Cortisol And Weight Gain: How To Stop?


Weight gain is a major problem that people suffer from due to many factors. Apart from unhygienic food and not exercising, the increase in cortisol level is the major cause of increasing weight. It is normally referred to as a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands, which increases the belly fat within the body, especially near the abdomen.

Cortisol levels increase due to unavoidable reasons like stroke, stress, tension, or other mental issues that cause various issues, including weight gain. If you want to have in-depth knowledge of cortisol levels and how they influence weight gain along with their regulation mechanism, then let’s explore this article.

What Is Cortisol And Its Effect On The Body?

Cortisol And Its Effect On The Body

Cortisol is the hormone that increases when stress or anxiety elevates your body and mind. However, it is referred to as good hormone levels that send signals to the brain related to emotions or thinking.

Also, it has important functions like increasing blood sugar, reducing inflammation, suppressing the immune system, and aiding in nutrient metabolism. But if it rises, it can cause unexpected weight gain that urges you to eat more, even when you are not hungry.

Some of the other effects of higher cortisol levels within the body are:

  • The increased cortisol level triggers an increase in heart rate and energy levels.
  • It can give your body a potentially harmful situation like increased blood pressure levels, lower glucose levels, and more.
  • Also, continued elevations in cortisol can lead to negative side effects like fatigue, salt cravings, nausea, vomiting, and muscle, abdominal, or bone pain.
  • Besides, there can be decreased appetite or weight loss when it gets lower. 

Does An Increase Of Cortisol Lead To An Increased Weight?

Various factors influence weight gain, and an increase in cortisol levels is one of the facts. Also, it happens due to elevated stress levels because of several situations that can respond to the increase of belly fat.

Besides, it can urge people to overeat, put the body in an alert position, and affect the person's ability to sleep or concentrate. This can lead to increased weight gain and further causes obesity, chronic stress, and other health issues. 

Factors Responsible For Increased Cortisol Levels In The Body

The increased cortisol level within the body is due to various factors that make a person have a significant effect.

So, factors that are responsible for increased cortisol levels in the body are:

  • Smoking is untimely or excessive.
  • Immediate lifestyle changes like alcohol drinking or wine or other toxic beverages.
  • Unable to exercise, sleep, and get enough nutrition.

Top 6 Ways To Stop Weight Gain Due To Increased Cortisol Levels

Cortisol Role In Body

Cortisol level is regulated by the body and in itself when the stress or anxiety is removed or managed. However, there are some natural ways through which you can control increased cortisol levels and live a happier and healthier life.

1] Try To Be Stay Active In Every Field

If you are on a plan to maintain cortisol levels and immediate weight gain, then try to be active in every field, such as cooking, reading, walking, dancing, or others. It will keep you engaged and provide you with happiness that can lower the cortisol. Besides, you can do regular exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes, whichever you eat, and stay active from mind and body along with burning excessive calories.

2] Get Your Mind Relax With Yoga, Deep Breathing And Meditation

Mindful relaxation activities are necessary for regulating the cortisol level as they provide peace and do not allow fat to be stored within the body. You can perform yoga, deep breathing, or perform meditation regularly and keep your mind active and healthy. Also, it is necessary because these practices activate relaxation and reduce stress or anxiety

3] Make Your Sleep And Self-Care At Priority Basis

A person who is taking very little sleep or not prioritizing their self-care activities is the most prone to increased cortisol levels within the body. So, always have a healthy sleep for at least 8 hours and practice self-care activities like spa, healthy eating and drinking, fulfilling hobbies, and exploring new things. It will help to relax your mind and reduce stress hormones within the body.

4] Include Lots Of Fun And Laugh In Your Life

A stressed life is full of tension and worry, which is the biggest reason for increased cortisol levels and weight gain. So, include lots of fun and laughter in your life and reduce this hormone to some extent. You can do various things like drawing or painting, crafting, cooking, creative writing, playing a musical instrument, and more fun-filled activities.

5] Always Maintain Healthy Relationships

If you want to lower excessive weight gain or cortisol levels, then always try to maintain a healthy relationship with everyone. It is because any fight or stress can elevate the mental situation and lead to increased belly fat within the abdomen part. So, make relationships healthier at the prior stage and do what gives you happiness.

6] Eat Healthy And Nutritionist Foods And Drinks

Another best technique to reduce overweight due to increased cortisol levels in the body is eating healthy and nutritious foods and drinks. Healthy eating will give your mind signals to be happy and thereby reduce cortisol. For this, include more fiber foods such as fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, lentils, and seeds along with omega-3 fatty acids. Also, avoid more sugary, processed, or high-cholesterol foods that can trigger the situation. 

Bottom Line

Cortisol is the necessary hormone that helps regulate blood sugars, reduce inflammation, and regulate metabolism in the body. However, if it fluctuates, it can cause many problems to the body and mind, including weight gain. Besides, stress and anxiety are the major problem of increasing stress hormones within the body or cortisol.

So, if you want to break the cycle of increased weight gain due to high cortisol, then the above tips will help you a lot. Besides, it is necessary to keep an eye on caffeine, sugary intake, or not having enough exercise, as if left untreated, it can trigger the situation and cause increased weight gain.


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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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