Adrenaline & Cortisol are the two main stress hormones produced by the Adrenal glands.
These hormones are very useful when we need to get out of danger; not so great when our modern life and stress levels keep us chronically in a state of over-production.
Natural Cortisol levels that we need to wake us up and go about our business in the daytime can remain elevated by STRESS!
They can also be elevated by a house too brightly lit in the evening time, and overstimulation via watching TV and working late.
During Pregnancy and the early Post Natal period, Cortisol is naturally high.
During pregnancy, the hormonal signals have been set to ensure fat is stored in preparation for feeding the baby.In the postnatal months, Cortisol levels remain high due to the stresses of pregnancy, birth. adjusting to early motherhood, poor sleeping.
It is also thought that elevated Cortisol and other stress hormones have the effect of keeping the mother alert and aware of any possible dangers to her baby and may have a role in the attachment process.
Being an older mother is also a factor in holding fat as by the mid to late 30’s the body is preparing for menopause!!
As women head towards menopause the body will automatically be reluctant to let go of fat around the middle as this is where Oestrogen is mainly manufactured.
This happens because the body knows that Oestrogen will help protect our bones from Osteoporosis so the body tries to hold onto the fat to hold onto the Oestrogen to prevent Osteoporosis which it obviously considers to be a greater threat than having a fat belly!
The ultimate problem is that abdominal fat cells have four times as many receptors for Cortisol than anywhere else in your body! Fat is stored around the middle simply because there, it’s closer to the liver where it can be quickly accessed to be converted back into energy if needed.
If you’re continually too stressed, your abdominal fat cells will be calling out for Cortisol and encouraging the body to store fat around the abdominals!
Excessive production of stress hormones leads to adrenal fatigue which presents itself as chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, musculoskeletal aches and pains and headaches, the list goes on….
Obeying our natural rhythms of sleep and rest – our CIRCADIAN RHYTHM allows the adrenals to rest and Human Growth Hormone to be produced – vital for optimal fat metabolism.
Caffeine, sugar, tobacco and LOW BLOOD SUGAR create EMERGENCY situations within our systems and signal STRESS, they are ALL best avoided!
Rachel Law is a personal fitness trainer based in New Malden, Surrey. Qualifications: ActivIQ Level 3 Personal Training; Burrell Education Pregnancy Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education Advanced Pregnancy Wellness Practitioner; Burrell Education Advanced Post Natal Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education 3rd Age Women Optimal Health and Nutrition; Burrell Education Peri Natal Athlete; Burrell Education Pelvic Flow and Freedom; Olympic Weight Lifting; Premier Global Kettlebells; FIE Level Assessment and Mentoring