Have you ever tried hard to diet or pushed yourself in the gym without getting the results you wanted? Your cortisol levels may be to blame.
Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that manages your body’s daily rhythm and affects your weight. In order to live a healthy balanced life, you should have higher cortisol levels in the morning and lower ones at night. But some people make too much cortisol, some don’t make enough and others make it at the wrong times. Thankfully, a simple diet change can help regulate your cortisol levels regardless of where they are now. This is where carbs come in.
Carbs have been shown to raise blood sugar more than proteins or fats. When your blood sugar drops, your body makes extra cortisol to bring it back up again. So eating more carbs brings down cortisol levels, which explains why people who eat too few carbs can end up with high cortisol leading to sleep problems and a weakened immune system.
You’ve probably been told that if you eat carbs, you should eat them in the morning. However, eating a controlled amount of healthy carbs at night can actually regulate your ever-important cortisol rhythm and encourage weight loss.
I tested this same idea in a clinical trial with a group of people who had a hard time losing weight. The 42 subjects had all struggled with unsuccessful diets – most looking to lose around 30 pounds. Over the course of the 30-day study, they consumed one serving (1/4 cups) of cooked carbohydrates with breakfast, 2 servings with lunch, and 3 with dinner. These carbs were paired with one serving of proteins and fats at each meal.
The results were uncanny. The participants saw their cortisol levels get healthier and reported fewer starch cravings, higher energy levels and better depth of sleep. They also had an average weight reduction of 2 dress sizes within the first month.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, carbs may not be the enemy.
Trying the 1-2-3 serving approach to carbohydrate cycling may be the ticket to finally getting down to the weight you want.
Here are the carbs, proteins and fats that I recommend for the best results.
- Buckwheat 1/4 cup cooked
- Adzuki beans 1/4 cup cooked
- Boiled potatoes 1/4 cup cooked
- Kabocha squash 1/4 cup cooked
- Brown rice 1/4 cup cooked
- Wild salmon 4-6 ounces
- Shrimp 4-6 ounces
- Organic white meat poultry 4-6 ounces
- Vegetable-based protein powder 24-35 grams
- Lean grass fed meat 4-6 ounces
- Avocado 1/4 of a medium fruit
- Almonds 1/2 ounce
- Macadamia oil 2 tsp
- Pumpkin seeds 1/2 ounce
- Unsweetened coconut meat 1/2 ounce
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