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Note: These wellness articles do not replace medical guidance.



Love Losing the Cortisol Weight Gain


You are busy, you are tired, you are working out but that waistline area is not the narrow bliss of your once youthful form. What's a easy way to change this?

We all know that your waistline is correlated to overall health and wellness. Not to mention the satisfaction of glancing in a mirror and admiring your physique, of your loved one clasping your waist and feeling their hands, not through a layer of protection, but directly to your abs and softness . . . so magnificently intimate.

But, through stress, long hours, poor sleep, and quick food choices, you may have lost that once narrow midline. So, you may enjoy a few tips and tricks to reclaim your waistline.



Cortisol is a powerful hormone, one that is meant to protect us from stress but, when in excess, can lead to extreme fatigue, weight gain, poor regulation of sugar levels leading to excess hunger, and loss of your physical homeostasis, or balance. Your stomach area has a higher density of cortisol receptors than other areas of your body, and responds to increased cortisol by storing more fat in this area. Cortisol is also increased by long endurance workouts, high glycemic index food, and low glycogen levels.


Image from surfeareia.

Image from surfeareia.


What can you do? Emerging science combined with common sense can balance out those long hours and poor sleeps and stress levels. More details below, but for the busy person, try these few things with an attitude of pure enjoyment, pure pleasure:

  • daily high dose vitamin C to inhibit your fat storage enzyme

  • one minute a day guided deep breathing meditation every morning upon awakening

  • one minute a day guided deep breathing meditation around 4 pm daily

  • 7 hours of sleep a night minimum

  • consider supplements like ashwaganda, cortisol manager, holy basil, rhodiola, B6 to reduce stress; note that for all supplements, consult with your medical practitioner

  • three days a week, three repetitions of as many core exercises as you can do before fatiguing

  • eat low glycemic index foods: see list below

  • eat three times a day to avoid low glycogen levels, best to eat at regular times

  • repair gut function with collagen, probiotics, water, intermittent fasting, stimulant free days



  • create gorgeous sumptuous salads: artichoke, asparagus, 1/8th avocado, bamboo shoots, roasted broccoli, roasted beet, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, leek, green beans, sweet peas, radish, watercress, peeled tomatoes, salad greens - add lemon juice, fresh chopped herbs, minimal salt, pepper, a little dash of cayenne, a few nuts and seeds for crunch

  • enjoy delicious desserts or morning smoothies with fruits such as: cherries, grapefruit, apricot, pear, apple, berries, lemon, lime, nectarines, raspberries, kiwi

  • fuel lustrous hair and powerful muscles with protein from: peas, lentils, edamame, seeds and nuts (very low glycemic load), lean animal meat, fish; grill, bake, or pan fry with avocado oil lightly for low fat approaches

  • get glowing skin, a high octane brain, and absorb fat soluble vitamins with small portions healthy fats: avocado, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, fish like mackerel, salmon, herring

  • grains all have a relatively higher glycemic index so avoiding grains for 1-3 months can make a big difference to your waistline

The glycemic index shows which foods signal the pancreas, and which do not as much. High signals to the pancreas cause it to release more insulin, which tells your body to store the sugar in the blood in fat or muscle. So, if you aren't working out, that sugar goes straight to fat. By choosing foods low on the glycemic index, you give your pancreas a rest and have more sugar in your blood for your brain to operate off of over a longer period of time, leading to less hunger crashes, cravings, and variable attention span and mood.



  • pomegranate powder has 260% of your Vitamin C daily needs in 2 Tablespoons: add to a smoothie or homemade protein bars or frozen desserts

  • 2 kiwis have 137 mg as well as being a rich source of potassium and copper

  • mango has 122 mg in addition to being a great source of vitamin A; high on the glycemic index, however

  • a half cup of diced chilli peppers has 107.8 mg Vitamin C and also contains capsaicin which may relieve joint and muscle pain

  • one cup chopped red bell pepper has 190 mg

  • one cup papaya has 88 mg

  • one cup pineapple has 79 mg and also has enzymes that reduce bloating and help with digestion, and bromelain which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory for better recovery after workouts; has a high glycemic index however




Dr. M ~

Dr. Maia Love