Every physiological “agent” in your body is there to PROTECT you. Evolution, God, Universe, whatever it is you believe made humans – put systems in place to protect us.
Whether it be a hormone, an enzyme, whatever…It always has a good intention:
To save our dumb asses when we are doing or about to do something stupid.
Let’s take cortisol, the stress hormone.
When you are under stress or in some real danger, cortisol makes you alert, raises your blood sugar levels and gets you prepared to run away from a tiger or whatever other emergency.
As such, the whole “stress-response” system is by all means a GOOD thing.
If you didn’t have that, you’d simply step in front of a car or jump off the building.
Wouldn’t be that good for survival nor the future of human race.
So acute (temporary) elevations of cortisol are positive.
It’s only when we are CHRONICALLY stressed out, and our cortisol is elevated all the time…That we run into trouble.
Chronically elevated cortisol leads to high blood sugar and high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, insulin resistance and it also makes you crave carbs…
Which can (and often does) lead to weight gain.
Interestingly enough, athletes have been shown to have a much higher “intensity” of ACUTE response to stress (such as training or competition) compared to non-athletes…
But they are also better at reducing stress throughout the rest of the day. Which makes sense since their “stress response” system works better overall.
So instead of blaming cortisol (or any other hormone) for “making me fat”, remember that hormones do what they do only in response to our actions and reactions.
This is true for cortisol, insulin, thyroid hormones and all others.
Learn to manage your stress (sleep, exercise, sex, meditation, weed) and cortisol will become a good friend, as it was designed to be.
– Father Fitness