Cortisol makes you fat.
Boo. Did I scare you? Homo habilis was scared quite a lot. He’s walking around minding his own gotdamn business. Trying to dig up some roots or pick up some fallen fruit and this gigantic roar makes him piss all over himself and have diarrhea. He was emptying everything out that he could so that he could be lighter and run faster and further.
Cortisol was dumped into his bloodstream. Now he has to choose fight versus flight. If he fights his cortisol level will drop rapidly because he will be dead. If he takes off running he might live to see another day and then his cortisol levels will go back to normal. Unless of course he takes his refuge in a Lions den.
Cortisol works by helping make glucose readily available for use, gluconeogenesis. It calls on all available glucose to be utilized for energy.
So why is that a bad thing burning glucose is good right? Of course it is but what is needed to assimilate glucose? You guessed it our old friend insulin.
So why is this still a problem I mean if we get scared or stressed and glucose is burned and then we stop being scared or stressed then cortisol level go back to normal.
Unfortunately the adrenal glands don’t know the difference between the stress caused by a roar and the stress caused by a deadline, a car not starting, and asshole cutting you off, or your kid getting an F.
We have all day stressors unlike Homo habilis that had his 15 minute stressers 3 times a week.
With these all day stressors and very little down time from stress cortisol is surging through our veins burning up glucose eliciting an insulin response and sooner or later we become insulin-resistant so we need more insulin to burn a smaller amount of glucose. We get fat.
Proof is in the Vegan Pudding
If you have Cushing’s syndrome you’re constantly secreting a higher level of cortisol causing glucose to assimilate causing insulin to be secreted, you get fat
If you have Addison’s disease you secrete a very low amount of cortisol you get skinny…. Don’t get excited about Addison’s disease because you also get fatigue, mood swings, and many other unpleasant symptoms.
Cortisol is more of a correlation than a causation: it is a correlation in that it elicits gluconeogenesis causing the need for insulin which is the causation of weight gain.
For that very reason it is easier to cut off the correlation and not needing to deal directly with the causation.
Destress instead of distress. Now is the time that you will see the link between intermittent fasting and me talking about breathing techniques.
So now a nice deep cleansing breath in through your nose 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 hold it 5 4 3 2 1 exhale always twice as long as your inhale.
We have to stop the stress.
There’s mindful meditation, exercise, sex, vodka. Probably less of the last one.
Decrease stress, decrease cortisol, decrease weight.