The Cortisol Connection
Cortisol, also known as the "stress hormone," is automatically thought of negatively and viewed as something harmful to be avoided. Here is the short speech: when we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol, prepping our body for fight-or-flight. If neither a fight nor a flight takes place, cortisol keeps exerting its influence, often negative versus positive.
Over time, this continual release of cortisol, with no fight or flight release valve, can wreak havoc on our physical and emotional health, one of which is weight gain (often the result of emotional eating) and sleep issues that drive hunger and cravings, making it very difficult to stay on track with your healthy eating plan.
Of course, this is an overly simplistic version of how stress affects our weight, but I’m sure you get the point. As with most things involving the human body, the truth is a bit more complex. Bottom line... our bodies do need some cortisol. It’s necessary to prepare us for battle per se. It also helps us lift heavier weights in the gym or finish that 5K you've been talking about for years.
The release of cortisol triggers a flood of glucose into the blood stream, which serves as an immediate energy source, which is also why our bodies store fat around our mid-section when we live under chronic, unmanaged stress.
The negative cortisol also suppresses our immune and digestive system, almost always negatively impacting our health when chronic and left alone. Heart rate increases and blood pressure elevates in response to the supposed threat, such as the sound of thunder, or a competitor overtaking you in the 5K you're running.
In these situations, cortisol prepares our body for action. After the cortisol-triggering event or situation has passed, and you've won the race or closed the deal, in a perfect situation, your cortisol levels would return to normal, which would be ideal. But in today's modern, stress-filled world, with constant stress threatening our bodies on high alert most of the time, our cortisol levels have become severely unbalanced, swinging from too high to too low.
Life rarely goes as expected; situations pop up, good and bad, exacerbating the problem. Turn on the news for one second and impending doom and destruction are always the main headlines. If you're an internet scroller, it's even worse. Our body's perceived risk and danger are now woven into our social fabric as part of our daily existence. Our cortisol levels have been perpetually switched to the “on” position from this heightened state of alert.
What can we do? The ideal solution would be to keep calm and carry on, but our bodies don't work like that. Today's tensions aren't going away anytime soon, so given this reality, a few deep breathes won't cut it.
Definitely accept the things that can't change, change what can, and keep the faith. But physically, your body needs a little help when it comes to rebalancing cortisol levels, so you can get back to losing weight, melting off dangerous belly fat, and feeling like yourself again.
Unless you're living on a deserted island with no clue of what’s happening in the outside world, I suggest implementing one or more of these healthy habits to your daily rituals. When you find the right dosage and mix, you can feel your cortisol levels begin to lower.
Here is a winning strategy to bring your cortisol levels back to a “new” normal.
Walk, run, crawl, swim... BUT MOVE YOUR BODY!!!
Exercise helps use cortisol instead of fighting against it; unless of course, you push yourself too hard (gym addicts pay attention). Some of the best workouts you'll ever have will be a result of working off your stress.
NEWSFLASH: Eating makes it worse, NOT better. No place to walk or run? Do pushups or planks. All you need is a floor.
Stack your stress-lowering supplements to manage cortisol naturally.
The best stack everyone should be taking, regardless of their stress, is
Pure Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (take one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening). Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to work when it comes to regulating cortisol levels. LynFit's Pure Omega 3 is THE BEST source of concentrated omega 3. It's purified, so you don't need to stress about toxins or heavy metals.
CBD Daily Wellness (drops or gummies) also contain omega 3 essential fatty acids, and have the added benefit of calming you if you're really feeling stressed. So does 5-HTP Lean and Thyro-Boost. Read their product descriptions and see which feels like the best for you (don't stress over which; you'll know). CBD Daily Wellness, 5-HTP Lean and Thyro-Boost, in the right dose, can also help you sleep.
- Taking (1-2) Lean Sleep before bed will help you sleep better and be less stressed. Lean Sleep is the best when it comes to quieting an overactive mind, but without all the side effects that sleep mediations, prescriptions, and over-the-counter pills can have. Lean Sleep also helps fuel weight loss and accelerates fat-burning, while drugs do the opposite.
Stacking the above supplements and taking them primarily for their calming and relaxing properties, helps you get a good quality sleep, which is always good thing when it comes to controlling cortisol.
On the flipside, not getting good quality sleep is equally detrimental—both CBD Daily Wellness and Pure Omega 3, taken with Lean Sleep (or 5-HTP Lean) induce deeper sleep cycles. I've experienced all of these benefits firsthand. I take all the above nightly... cortisol be damned! I'm determined to get a good night's sleep!
Your mind and body are connected, so it’s crucial to learn how to control your mind, even in the midst of turmoil. Learn how to stay calm by focusing on your breath or saying a prayer (the sensitive prayer works) to help control your body's cortisol response.
I've never been very good at it either, but that’s why I work out, use supplements, and drink a Complete Protein Shake twice daily. It helps block cortisol secretions and prevents weight gain!
NOTE: IF your stress has been so bad that it’s affecting your gut health, and you're dealing with any kind of gastric distress, add Daily Repair Liquid twice daily to help heal your gut and prevent leaky gut, which depletes nutrients for your body.
Lisa Lynn, Clinical Metabolic Nutrition & Fitness Expert and Associate Chaplain. Best known for her 18+ years as Martha Stewart’s trainer, who was responsible for Martha’s over-50 amazing physical transformation that caught the attention of Dr. Oz, leading to her many appearances on the Dr. Oz Show. Lisa is not just another trainer; she herself lost 40 pounds and has kept it off, even with a sluggish thyroid and menopause.
- Lisa Lynn