Have you put on weight and can’t lose it? You watch what you eat. You’ve tried all the latest diets. You take time to exercise. Still, you just can’t seem to lose those extra pounds.
Have you found an effective new regimen, only to start out shedding pounds, then suddenly you hit a plateau? At a certain point, the numbers may inexplicably even start climbing again! You are not alone. Here are some frightening statistics:
- 73.6% (187M) of the 255 million American adults are now overweight.
- 42% are obese (107M), including 9.0% with severe obesity, and another 31.1% are highly overweight.
- There are about 112 M American dieters.
- Unfortunately, among dieters, about 90% gain back the weight they’ve lost and then some within 3 years. They cannot keep it off long-term.
It seems like an unwinnable battle. But what if there was another path towards optimal health?
A Well-Kept Weight Control Secret
Here’s something you probably didn’t know: No matter what diet you’re on, it is physiologically impossible to lose weight long term when cortisol is out of balance. If losing weight were simply a matter of calories in, calories out, we wouldn’t have a worldwide obesity crisis, says Shawn Talbott, who holds a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry and is the author of The Cortisol Connection: Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health – And What You Can Do About It. “The science has evolved over the last couple of years and now we see it’s not strictly a math problem. It’s essentially a problem of hormones and neurotransmitter signaling.
Introducing Cortisol, Your Master Hormone
How can you take control of your weight if you don’t understand what’s impacting it? There’s a little-discussed factor that may be behind your struggles, and it’s called cortisol.
Cortisol is an absolutely essential hormone – the savior in our “fight or flight” response to trouble. And it affects most of the biological processes in your body. When you are stressed – and who isn’t these days – cortisol surges into the bloodstream and the result is nasty. When cortisol levels are too high, the body starts to break down bone and muscle, increase visceral fat deposits, and more.
The good news is that by understanding your cortisol levels, you can take back control of your health. While monitoring cortisol may sound like a silver bullet and too good to be true, in actuality, it could be the very thing that is preventing you from maintaining your ideal body weight.”
Even a 10% or 20% increase in cortisol levels throughout the day can significantly affect your health and weight, resulting in:
- A craving for sugar and other carbs
- High blood sugar
- Poor digestion
- Increased appetite
- Reduced metabolic rate
- Increased fat storage inside your abdomen and around your organs
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which can cause a condition known as metabolic syndrome, with increases in blood pressure, blood sugar, intra-abdominal fat deposits, serum triglycerides, and risk for heart attack and stroke.
From Stressed And Overweight To Trim And Thriving
To reach your weight loss goal, you first need to address how much stress you’re under and find effective methods of reducing it. You also need to understand the way food and exercise influence cortisol levels. Here are some tips for lowering cortisol.
- Pinpoint the source of your stress and get help dealing with it
- Engage in stress-reducing tactics like meditation, mindfulness practices, deep breathing techniques, and moderate exercise
- Intermittent fasting gives your body time to become metabolically flexible and switch from burning sugar to burning fat
- Eat fresh, whole foods, including fish, poultry, whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats (specifically omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, avocados, flaxseed, nuts and seeds, which help reduce inflammation and, therefore, cortisol
- Monitor caffeine intake (including coffee, black tea, some sodas, energy boosting beverages), especially in the morning when cortisol levels are already naturally high
- Drink (alcohol) responsibly; not only does alcohol increase cortisol output, in heavy drinkers cortisol’s natural decline over the day may be reduced
- Drink water; being dehydrated by just half a liter can increase cortisol levels
- Engage in 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 3 times a week
Weight Loss/Health Gained
In the process of managing cortisol to achieve long term weight loss, you’re also helping to improve your mood, cognitive functions, immunity, digestion, allergies, cardiovascular health, sports performance, fertility, sex drive, and slow the aging process.
If you want to discover the most effective way to monitor cortisol levels, there is a new way of measuring cortisol using a home test via a phone app that gives you a reading with lab accuracy. By observing your daily cortisol rhythm, you can get a nuanced, real-time picture of what cortisol is doing inside your body and mind, enabling you to finally take control of your weight and health. Learn more at paradigm.com.
Wibe Wagemans spent two years researching every scientific paper on cortisol and other hormones and has interviewed the world’s leading scientists/PhDs, who have studied cortisol across many medical disciplines (endocrinology, gynecology, psychology, gastroenterology, physiology). He has a comprehensive understanding of the role cortisol plays, is an engaging speaker and can converse in ways that nonscientists can understand. Wagemans is a CEO, serial entrepreneur, and pioneer in mobile and AI technology. He was the first in the world to build an AI bot and an online video game on mobile. His most recent company, Huuuge Games Inc., made its IPO in 2021 for $1.2 billion. Since 2006, he’s been running and advising startups in Silicon Valley, where he built such brands as Angry Birds and Big Fish. He is the founder of Pardigm,Inc., the world’s first company to offer rapid saliva tests to measure cortisol within a few minutes.
Ioana A. Bina, M.D., Ph.D., is a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine. She holds her M.D. and a Ph.D. in endocrinology from Carol Davila University in Bucharest, Romania, and completed her internal medicine, gastroenterology, and nutrition fellowship training at Yale University. She undertook advanced studies in endocrinology, metabolism, and nutrition at Rouen University in France. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Pardigm, Inc.
Wagemans and Bina are co-authors of Cortisol: The Master Hormone. Learn more at Pardigm.com.