General Warm Up
Do you subscribe to the Twitter updates of The Poliquin Group? If not, you might enjoy it. They routinely produce great content around lifting, eating, and general wellness and tweet new content quite often. Over the weekend I read a great article about balancing cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone and hormones control your metabolism. So how do you balance cortisol levels? Here are 10 ideas from The Poliquin Group to start getting your cortisol levels balanced. These are the bold points, but the article is much more in depth and worth the read. Click the title below to read the full article.
#1: Do exercise, prioritizing strength training and interval workouts.
Exercise will improve the ratio between testosterone and cortisol, and it helps to balance cortisol in people with a poorly functioning metabolism.
#2: Don’t do long workouts (more than an hour). Don’t do intervals and lifting in the same session.
A properly designed workout will fatigue your central nervous system and your muscles in 60 minutes. Go in with focus and drive and get it done.
#3: Be physically active throughout the day.
It’s super important that you avoid sitting around all day because lack of physical activity also leads to high cortisol and hormone imbalances.
#4: Eat in a way that allows you to avoid hunger and cravings.
If you’re just starting to fix your eating habits, or you’ve been living on high-carb processed foods for a while, try eating 5 to 6 meals a day for better metabolic hormone balance.
#5: Don’t fast unless you’ve got your metabolic hormones balanced.
If you’ve got your nutrition dialed in and don’t get crazy hungry from a low meal frequency, 1 or 2 meals with intermittent fasting may work well.
#6: Do eat a nutrient-rich lower carb, higher protein diet.
A lower carb, higher protein diet balances hormones because insulin response to meals is lower and insulin sensitivity improves.
#7: Don’t turn to high-sugar, junk foods when stressed.
High cortisol literally blunts your ability to make rationale food choices. When cortisol is elevated, a part of the brain is activated that desires pleasurable foods, but goal-oriented parts of the brain are reduced.
#8: Do stay hydrated.
Research shows that dehydration can elevate cortisol and lead to an unfavorable ratio between cortisol and other metabolic hormones.
#9: Don’t dose caffeine throughout the day.
If you suffer anxiety, avoid caffeine.
#10: Do fun stuff: Laugh, play with your pets, listen to music, be social.
Activities that make you happy have been found to balance cortisol.
Again the above are only the bold points, but a much more thorough explanation of each is found within the article. Take a few minutes and click the head line above and read the entire article.