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‘Apple’ shaped waist line – an adrenal issue

An ‘apple’ shaped waist is a sign of an imbalanced, sluggish metabolism. This is not therefore as simple as just a dietary issue & going on a diet is not going to be the solution to shifting this type of weight gain. This type of weight gain requires a much more technical approach as it is necessary to change the biochemistry of the body, this way the body gets the signal that it is ok to let go of the fat around the midriff.

The main reason why people aquire an ‘apple’ waist line is thanks to the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is released along with adrenaline by the adrenal glands (stress glands found close to the kidneys) when the brain thinks there is a threat / stressful situation. For prehistoric man the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism was invaluable in saving them from danger & attack by wild animals. During ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline increases alertness meaning man was ready to stand & fight, or run away as fast as they could. At the same time cortisol increases fat & glucose levels in the blood to provide the energy to deal with this dangerous situation.

These days this ‘fight or flight’ mechanism is exactly the same however now the problem lies in the fact that our brain has not evolved to differentiate between a life threatening situation where a lot of energy is needed & day to day stresses such as late trains, work deadlines, worrying about debt, & a never ending email inbox. Feeling stressed these days can be pretty constant which means we can have a regular flow of cortisol releasing extra fat & glucose into our blood stream. Because our day to day stress is often not physical & we do not use up this extra energy it can get redeposited as fat particularly around the midriff (close to the liver so that it can be reconverted back into energy when there is another stressful situation).

Also high cortisol levels lead to an increased appetite particularly for refined carbohydrates & fat rich foods. The aim of this mechanism is to be able to replenish the energy stores following running away or fighting for your life. Our stress mostly not being physical but mental these days means that if you give in to these urges this extra food intake will get redeposited in the same place as the fat deposits from cortisol – around the midriff.


If you’re wondering if your weight is being affected by the stress hormone cortisol & adrenal stress give us a call on 0845 0502 442 for further investigation & solutions.



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