If you exercise regularly, eat healthily, and still can’t lose weight, the reason may be a hormone that we all produce, called cortisol.
It is very important because it is what makes us react when there is danger. However, a continuous excess of elevated cortisol levels can trigger a number of problems that boil down to a syndrome called Cushing.
The most common way to produce it continuously is when you are under constant stress. This is why cortisol is also called a stress hormone. Producing too much destroys muscles and negatively alters metabolism, generating abdominal fat, among other things.
High cortisol symptoms:
- Mood swings: anger, anxiety, depression.
- Permanent tiredness, even without doing anything.
- Palpitations and/or hypertension.
- Insufficient or excessive appetite and weight gain with no apparent explanation.
- Digestive problems.
- Frequent urination, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Sleeping problems
- Memory loss.
- Decreased defenses.
- Facial hair and wrinkles.
- Swollen face, fat on the neck.
Ways to Lower Your Cortisol Levels
Foods to avoid:
Caffeine, alcohol, foods high in sugar, sweeteners (especially aspartame), and excess potassium.
Food to consume:
Those rich in phosphatidylserines, such as mackerel, herring, eel, and quality proteins in general.
Foods are rich in phenylalanine, such as chicken, eggs, brown rice, broccoli, pumpkin, watercress, and artichoke.
Foods are 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 normal to eat 5 times a day in reasonable portions. Don’t 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 for at least 2-3 days.
Get a good night’s sleep: It is important to sleep between 8 and 10 hours so that cortisol levels decrease and the body recovers.
Relax: Find some relaxation or meditation technique and incorporate it into your life.
Avoid 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 oats.
Drink lots of water: Stay well hydrated every day and make it a habit to drink a glass of water in the morning on an empty stomach and another glass of water before bed.