Estrogen and Cortisol: 2 Hormones That Affect Belly Fat: Thomas DeLauer


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Estrogen and Cortisol: 2 Hormones That Affect Belly Fat: Thomas DeLauer


Estrogen is known as the “female” hormone and testosterone is known as the “male” hormone.

Although they’re identified with a specific gender, both hormones are found in women and men. Women have more estrogen and men have more testosterone

It’s also the hormone that can be the most troublesome in the fat department

At normal levels, estrogen actually helps keep you lean by increasing the production of insulin, a hormone that manages blood sugar. When estrogen gets thrown off, though, it turns you into a weight-gain machine.

Xenoestrogens are fat-soluble and non-biodegradable in nature.

Unfortunately, accumulating estrogen is not hard. We are constantly exposed to estrogen-like compounds since the major sources of these Xenoestrogens are pesticides, detergents, petroleum products, plastic products, cosmetics, etc. (1)

Fat Gain

The “thickening” of women’s bodies and the “softening” of men’s bodies are often related to excess estrogen.

When in excess, estrogen promotes the growth of estrogen sensitive tissues, leading to an increased size of adipose (fat) tissues in the waist, belly and other estrogen sensitive fat tissues

In men, fat accumulation is typically in the belly and chest; for women, in the belly, lower butt, upper thighs and sometimes in the back of the arms.
In some cases, excess estrogen causes feminization of men’s bodies with conditions such as genecomastia.

Estrogen sensitive fat tissues are also called “stubborn fat” due to their high resistance to fat burning. Generally, not even diet or exercise can help remove this estrogen sensitive tenacious fat.

Excess estrogen works in a vicious cycle. Estrogen promotes fat gain, and the enlarged fat tissue produces more estrogen within its cells, which then promotes more fat gain, and so on.


Back in the bad old hunter-gatherer days, the human species got a lot of use out of the hormone cortisol. That’s the stress hormone activated during the fight-or-flight response, causing our blood pressure to rise and heart rate to increase.

But in the modern world, there’s little need to either fight or flee. Yet the cortisol release remains functional in the species, only now it’s activated in response to the stressors of modern society (e.g., bad traffic, malfunctioning machinery, domestic discord) rather than natural perils or challenges to survival.

Fat Gain

Repeated elevation of cortisol can lead to weight gain in 3 ways:

1) One way is via visceral fat storage. Cortisol can mobilize triglycerides from storage and relocate them to visceral fat cells (those under the muscle, deep in the abdomen).

Cortisol also aids adipocytes’ development into mature fat cells. The biochemical process at the cellular level has to do with enzyme control (11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase), which converts cortisone to cortisol in adipose tissue.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the best and most cost-effective supplement that you can take to balance high cortisol levels naturally.

Multiple studies have found out that vitamin C supplementation after exercise rapidly clears cortisol and that when vitamin C is administered before a stressful situation it blunts the stress induced rise in cortisol.


Ashwagandgha (Withania Somnifera) is an Indian herb commonly referred to as “adaptogen” because it is a compound that helps the body adapt to stress related stimuli


1) Estrogen Dominance, – Women Living Naturally. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2) Excess Estrogen and Weight Gain: A Nutrition article from Dragon Door Publications | Dragon Door. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3) Cortisol — Its Role in Stress, Inflammation, and Indications for Diet Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from

4) Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from

5) A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandh… – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from

6) Exercising to relax – Harvard Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from


  1. I'm holding on to about 50 pounds of solid cortisol in my abdomen. Your telling me all I need to do is get more sleep, meditation, and get more vitamin c?

  2. Your videos are great. You may have done this already, but can you do a video about Keto and cancer. I started Keto almost two years ago and stopped taking medicine for Leukemia. Still in remission. Thanks

  3. What about lowfat soy flour? I assume in the processing of it the hormones are likely removed since it has zero fat? However, I wanted to see if you've seen any information on this one.

  4. Great video, although Vitamin C is an antioxidant which will have result in a reduction in both inflammation and ROS triggered by the workout, no? Just like with a cold shower, I would think you'd want to stay away from any antioxidants for at least an hour after your workout in not two hours. At any rate, great content here Thomas.

  5. Thanks.Visuals so far in multiple videos including this one…helped to understand the hidden Stories to an extent.So,Got the SAP n got the Domestic angle too. Thank u once again for educating n for the mindfulness.You really have a Very Sharp Memory. Log in to the Channel means?? Did u mean Loging in to ur website?? Is there any facility to write anything over there?? N…do you think vit C jels with Fats??
    R what's the best way to consume Vit C ?? Either alone r in combination with anything in particular??
    Thanks n Regards…

  6. Vitamin c after a workout in what form is best? I'm just wondering because I'm a little confused. I stopped fruit after my workout because of fructose you said not to take afterwards. Thanks for the vids. They are awesome. Love the channel.

  7. Thomas, thank you. Your scientific explanation on how the human body absorb and react to different hormones and other chemical compounds in food is brilliant. Thank you.

  8. Well why are you even talking? I deeply think that fake "athletes" shouldn't have a right to be here. But that's a perfect world. This "smart" male is on 1000 steroids. Just look at his pictures, and he talks about fasting and other programs. [FAKE]

  9. I have a friend who can't sleep properly and has high stress all the time and smokes. What can I recommend to him? I know your not a doctor and he really should see a doctor but on a food level what can he do to help himself?

  10. I was in a high stress job in the military and between that and the toxic exposures have a few heaIth problems. I see a lot of videos/info on high cortisol but I have very low cortisol (morning through night is a basic flatline) and have difficulty recovering from exercise. Can you please address that problem from hormonal, diet, supplement, and exercise angles in your "make something difficult easy to understand" way? Thanks.


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