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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Does Your Cortisol Levels Affect Your Fat Loss?

Does Your Cortisol Levels Affect Your Fat Loss? 
The answer is absolutely! Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress, and to a low level of blood glucocorticoids. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, suppress the immune system, and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also decreases bone formation. Usually your cortisol levels peak in the morning which is why breakfast is a must. Intense exercise also raises cortisol levels - another reason your post workout meal is the 2nd essential meal of the day. So when you don't sleep well, have a stressful day, workout hard and skip meals, you keep your cortisol levels peaked which keeps the fat on - which is not what we want, obviously. Cortisol also counteracts insulin so you can't lower your blood sugar levels which also keeps the fat on. So cortisol does a bunch of things that keeps you from getting lean. 

What can we do to help keep our cortisol levels low?
The answer is follow the plan. Eating right, making sure that you get breakfast and your post workout meal along with the rest of your meals, sleeping well, trying to control your stressors (very hard), music, sex, laughing, having fun and being happy are all things that help lower cortisol levels. Magnesium, vitamin c, omega 3's and black tea are some of the many things that also help lower cortisol levels. There are many other hormones that affect your fat loss but this is one of the big ones. While it's impossible to do everything perfect, doing the best you can to regulate cortisol levels will greatly assist in your fat loss progress.    

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness
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