What is this thing called cortisol?
Cortisol is an important hormone in the body that is secreted in the adrenal glands. In small doses, this hormone has positive effects on the body.
However, abnormal amounts can cause a lot of diseases and it also increases abdominal fat, also known as the beer belly bulge or belly fat. The proven methods below will help you keep this hormone at healthy levels and lose your stubborn stomach fat in safe and healthy ways.
How does drinking produce high levels of cortisol resulting in the beer belly bulge?
Here's how. In one of the studies conducted by Byron Adinoff, M.D. (Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern), it was found that alcohol can increase cortisol levels. It does this by directly affecting chemicals in the brain that inform the adrenal glands to produce and secrete this hormone.
Cortisol is also called the "stress hormone" because the body produces more of it when it is under considerable stress.
An individual that is highly intoxicated may be considered to be under stress which in turn, encourages the release of this hormone.
What are the 3 proven methods for maintaining cortisol at healthy levels in order to lose the beer belly bulge?
1) Eliminate or Reduce the Consumption of Alcohol and Drink in Moderation
Cortisol levels are highest in the morning and wanes at night. However, for heavy drinkers who drink daily, the levels may double or more the normal levels throughout the day and night.
Beer packs a lot of calories, approximately 150 calories in a bottle. Although drinking lots of beer, no doubt, is a major cause for the beer belly bulge, it is in no way the only factor in having belly fat or a pot belly.
2) Reduce Stress
Stress encourages the overproduction of cortisol, but people react differently to stress. Therefore, the amount secreted during stress will vary from one person to another.
Calm your body and mind. Listen to music, meditate, do yoga, exercise. Keeping a journal of your feelings, gardening and playing with your children can also help to reduce stress.
3) Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods are defined as "foods that are unprocessed and unrefined," and some extend this to include foods that are "just slightly processed or refined."
The chances of the overproduction of cortisol are less likely to occur by eating more whole foods like whole grain bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, fish, poultry and unprocessed meat.
Be warned. Not only does an overabundance of this hormone make you hungry for fatty foods, it also tells your body to store fat mostly in the stomach, and it settles there quite comfortably, thank you!
Is reducing cortisol levels enough to lose the beer belly bulge?
One thing's for sure: While it is true that reducing this hormone's levels can help you get rid of some of the beer belly bulge, this alone will not eliminate it. Proper exercises are paramount to losing fat around the stomach.
Incorrect workouts like abs crunches won't do it, and neither will abs loungers, abs rockets or leg raises. While these exercise the abdominal muscles, they do not burn stubborn belly fat.
To ensure your success, you will need a no-hype, powerful method with tasty meals and non-boring, unique workouts to keep it fresh.