Cortisol, Stress and Low-Carb Diets: How to Beat the Belly Fat Battle
Nowadays, stress is an everyday occurrence that can impact our health in several ways. Cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress, can cause a range of health problems, such as weight gain, specifically around the waist, and insulin resistance, which may lead to type 2 diabetes.
When we're stressed, our bodies release cortisol, which causes the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. This glucose is then used as fuel to give us the energy we need to deal with the stressor. However, if we're constantly stressed, our bodies will continue to produce cortisol, which leads to an increase in blood sugar levels.
A great way to counteract the negative effects of cortisol and stress on weight and health can be by following a low-carbohydrate diet that is high in healthy fats and low in refined carbohydrates. This type of diet can enhance insulin sensitivity, reduce cortisol levels, and improve overall health.
Cortisol and insulin are interrelated, and high cortisol levels can result in insulin resistance, leading to weight gain and increased difficulty controlling weight. Cortisol stimulates the release of glucose, which the body then uses as an immediate source of energy. Nevertheless, when glucose levels are high, insulin is also released, signaling the body to store the extra glucose as fat. Eventually, this can lead to weight gain and insulin resistance.
On the other hand, low-carbohydrate diets are known to enhance insulin sensitivity, which can help decrease cortisol levels. This is due to low-carb diets regulating blood sugar levels, which lowers the need for insulin. Consequently, cortisol levels decrease, and weight gain is less probable.
Aside from improving insulin sensitivity, low-carb diets should also be high in healthy fats, which can reduce cortisol levels. Healthy fats like those in avocado, nuts, and olive oil have been found to have a positive effect on cortisol levels and overall health. These healthy fats also provide a long-lasting source of energy, which can help reduce stress levels.
To sum up, cortisol, stress, and weight gain are linked, and the harmful effects of cortisol can be decreased by following a low-carbohydrate diet. Low-carb diets are high in healthy fats and low in refined carbohydrates, which can improve insulin sensitivity and decrease cortisol levels. By decreasing cortisol levels, weight gain is less likely to occur, and overall health is enhanced. If you're dealing with weight gain, stress, or other health issues, consider incorporating a low-carb diet into your lifestyle to benefit from its numerous advantages.