metabolic rate, and increase your blood pressure along with giving you other problems.
Each of us reacts differently to stress; some of us will produce more cortisol, due to a particular stress while others will produce less. It has been found that those of you that produce more cortisol will actually eat more food as well, in particular carbohydrates.
To combat producing too much cortisol, learn ways to relax and change your lifestyle. A good way to do this is through relaxation, which can be achieved in a number of ways either by exercising, mediation, yoga or breathing.
One of the easiest and simplest ways is breathing. This is done by gently breathing in through the nose, while expanding your abdomen and then gently expelling the air through your nose, while pulling in your abdomen at the same time. After several breaths in and out you should start to feel yourself relax. You need to practice doing this exercise a few minutes a day to start with, while building up to five minutes in the end. You can also practice this when you are feeling stressed or when things are getting the best of you. Just a few minutes can slow your body down and help it to feel relax.
Life style changes can be like changing your eating habits for a healthier diet, getting enough sleep, or even organizing your time more efficiently so that you do not feel so stressed. Also looking after your body will help your body to cope with stresses that you come across during your day.
So if you are exercising frequently and eating properly but still not losing any weight especially from around the middle then maybe you are suffering from high levels of cortisol caused by stress. If this is the case, try looking at ways to solve the problem and hopefully you will see a difference in your weight and around your middle.
This article is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is not to be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice or any doctors recommendation. Prior to beginning any weight loss program, individuals must consult a physician for proper diagnosis and/or treatment.