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Does Cortisol Directly Cause Fat Gain?

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, but could it be making you gain fat? Let the experts at Vision Personal Training answer this for you.
Weight Loss Articles
Weight Loss Articles

By Tabitha Hudson at Wollongong

There currently is a huge hype on stress and its effects on weight loss in regards to certain hormones. First and foremost, we need to find out what is Cortisol?

When your body is stressed it release a hormone called cortisol which can cause bloating and fat storage especially around belly area.

Cortisol is responsible for regulating energy levels of the body and moving energy from fat stores to tissues that need it.

Now we need to know why does this happen? It is released in response to events and circumstances e.g. exercising, stress (big or acute) and lack of sleep.

Now this doesn't mean if cortisol is released that it's going to mess with weight loss, unless it gets out of control.

When these levels become elevated over long periods insulin resistance can take place which will lead to easier weight gain, and degradation of muscle mass which will slow down the metabolism.


What we need to remember is that no amount of cortisol can cause you to gain weight unless you give your body more energy than it burns.

So, I would consider it a myth that direct stress and cortisol does not cause fat gain. It affects the appetite which can result in weight gain.

To prevent this from happening ensure to exercise regularly to help the body better deal with the negative effects of stress, get enough sleep, back off on alcohol, eat a well balanced diet, and minimise stress.



*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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