10 Tips to Optimize Ketosis #6
My sixth tip for getting into and maintaining ketosis is:
Stress is a significant player when it comes to ketone levels. When you are stressed, cortisol levels rise. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released in response to our flight-or-fight mechanism.
During prolonged periods of stress, cortisol levels never have a chance to decrease, causing a series of adverse effects within the body. These adverse effects can include: increased gluconeogenesis; in severe cases, the break down of bone tissue resulting in osteoporosis; additional visceral fat that results in increased Insulin Resistance and inflammation; increased appetite and cravings; and a suppressed immune system function, which leads to a whole host of other issues.
The main way cortisol affects ketosis is that it elevates blood sugar levels through the process of gluconeogenesis. Increased cortisol can induce the body to break down proteins to make sugar, a process that "eats" your muscles. The corresponding rise in blood glucose can, and often does, affect your ketone levels. Chronically elevated blood glucose causes your body to produce more insulin in order to drive the blood sugar back down to its perceived normal. This poses a major problem, as sustained levels of high insulin can kick you out of ketosis and cause the body to pack on fat instead of burn it.
You can absolutely be doing everything right, in terms of the ketogenic diet, but if you are not taking measures to reduce your stress you may find ketosis, and consequently weight loss, out of your reach.
Long-term stress can suppress thyroid and adrenal functions as well as imbalance your hormones. Nervousness, depression, brain fog, poor memory, excessive hunger, digestive issues, auto-immune disorders, decreased immune system function, and insomnia are just a few of the conditions that can result from stress.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the need to identify and eliminate your stressors.
Taking measures to identify and manage your stress can go a long way in helping you to establish and maintain adequate levels of nutritional ketosis.
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