If you exercise regularly and eat healthily and still don’t lose weight, the reason may be a hormone we all produce, called cortisol.
It is very important because it’s the one that causes us to react when there is danger. However, a continuous excess of high levels of cortisol can trigger a series of problems summarized in a syndrome called Cushing.
The most common way to continually produce it is when you are under constant stress. That is why cortisol is also called a stress hormone.
Producing too much destroys muscles and negatively alters metabolism, generating abdominal fat, among other things.
Symptoms of High Cortisol
- Mood swings: anger, anxiety, depression.
- Permanent tiredness, even if you do nothing.
- Palpitations and/or hypertension.
- Poor appetite or overweight and weight gain with no apparent explanation.
- Digestive problems.
- Frequent urination, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Trouble sleeping
- Memory loss.
- Defenses decreased.
- Facial hair and wrinkles.
- Swelling, fat face in the neck.
How To Reduce Cortisol Levels
Foods to avoid:
- Caffeine, alcohol, foods high in sugar, sweeteners (mainly aspartame), and excess potassium.
Foods to be consumed
Rich in phosphatidylserines, such as mackerel, herring, eel and quality proteins in general.
Foods rich in phenylalanine, such as chicken, eggs, brown rice, broccoli, squash, watercress, and artichokes.
Foods rich in tryptophan, such as brown rice, soybeans, oilseeds, meat, eggs, milk, and dairy products.
Foods rich in vitamin B5: dates, almonds, milk, salmon, wheat germ and oats.
Others: beans, whole grains, and sunflower seeds.
Eat at intervals: It is okay to eat 5 times a day in adequate portions. Do not skip meals, as this produces cortisol.
Exercise: Train 3 times a week, but no more than 50 minutes, as too much exercise also increases cortisol. Never train 7 days in a row: rest at least 2 or 3 days.
Sleep well: It is important to get 8-10 hours of sleep so that your cortisol levels decrease and your body recovers.
Relax: Find some relaxation or meditation technique and incorporate it into your life.
Avoid any stimulants: Don’t drink energy drinks, caffeine, or alcohol.
Take anti-stress supplements: vitamin C, Rhodiola, vitamin B5, folic acid, vitamin A, zinc, ginseng, licorice, chromium, magnesium, calcium, St. John’s wort, chamomile, and oatmeal.
Drink plenty of water: Stay well hydrated every day and get into the habit of drinking a glass of water in the morning on an empty stomach and another glass of water before bed.