I love talking about hormones when it comes to building muscle and losing fat because I think they play a very important role in how your body looks! In this post, I’m talking about the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is a stress hormone; our bodies produce it when we are under stress. This could be a stressful job, lack of sleep or working out for too long!
The problem is cortisol is your worst enemy when it comes to building muscle and losing fat because quite simply it turns your muscle into fat! More accurately it burns your muscle for energy turning it into glucose which can then stimulate an insulin response and potentially store that glucose as fat. Cortisol seems to have a strong effect on making us store fat specifically around our mid-sections, so it will hinder your goal of having a six pack too! Cortisol has also been linked to low testosterone levels and high oestrogen levels in men, leading to a whole host of problems.
So, by now I’m sure I’ve made you really hate this hormone and you’re now wondering how you can reduce it and keep it to minimum. Well first, think about it logically, it’s a stress hormone, so avoid stress! So, minimise stress, get plenty of sleep and don’t work out for longer than around 1 hour are the best ways to keep cortisol at bay.
Additionally, if you’re on a diet, don’t cut your calories and carbohydrates too much as this puts the body under a great deal of stress! Never lower calories lower than your BMR when trying to lose fat. Foods and supplements can also help you reduce cortisol levels, vitamin c and glutamine have been shown to reduce cortisol levels! Since cortisol is linked to testosterone levels in men, anything that can increase your testosterone will reduce your cortisol as well!
So guys, the take home message of this post is stay chilled out and don’t stress, it won’t get you anywhere and will just cost you muscle and gain you fat!
For the ULTIMATE guide on how to optimise your hormones so you can build muscle and lose fat effortlessly, check out my Hormonal Manipulation programme!
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See you on the next blog!