Do you know why weight loss is hard? It’s because body fat raises cortisol and cortisol raises body fat. Here’s how you can break the cycle for good. Learn more about your adrenal levels, and find out how to make adrenal fatigue weight loss work for you and your lifestyle today.
Keeping away those extra pounds can be a thousand times harder thanks to cortisol in our bodies.
It’s true, the release of cortisol in the body has an adverse effect on our ability to keep away those extra pounds. Cortisol is a hormone, released by the brain during different events and circumstances. Our body releases cortisol in a “fight-or-flight” (1) set of circumstances, preparing us to take on difficult tasks or help our bodies deal with high levels of stress. Put simply, cortisol is released to help our bodies manage during intense amounts of stress.
Key Insight: Cortisol naturally occurs in our bodies, but it can be dangerous to our health.
For those who are already stressed, cortisol is forever being pumped from your brain to the rest of your body. This releases glucose, which helps you dominate your problems in short order. The problem starts when we constantly feel stressed, and what happens when cortisol is consistently being released into the system. This imbalance of hormones deprives our cells of glucose, so our cells send a message to our brain to tell us that we need to eat. This is the start of the problem.
Telling our body that it needs to eat, the cortisol-belly fat cycle begins in earnest. Let’s break it down, step-by-step:
Don’t get me wrong, though. Cortisol can be great when you are training, bodybuilding or going through intense amounts of exercise. When we’re breaking a sweat, cortisol works with other hormones in our bodies to help burn calories and shed pounds. The problem is that cortisol is not only released when we’re working out. While you want cortisol to be pumping when you’re at the gym, you don’t want it when you’re simply sitting at your desk.
Cortisol can create cravings for junk food, of all kinds, while shutting off the part of your brain that tells you it’s a bad idea to be eating that much in one sitting. In the wrong context, the release of cortisol can be damaging and destructive to your body.
There is hope, though, and that is in the form of adrenal fatigue weight loss. The following are a collection of tips I can say will help you combat a cortisol imbalance and the dreaded cortisol belly fat that comes with it. Of course, everybody is different, so these suggested dietary and exercise-based tips are going to vary based on the amount of effort and restraint you exercise.
If bodybuilders and athletes use cortisol to their advantage, why can’t you? There must be a simple way to help combat adrenal fatigue and cut those extra pounds out of your life for good. In fact, there is, so let me walk you through some of the best tips to help you reach your goals.
Help combat adrenal exhaustion today with the following tips…
Tip #1: Carb Cycling
The research is in, and carbohydrate cycling is gaining traction in scientific conversations around weight loss (2). Better than ketosis (3), the process of enduring times of low-carb intake alternated with periods of high-carb intake is a way to combat your cells demanding more and more food. Cutting down your carbohydrate intake from anywhere between 30-55% can help you reach your goals. It is also a way of avoiding weight loss plateaus (4), which can often be one of the most frustrating parts of any diet. Cutting down your carbs and allowing your body to burn off that excess fat, while replenishing with more carbs keeps your body in a steady rhythm when it comes to dropping that extra bit of weight.
Key Insight: Cut down on ketosis, and bring more carb cycling into your diet.
Tip #2: Do a Jump Start Initial Reset for 4 Weeks
Induce your adrenal fatigue weight loss by doing a reset of your diet for 4 weeks. As long as you’re getting at least 800 calories, you won’t be raising your cortisol levels. Keeping consumption low has proven to help manage weight and get started on losing weight in an effective and healthy way (5). Four weeks – where’s the harm in that? It might take a bit in the way of discipline, but it is going to help your body get back to where it needs to be. This form of detox is highly instructive to your body, as it seeks to kick your metabolism into gear so that you may burn fat down the road. It’s basically like putting your body through bootcamp, where the discipline you place upon your diet kicks your body into high gear. Inducing this in your body isn’t easy at first, but it will go a long way in helping you cut down on those extra pounds.
Key Insight: Jumpstart your metabolism by keeping your calorie intake low for four weeks.
Tip #3: Meal Replacements for Adrenal Fatigue Weight Loss
The formula is simple: 2 shakes + 1 meal. The effects of meal replacement strategies has been well-researched, and is a proven way to safely remove those unsightly pounds from your belly (6). Two low-carb, high fibre shakes per day, followed by a low-calorie meal is all it takes. This will help keep your adrenaline surges in check, and will help you manage your cravings with ease. Meal replacement plans help create a large amount of initial weight loss, while also providing improvement in weight management, inflammation and oxidative stress (7). Basically, it is a way of giving your body what it needs, without giving into the tried-and-true cravings which keep us from cutting those inches from our waistline.
Key Insight: 2 shakes + 1 meal = an effective weight loss strategy.
Tip #4: Long Slow Distance Training
Did you know that you don’t need to sweat like crazy to get a good workout? Long slow distance training (8) relies on long intervals of low-intensity physical activity. Through these activities, you’re building aerobic strength and endurance that can help stimulate the loss of fat in your body. All you have to do is one session per week, moving for over one hour at an extremely low intensity. Take a light walk, go for a hike and benefit your body. This form of training is an opportunity to introduce a consistent hum of fat burning in your daily/weekly/monthly regiment. The more exercise, the merrier, so long as you take it slow.
Key Insight: Take it slow, across longer distances, to keep your exercise routine humming.
Tip #5: Post-Dinner Cortisol Lowering
I’ve already covered the benefits of doing low intensity workouts when it comes to adrenal fatigue weight loss – this is an even more practical suggestion. After dinner, take some time and take a walk. If you take a 10 minute walk after dinner, you are going to effectively lower your cortisol for the evening. Not only will this help you sleep better (9), but it can help you combat adrenal exhaustion in the morning. It also makes your muscles more insulin responsive (10), which allows for more fuel to go to your muscles and less to your fat. This is all part of the bigger picture, which is working in healthy habits and lifestyle choices into your average day. A quick walk is all it takes, and you’ll be on your way to cutting out the excess fat in your life in no time.
Key Insight: Take a walk and take care of your post-dinner cortisol levels.
Tip #6: The Value of Potatoes
It’s like I always say: a potato a day keeps the inches away! Seriously though, studies have shown that boiled potatoes are in a class of their own when it comes to foods which curb appetites (11). Working more of these ingredients into your diet, in quick and simple ways, can help you combat adrenal burnout for good. The resistant starch in potatoes, in particular, will also help to heal your gut lining (12). There are so many superfoods out there, but potatoes can call themselves one of the original ones. They have loads of health benefits, and can help you jumpstart your adrenal fatigue weight loss. Easy to prepare, easy to enjoy and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time.
Your Diet and Potatoes:
Tip #7: Holy Moly…Holy Basil
Holy basil, otherwise known as ocimum sanctum, is just another step in helping combat the cortisol belly fat problem. Studies being done on humans, using holy basil, have shown that the leaf lowers stress (13). Therefore, the less stress, the less cortisol your body is producing to combat that stress. Adrenal fatigue weight loss can start in your diet, and holy basil might just be one of the pillars combating this imbalance of cortisol. Want to work more holy basil into your diet? Try this pesto recipe on for size.
Key Insight: Working basil into your diet is simple, whether you’re using it as a pesto or simply topping it on some of your favourite recipes.
Even in 2017, it appears as though we might be more stressed than ever. Whether it’s the pressures of work, family, or something else, we’re always feeling pushed upon by the world. That doesn’t mean that we should run out of hope, though, because the answer is right in front of us. All we have to do is make healthy living a routine, with habits that we can easily work into our lives to combat the negative effects of stress and cortisol in our bodies.
Have you been feeling stressed? Changing the way you diet and exercise can make stress a thing of the past. Or, at least, how your body reacts to stress can be eliminated entirely.
Adrenal fatigue weight loss starts with the injection of healthy habits into your diet and your lifestyle. Whether that means boiling a potato a day, or going for a walk after dinner, you’re going to want to consistently adhere to a set of standards to better your life. The stress that produces cortisol is manageable, as long as you are taking the right steps to manage it.
As I mentioned before, the cortisol belly fat cycle is one that can be dangerous. It’s dangerous to your body, but there is a way to combat it.
Key Insight: Follow these tips and you’ll be break this vicious cycle for good.
Finally, take a moment and ask yourself the following questions:
Find out now with my super handy adrenal quiz. It will give you a good idea of where you’re at with your adrenal fatigue, and what you can do to combat this problem and lose weight today.
Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet.
Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, cure diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that got him going.