top of page

Cortisol and Weight gain: is there a connection?

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that is essential for our body's response to stress. It plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and immune function. However, when cortisol levels become chronically elevated, it can lead to a host of health problems, including weight gain.

The connection between cortisol and weight gain is complex and multifaceted. Here are some of the ways in which cortisol can contribute to weight gain:

  1. Increased appetite: Cortisol can increase our appetite and cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods. This is because cortisol stimulates the release of glucose into the bloodstream, which can lead to low blood sugar levels and cravings for quick sources of energy, such as sugary or fatty foods.

  2. Fat storage: Cortisol also promotes the storage of fat, particularly in the abdominal area. This is because cortisol stimulates the release of insulin, which promotes the uptake and storage of glucose and fat in the body's cells.

  3. Reduced metabolism: Chronically elevated cortisol levels can also slow down our metabolism, making it harder to burn calories and lose weight.

  4. Reduced muscle mass: Cortisol can also lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lower our overall metabolic rate and make it harder to burn calories.

So, what can you do to reduce the impact of cortisol on weight gain?

Here are some tips:

  1. Manage stress: Since cortisol is primarily released in response to stress, managing stress is key to reducing cortisol levels. This can include practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular exercise.

  2. Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods.

  3. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help reduce cortisol levels, boost metabolism, and promote weight loss.

  4. Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for regulating cortisol levels and reducing stress. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

  5. Taking supplements to reduce cortisol level and improve mood, cognitive function and reduce overall stress.

Here are some supplements that can help improve cortisol levels and support overall health:

  1. Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve stress resilience. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it beneficial for overall health.

  2. Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola Rosea is another adaptogenic herb that has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve mood and cognitive function. It may also enhance exercise performance and reduce fatigue.

  3. Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for many bodily functions, including the regulation of cortisol. It also helps promote relaxation and reduce stress.

  4. Vitamin B5: Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is important for the production of adrenal hormones, including cortisol. It may also help reduce stress and fatigue.

  5. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help reduce the damaging effects of stress on the body. It also plays a role in the production of cortisol.

  6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil and other sources, can help reduce inflammation and improve mood. They may also help regulate cortisol levels and improve stress resilience.

It's important to note that while supplements can be beneficial, they should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you are experiencing chronic stress or other health problems related to cortisol imbalance, it's important to speak with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and treatment. In conclusion, while cortisol is an important hormone that plays many important roles in the body, chronically elevated cortisol levels can contribute to weight gain. By managing stress, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and taking supplements you can help reduce the impact of cortisol on weight gain and improve your overall health and well-being.

That's all for now.

See you soon!



ps. Book your free consultation with me if you wish to know how I can help you and suggest the best line of action for you to improve your overall health and well-being.

18 views1 comment

1 Comment

Maria Arpa
Maria Arpa
Mar 10, 2023

Thank you for this timely reminder. Great blog post.

bottom of page