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It said that sometimes belly fat is a result of excess cortisol which causes accumulation of fat due to stress.

Written by Moez Aryan

"I was reading about weight loss and I found out something really strange on various websites. It said that sometimes belly fat is a result of excess cortisol which causes accumulation of fat due to stress. So they said that such bodies should not do intense exercise as it would cause even more stress, produce even more cortisol and lead to more fat!!! It said that adrenal kind bodies should stick to low intensity longer duration aerobic exercise while all other body types should do high intensity short duration exercise like resistance exercise or interval training. So how do I determine what is my body type and should I do short duration high intensity workout or long duration low intensity workout?”

That’s a good question. This is absolutely correct. You can find out about your cortisol levels through blood tests and saliva tests (the latter is a better option although I don’t know of a place that does that in the country yet). If you live in Islamabad let me know and I will refer you to a lab that give my clients 25% discount. You can find out about your stress through that. Most people are extremely stressed all the time. Our bodies still cannot differentiate between the stress of a tiger running after us or the stress of a work deadline. Stress is stress and the body will process it the same way by producing cortisol. However, I should add that the stress of a tiger running after us is something we were supposed to live with and does not harm us. If that stress response was not there we would end up as a good meal and we wouldn't make it so far. That kind of stress also makes us produce adrenaline. It is, in fact, the chronic stress that destroys us (stress of a boss, job, studies, computer, relationships, children, etc).

However, at your age, I see it very improbable that you would have adrenal fatigue. You might have high cortisol levels here and there but that’s perfectly normal. So extremely low intensity exercise or traditional aerobic is not a smart option. Please read this and this post if you need to know why aerobic is not a good option.


But one can go a LONG way with a good diet. It's true, excess cortisol does accumulate fat on the abdomen, but you can still get rid of that with proper exercise and nutrition planning. To learn more about what a good diet is like visit this page


or read this


Moez Aryan
Physique Coach & Nutritionist


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