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  • Writer's picturePadme Grace

What's Cortisol got to do with it?

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol can contribute to weight gain in several ways:

  1. Increased Appetite: Cortisol can stimulate appetite, particularly for foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars. This can lead to overeating and, consequently, weight gain.

  2. Craving Unhealthy Foods: High cortisol levels are associated with an increased preference for foods that are high in fat and sugar. This can lead to the consumption of calorie-dense, unhealthy foods.

  3. Metabolism Regulation: Cortisol plays a role in regulating metabolism. Elevated levels over a prolonged period may negatively impact metabolism, potentially leading to weight gain.

  4. Fat Storage: Cortisol promotes the storage of fat, especially in the abdominal area. Excess abdominal fat is linked to various health issues, including metabolic syndrome.

  5. Insulin Resistance: Chronic stress and high cortisol levels may contribute to insulin resistance, making it more difficult for the body to regulate blood sugar. This can lead to increased fat storage and weight gain.

It's important to note that cortisol's role in weight gain is complex, and individual responses can vary. Factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and overall health also play significant roles. Managing stress through lifestyle changes, regular exercise, and a balanced diet can help regulate cortisol levels and mitigate potential weight gain associated with chronic stress.

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