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.