Your Cortisol Levels Could Be Keeping You Overweight

cortisol levels healthy eating

The WEIGHT LOSS industry is projected to be worth $US586.6 billion globally by 2014. It appears nowadays that almost everywhere you turn, another miracle product is being touted as the end to ALL your weight problems!

In your busy, hectic life, by the time you can make it to the store the product has been taken off the shelf by the FDA. But before you can even turn around to drive home, another ‘ revolutionary product’ is being to launched to a seemingly captive consumer looking for the next ‘quick fix’.

Lots of advertising claims with little substantive evidence;

I decided to do some research on Cortisol, and found the following coming up on most research material;

  • Cortisol makes you fat
  • Stress is a precursor to Cortisol
  • Cortisol contributes to belly fat
  • Cortisol suppressing supplements reduce it’s effects and help reduce stress- fat build- up
  • Cortisol supplements control appetite

Modern day advertising for these ‘wonder’ products are so convincing, that they will make all but experts say ‘Okay i’ll try this! It’s any easy sell as most of their claims focus on an area that we can to some degree all identify with…Stress, whether a little or a lot?

What is Cortisol?

When we are stressed our adrenal glands secrete the hormone, Cortisol. The main function of Cortisol is to release sugar into the bloodstream, to prepare our bodies for the demands of stressors,such as working out, emotional challenges, or life or death situations that are met with a flight response depending on the instinct that is triggered. As Cortisol is a sugar precursor it is classified as a ‘Glucocorticoid’.

How can higher (raised) cortisol levels impact you?

The Modern Day is packed with extra stressors, such as traffic congestion, airport security,demanding workloads, and everyday life, puts us in the ideal situation for the body to be under increased Cortisol levels.

This can lead to; . Increased blood pressure . Erratic blood sugar .Lowered immune function . Increased Visceral abdominal fat (deep intra-abdominal fat).

What’s in it for me?

You may be saying to yourself at this point – ” If i suppress my Cortisol maybe i will get lean?” Wrong! We’ll not exactly right, Although it can lead to WEIGHT LOSS in some cases,due to stored adipose fat being turned into Glycerol, which is then channeled as energy through the bloodstream. Another factor that can contribute to WEIGHT LOSS with increased Cortisol, is that the body can also convert lean muscle tissue into blood sugar (Glycogen), a process that can lead to muscle loss (catabolic) ie; using muscle for energy.

The low-down on the high down,/h2>
Cortisol is not bad for you! – It is an essential hormone to help your body adapt accordingly to cope with various stressors that come your way during the path of each day.

Many people react to increased stress and hence Cortisol, by eating more to balance their blood sugar, in particular carbohydrates that are high glycemic (turn into sugar rapidly}. When Cortisol levels are high it in turn brings down Serotonin, which can in turn lead to carbohydrate cravings in an attempt for the body to balance it’s blood sugar levels. This is a vicious cycle and can lead to considerable WEIGHT GAIN.


Taking Cortisol suppressants are not the long term answer, but in place break the cycle of stress that raises Cortisol in the first place. If you change the way look at things in your life, the things you look at change your life. This will keep Cortisol levels lower and stop ‘stress eating’ once and for all.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and you would like a complimentary one-on-one assessment with Personal Trainer in L.A. Nicholas Barrett, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Personal trainer Los Angeles. Los Angeles personal trainer. Personal trainer marina del rey.