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Does your body store fat around the middle?  If so, you are what Gok Wan so lovingly calls “apple-shaped”. It could be due to your hormones and not your diet.  Lifestyle changes can make a massive difference, giving most people a waist and a flat stomach in about ten weeks.

  • You don’t have to be under stress for your body to release stress hormones.
  • Stress is not just emotional
  • If your body THINKS you are under stress, cortisol is released
  • Caffeine increases cortisol .  (Lovallo et al, 2008)
  • A low calorie diet is, to the human body, a stressful famine.  (Tomiyama et al 2010)
  • The evolutionary response to famine is to increase cortisol and adrenaline.
  • Too much adrenaline can make a person feel fearful.
  • It is misleading to call cortisol “the stress hormone”: You cannot live without cortisol.
  • If you have a round belly, you can LOWER your cortisol to recreate yourself with a trim tum.

There is a complex interaction between cortisol  and all of the body’s , including hunger and stress.

What is stress? 

“….the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it .” Hans Selye, pioneer in stress research.

 How does stress affect stomach fat?

“How you respond to and cope with stress determines your appetite, body composition and overall fitness level”, Dr Pamela Peeke.



 Lovallo, W.R. Ph.D., Whitsett, T L., MD, al’Absi, M.,  PhD, Hee Sung, B., PhD, Vincent, A.S., PhD, and Wilson, M. F. , MD. February 2008 Psychosomatic Medicine, Caffeine Stimulation of Cortisol Secretion Across the Waking Hours in Relation to Caffeine Intake Levels


Peeke, P. (2001) Fight Fat After Forty, Piatkus books

Selye, H. (1978), The Stress of Life, McGraw Hill, New York,

Tomiyama A.J., Mann T., Vinas D., Hunger J.M., DeJager J. and Taylor S.E., (2010) Low Calorie Dieting Increases Cortisol, Psychosomatic Medicine