Lesson #4: Hormonal Reset #4 – Cortisol

HORMONAL RESET - CORTISOL

CORTISOL

Here are some ways to rebalance your cortisol levels. 
 
 Coffee is our favourite upper, but it’s highly addictive. While it may be the most socially acceptable stimulant, many people don’t realise it’s a drug. What you need to know is that coffee becomes toxic at certain levels and may shift your mood from alert to anxious, disrupt your sleep, and give you palpitations—what Is described as overstimulation.
 
Regular consumption of caffeine disconnects you from natural circadian rhythms (sleep cycle)
Without these natural rhythms, your hormones misfire and you can become fatter. That’s because coffee elevates cortisol, one of your body’s key fat-storage hormones. 
On average, people who have sleep pattern issues tend to drink over 3 cups of coffee per day. 
 
Going through life with high cortisol levels robs you of that needed relaxed state of mind, restful sleep, and control over your weight. Caffeine is another way that people attempt to change their state. 
Life is hard, and you reach for caffeine to feel that extra energy you feel you need, or you reach for a bar of chocolate to cope with pain or boredom.
I’m not saying coffee is the only factor to higher stress levels but it is certainly a big factor. 
 
How do you know if you are addicted to caffeine and/or need to reset your cortisol?
 
Answer the following questions to see if you any apply to you or have in the past 3 months. 
 
– Are you having difficulty sleeping?
 
    – Do you drink coffee or caffeinated beverages most days of the week?
 
    – Do you struggle with anxiety or irritability?
 
    – Do you drink three or more servings of alcohol per week?
 
    – Do you overeat when stressed?
 
    – Have you been told you have high and/or low blood sugar?
 
    – Does the idea of quitting coffee seem outrageous and leave you looking for ways to avoid giving it up?
 
    – Do you suffer from burnout—physical or emotional exhaustion from chronic stress?
 
– Have you been told that your DHEA or testosterone levels are low?
 
– Do you feel yourself getting more sluggish the more caffeine you ingest?
 
If you suffer from 4 of more of the above questions, chances are you have higher than normal cortisol levels. 
Pair that with high daily stress from other factors such as work, deadlines, commuting to and from work, kids and you are setting yourself up for ongoing cortisol overload. 
 
We hear all sorts of conflicting information about the benefits and drawbacks of caffeine. You might be wondering just how harmful your cup of coffee is to your health, especially if you’re addicted and feeling skeptical about why you need to cut it out of your nutrition plan. To set the record straight on caffeine and weight, and why its a good to give up your beloved caffeine for the next seven days.
 
The problem with caffeine is that most people consume too much, then show signs of toxicity. How much is too much depends on your age, your cortisol levels, your stress resilience, and how you process caffeine. For the average adult, toxicity occurs at 350-500 milligrams (1 single shot is around 110mg). Lower doses may cause toxicity if you metabolise caffeine slowly.
 
 
Bottom line… All of us benefit from taking time off from caffeine and seeing what happens—to our sleep, weight, and energy.
 
We know caffeine is not the only way to shoot up our cortisol Levels but it is one of our most common go to stimulants on a daily basis. 
 
The takeaway from all of this is that I believe you must remove coffee (temporarily of course) if you want to lose weight, reduce stress, sleep better, live longer, and reset your metabolic hormones.
 
 
Here are some simple rules for 7 days to reset your stress and cortisol levels, and remember to continue the rules you’ve already implemented from the previous resets:
 
  1.  Eliminate all caffeine. This includes coffee, black tea, caffeinated green tea, and energy drinks.
 
  Caffeine Alternatives List: Hot water with lemon and cayenne, hot water with cardamom, herbal teas, mushroom teas 
 
  2.  Continue eating 250gm of vegetables per day, along with healthy fats and proteins. 
 
What else helps lower cortisol whilst going caffeine free and improving your metabolism?.
 
    – Get at least 10 minutes of sunlight per day and focus on your breathing. 
This helps you make more melatonin, which is another body clock regulator, along with cortisol.
 
–  Make bedtime darker. The light suppresses your pineal gland (the endocrine gland in the middle of your brain that secretes melatonin).
 
–    Take your vitamins. Melatonin is made in your body from serotonin, and you can make more with the help of a little vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Aim for 50 to 100 milligrams per day of vitamin B6 and 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams per day of vitamin C.
 
–    Actively lower your stress by making it a priority every day to feel and express gratitude. This is a great formula to follow to fight high stress levels. 
 
One tip that I highly recommend to change your habit when you wake up and feel a surge of energy is:
Upon waking jump into a cold pool or shower immediately. Don’t give yourself time to think why you shouldn’t do it. Just do it!
(For the 2-3 min while you are in the cold just focus on your deep breathing. Try to get 30 deep breaths before jumping out of the cold water).
 
Doing this cold plunge and breathing technique instantly changes your bodies chemical state. 
 
Partner this with internal feelings of gratitude and this a great remedy for lowering cortisol and bringing your body to a balanced state.
 
This may seem a bit out there for some of you but all you can do is try this method to see for yourself. Perform it for a week and see how you feel. 
 
High stress levels is an obstacle to overcome when you are trying to drop weight and see some great results for your health. 
Learning the methods to overcome this is one thing. Performing the actions once you learn them is another. 
 
Take action with all the above information and I can assure you, you will feel a big difference in yourself.