The Cortisol Connection

Are you one of the millions of people who struggle to lose your belly blubber, despite:

  • Constant training
  • Constant dieting, and
  • Constant abdominal crunches?

Does your six-pack look more like a keg?

Do you spend hours running, cycling or doing some form or cardio-based exercise and still struggle to reduce your belly fat?

You, like many others, may have an issue with cortisol. Cortisol is your primary stress hormone and is the main contributor to belly fat storage.
Cortisol, like all hormones, has its place and is very important to the everyday running of the body. So, an over production of it will make it difficult for you to reduce your waist line.
Just as insulin is the muffin top hormone and makes you store fat on your sides and hips, cortisol is the belly fat hormone.
Some of the symptoms of too much cortisol are:

  • Increased belly fat
  • Reduced ability to put on muscle
  • Reduced ability to handle stress
  • Reduced recovery from exercise or injury
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Fluid retention
  • Muscle joint ache

If you are suffering from an over-production of cortisol, you may suffer with one or all of the above symptoms.

two guys with big bellies

Do you want a big belly like these guys?

So, what can you do about it?

You have two options: 1. reduce your stress and the things that cause stress on your body, or 2. increase your ability to handle the stress.

Here are seven steps to reducing your cortisol levels and that annoying belly fat:

  1. Take supplements that help manage stress and cortisol production
  2. Eat little and often, and avoid too many carbohydrates as they will aggravate cortisol production
  3. Avoid stimulants as these will crank up your cortisol levels. They may pick you up short-term but afterwards they’ll not do you well.
  4. Get to bed on time
  5. Use stress reduction techniques, such as meditation and yoga, which are great for the body and the mind.
  6. Get a food allergy test. Food allergies are the biggest cause of an over-production of cortisol. Remember your ‘healthy’ food may actually be making you unwell if you’re intolerant to it.
  7. Avoid long bouts of cardio and include anaerobic workouts in your programme.

Long-term aerobic exercise increases cortisol production much more than resistance or interval training work. (The less cortisol you produce the lower your belly fat will be!)

At Masters Personal Training we offer a full bio signature assessment which looks at what hormones you’re producing too much of and which you’re not producing enough of.

Hormonal balance is essential to health vitality and optimal body composition. Call us today to arrange a free consultation and see what we can do for you.

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