Researchers have found that women who stored their excess fat in the abdominal area had higher cortisol levels and reported more lifestyle stress than women who stored fat primarily in the hips. High cortisol levels can increase food intake and promote weight gain, especially in women. Diet changes, managing stress and sleeping more can normalize cortisol production which will help with weight loss, but first, let’s talk about what it actually is.
Cortisol is a hormone in the body produced by the adrenal glands. It’s known as the “stress hormone” because it’s released when the body senses stress. It’s actually a really important one for survival and is involved in the flight or fight response of your body during acute stress moments.
If you often operate in a stressful state, the hormone is dramatically elevated and can lead to overeating and middle weight gain. This could be caused by actual stress in your life or perceived stress.
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