The Cortisol Connection

Cortisol is the major hormone of the stress response. It is the only hormone that we can’t live without for even a few minutes. However, if secreted in excess over an extended period of time it will cause biochemical chaos and weight gain. In addition to stress from situations, cortisol is increased from poor dietary habits that can be controlled through The Adaptation Diet.  Here is why this is so important for losing weight and staying well.

Cortisol functions to keep us alive in times of stress by:

  • raising blood sugar and blood fats
  • preventing insulin from working and turning off sex hormones
  • breaking down muscle to produce more energy
  • lowering the immune response

In other words, cortisol helps short-term survival, but if elevated over long periods, weight gain results as well as higher risk for metabolic syndrome, diabetes and immune system suppression.  Numerous studies have linked increased cortisol levels to weight gain and diabetes.

In the distant past stress was caused by an attack from a tiger or starvation or disease. If you survived, your cortisol levels would return to normal. Today for many people, stress from work, finances, and relationships is almost constant, elevating cortisol levels every day. That is why it is so important to lower your cortisol through what you can control: what you eat!

Here are some hints that you might be experiencing excess levels of cortisol.

  • weight gain especially around the middle
  • poor muscle tone
  • low energy
  • frequent colds and flu
  • aches and pains
  • insomnia

If this describes you, then following The Adaptation Diet can lead to better cortisol balance, leading to weight loss and improved well being.

Take this quick quiz to see whether you are in a maladapted state Go to www.mosscenterforintegrativemedicine.com/questions.html