The Relationship Between Cortisol And Belly Fat

Did you know that your stress levels can actually inhibit your body’s ability to burn fat? If you’re having difficulty losing that belly fat, it’s time to go deeper than just reducing caloric intake and increasing exercise. 

I couldn’t even tell you the number of people that I’ve worked with in my private practice that were doing all sorts of HIIT training, low-carb diets, or having a low caloric intake and yet were still unable to get rid of the fat in their mid-section.

The problem is that a lot of people begin to go on a low caloric diet combined with a high caloric output (exercise) and this is a very dangerous game to play. It will start affecting the hormones, destroy the thyroid and lead to estrogen dominance and adrenal issues. 



When the body has elevated levels of stress and therefore more glucose, it is in a survival state. If this happens, your body will begin to lower metabolic rate – it does this to keep you alive!

The body is extremely objective, it cannot differentiate between the types of stressors. It will think that you’re being chased by a wild animal or are lacking resources whenever you perceive a stressor.

A perceived stressor varies from person to person. It might be traffic for you or an angry boss for someone else. The problem is that a lower metabolism means that you’ll now need less calories to keep you going so your body will not burn as much fuel on a daily basis.

If you don’t address the underlying root cause (stress in this case), you will have to keep lowering your caloric intake in order to prevent weight gain.


Stage 1


Whenever you perceive a stressor, the adrenals will produce two main hormones: 

  1. Norepinephrine: This starts the ‘fight or flight’ response.
  2. Cortisol: This produces glucocorticoids, which are actually made from cholesterol (this is why elevated levels of cortisol can cause high cholesterol in people that follow an optimal diet).

Stage 2


The body now needs a fast fuel source due to the stress, so it brings the sugar into the bloodstream.

Stage 3


The body will have an excess of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream that is not able to get into the cells. This means that you will not use the sugar as a source of fuel and it will be stored as body fat. It will begin to accumulate around the midsection even if you’re a vata body type in Ayurveda (thinner constitution).


There is always a reason to feel stressed. The question is, how will you respond to this stressor? 

My guided meditations at Synergised Nutrition are not traditional meditations that are about emptying your mind and relaxing you for a few minutes. They are about reconditioning your mind so you can begin to respond to stressors differently. 

If you practice this on a daily basis (remember, it’s all about consistency), you will begin to regulate your cortisol levels which will then have an impact on your belly fat.

So yes, a good meditation can help you burn belly fat. I’ve seen this happen not only to me but to hundreds of clients that began to implement this practice on a daily basis.

You can also run an incredible at-home test that measures your cortisol output at four different times throughout the day. A great test to look at your stress levels!

Remember, there is an answer to everyone’s illnesses. Sometimes it’s a quick one and sometimes it takes a little bit longer. However, the good news is that you can absolutely get there and I’ve seen these hundreds of times in my private practice. We just need to look at all the reasons why you might be suffering from a particular health issue.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.