Stress is absolutely everywhere & believe it or not, you can lower your stress hormone to lose your spare tire.
Can it be this simple?
Well, when you walk around like AAAAHHHH!!! all the time it’s not good for your body (or mind).
The natural “fight or flight” stress response is supposed to help you escape injury or death in an emergency and then return to normal after you “fight” or “escape”. But… sometimes that response can go a little overboard. In our society it has become the norm for this stress response to becomes a long-term reaction.
When stress is a long-term reaction (when your stress levels are always high), it becomes chronic. Your body shouldn’t be in reaction mode all the time.
Your body encounters stressors every day (some good some not so good), but you should be able to recover from them fairly quickly. When your bombarded with stressors constantly, that’s when you may start to find inches showing up around your middle. Good news though. It is possible to lower your stress hormone to lose your spare tire.
You may have heard of the main stress hormone, called “cortisol.” It’s released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s supposed to be higher in the morning to get you going (it’s your body’s way of waking you up Without cups of coffee), and slowly declines during the day to get you ready for bed and so you can sleep (without taking a sleep aid or something to help you rest).
Some Things That Raise Cortisol
- Intense Prolonged Exercise
- Long Commutes
- Excess Alcohol Consumption
- Poor Sleep
- Being Overweight
- EMF Exposure
These are just a few common things that can raise your cortisol levels. So, you can see how it’s possible to constantly have elevated cortisol. Did you know when your levels are too-high it can lead to increased belly fat, poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even lowers your immunity?
Do you experience any of these? If you do, then read on because I have a list of foods, nutrients and lifestyle recommendations to help you lower your stress hormone to lose your spare tire. And it’s all natural!
Foods & Nutrients to Lower C
Let’s start with one of the biggies that increases your cortisol… sugar.
If you want to lower your stress hormone to lose weight you should start by reducing the sugar you eat and drink. Not only will it start bringing down that cortisol, it’s a great step toward better health for your mind & body.
High doses of caffeine also increase your cortisol levels. If coffee makes you feel anxious and jittery, then cut back on the amount of caffeine you ingest. (check out THIS POST to see if you should ditch your coffee routine.)
Something you may not think would increase your cortisol is being dehydrated. So, make sure you’re drinking enough water every day (I like to drink a minimum of ½ my body weight in pounds), especially if you feel thirsty!
Eating a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods doesn’t just help reduce your stress hormone, it will give your body the nourishment it need & help all aspects of your health.
Another way you can lower your cortisol levels is by drinking tea and eating dark chocolate The video below tells you what to look for). Having a bit may help you unwind, instead of reaching for the wine.
Don’t forget your probiotics and prebiotics! There is so much new research about the gut-mind connection, and how taking care of your friendly gut microbes is key! Make sure you’re eating probiotic rich fermented foods and getting a healthy dose of prebiotic fiber. (You can find a probiotic friendly recipe HERE)
Lifestyle Techniques to Lower C
Food isn’t the only thing that makes it possible to lower your stress hormone to lose your spare tire. There are also things you can do with your time if you want to lose some of those inches.
Reduce your stress with mindfulness. Many studies show that reducing stressful thoughts and worry reduces cortisol.
Get enough exercise. Intense exercise (like intervals) increases cortisol levels temporarily, but it can reduce overall cortisol levels. On the other hand, more doesn’t equal better!
Getting adequate sleep is way too underrated. Sleep reduces cortisol levels and also helps improve your overall health in so many ways. Also make sure the sleep you’re getting is quality sleep! You shouldn’t be tossing & turning all night.
Relax and have fun. Things like deep breathing, massages, listening to relaxing music, or dancing in the kitchen with your kids all reduce cortisol.
Be social to bust loneliness. Would you believe me if I told you that science has shown health risks from social isolation and loneliness? It’s true! Maintaining good relationships and spending time with people you like and who support you is key. So, have a fun night out with your friends!
Too much of the stress hormone cortisol can have several negative impacts on your health. There are many proven ways to reduce levels of cortisol naturally.
In terms of foods and nutrients, have less sugar and caffeine. And have more water, fruit, tea, dark chocolate, probiotics, and prebiotics.
Lifestyle factors are huge when it comes to cortisol. To lower yours, exercise (but not too much), get more sleep, relax, and have more fun.
If you want a few more ways to help lower your stress levels, check out THIS article where I share 7 Ways to Bring Down Your Stress Levels in a Flash.
In the comments below, let me know your favorite ways to bust the stress hormone cortisol! This pudding recipe may be one you can add to your list 😊
De-Stressing Chocolate Pudding
- 3 Ripe Hass Avocados or 1 Large Green Florida Avocado
- ¼ C Cacao Powder or more for an intense chocolate flavor
- ¼ C Maple Syrup
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pinch salt
Place all ingredients into a food processor or powerful blender and blend until smooth.
Serve & enjoy!
- For a sugar-free option, use stevia in place of the maple syrup.
- If you want a thinner pudding, try adding a little water or plant-based milk.
- Try adding a tsp of instant organic coffee or Dandy Blend (no caffeine & great for the liver) to enhance the chocolate flavor.
- Toss in 1 tsp of Cacao Nibs to each bowl for an added crunch.
- Add a pinch of cinnamon for a little flavor boost.