Weight Loss by Reducing Cortisol

The evidence that prolonged periods of stress leads to elevated levels of cortisol and this causes weight gain particularly abdominal fat is not conclusive. It seems that stress and cortisol affects different people in different ways, some people's response to stress and elevated cortisol is to lose weight, others however respond to stress and cortisol by overeating and gaining weight. If this is you then I have a very effective technique you can use to change their ways stress affects your physical body and the production of excess cortisol.

The solution is not a pill or a potion it's a training program to teach your autonomic nervous system how to automatically switch off stress responses were the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system is active and switched on relaxation response is whether parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system is dominant. Modern medicine says you cannot consciously control your autonomic nervous system added one way that's right and in another way that is wrong. It is true that you cannot directly consciously control the autonomic nervous system, you cannot for example tell your heart rate and blood pressure to increase or decrease at will, so in that sense modern medicine is right; however you can directly and consciously control your breathing rate, the tension in your muscles, and whether your mind is tense and active or calm and passive. Temporarily consciously changing these things will automatically change your internal physiology switching off stress responses and switching on a relaxation response.
So it turns out that you can fairly directly control your autonomic nervous system, moreover if you do this repeatedly and intensely as a training programme over three months you can teach subconscious brain and nervous system how to do this quickly, easily and automatically. The really cool thing is that the benefits of permanent because once you've taught your subconscious brain and nervous system how to do a thing they never forget it, for example if you've learned how to ride a bicycle you'll always be able to ride a bicycle.
The relaxation training program itself is simple however there can be a problem and that is that some people carry painful and traumatic memories buried in their subconscious and when the attempts to do a relaxation or meditation type exercise, when they slow down and still the mind these painful memories come to the surface and make carrying on the exercise too uncomfortable or even impossible. The good news is that there is a solution to this problem, it turns out that our memories are not set in stone or permanently fixed and they can be remodelled, reinterpreted and how things added to them that changed the way we feel about them and the way they affect our health. The parasympathetic relaxation training technique is something that you can do by yourself at home, I can give you instructions and a free MP3 recording to do it, however accessing and remodelling painful and traumatic memories by yourself is practically impossible. I've done two trainings in psychotherapy and hundreds of hours of one-to-one and group therapy and despite all this I was only ever one is able to simultaneously be "inside" a personal painful place and also on the "outside" of the experience giving myself therapeutic support and suggesting techniques that would change what I was feeling on the inside. Moreover the one time I successfully did this was forced upon me at a time of genuine crisis, I've never been able to conjure it up at will. If you find that internal painful feelings are holding you back and preventing you from training your physiology how to switch on the relaxation response seek the help of a qualified therapist. Today I wholeheartedly recommend the combination of hypnotherapy and NLP; the combination of these two techniques enables fast and painless alteration of painful memories and feelings that not only prevent you from training the parasympathetic relaxation response but also probably produce unnecessary stress responses in the first place. There are many different types of psychotherapy and I think all of them has the potential to be very helpful in their way, some psychotherapies focus on exploring and finding deepmeaning in past events and this can help the mind to integrate the experience and move on; counselling based therapies are very useful for dealing with current crisis situations and gaining coping skills; cognitive-based techniques teach your conscious mind to be able to think through problems and therefore can better. This is all very well and good but if your goal is simply to change and stop stressful memories embedded in your subconscious mind producing stress responses then I think the quickest, simplest and most effective way of doing this is cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP. I'm not saying this because I trained in these techniques is the other way around, I trained in these techniques to be able to quickly change the programming or processes provoking the stress responses in the first place. 

In talking therapy one is focused on exploring the content and feelings of painful and traumatic experiences and why it affects you so: "... can you share with me how that made you feel ...", "... why does it make you feel like that ..."
In cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP the focus is not on the content of the painful feelings that affect you today but on the internal processes of how the painful feelings affect you. What external and internal signals trigger the painful feelings and memories to become active in your mind and how does your mind process them in a way that makes you feel bad and provoked stress responses. Some people have very traumatic experiences and yet are able to move on from them without lingering negative effects, when they remember the experience something different happens in their mind that neutralises the negative effects of the memories, or maybe they even forget about unpleasant and unhappy times. When your mind is repeatedly troubled by painful memories you can change your subconscious thinking processes about those memories so that they no longer affect you and gradually fade into the background just like they can and do in other people. One particular advantage of modern NLP techniques is to be able to work in what is called a dissociated state so that you do not have to relive the pain and trauma of the experience while you're working with it in therapy; many people are put off from psychotherapy because they do not want to feel and relive painful and traumatic experiences, with a dissociated technique you don't have to.
Neuroscience is identifying the part of the brain where we learn and store stressful memories, it's called the amygdala. When the amygdala finds a match between the current situation and something it has previously seen as stressful it automatically changes your physiology and produces the stress response, it can even hijack your brain making it very difficult to think clearly, in therapy we call this amygdala hijacking. A strong visible example of amygdala hijacking is a person who reacts out of character with road rage, but little mini amygdala hijackings whereby your mind and nerves are taken over by unwanted stressful and worrying responses based on old information can occur all the time producing unnecessary and inappropriate stress responses. It is possible to retrain the amygdala under hypnosis using NLP techniques. 

Amygdala reprogramming with cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP does two things: it stops you overproducing unnecessary stress responses in the first place and secondly it can enable you to proceed with the parasympathetic relaxation response training which independently teaches your nervous system a useful stress control technique. You might be tempted to think that all you need to do is amygdala reprogramming and you could stop your system over producing stress responses in the first place but sadly some of us are more highly strung than others and we still need to learn to train our nervous systems and to switch off stress responses.

See parasympathetic relaxation response training to learn how to do this and I can e-mail you a free mp3 recording to guide you through the technique upon request. 
I am also available at my London clinic for cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP treatments to remodel anxious, painful and stressful thought processes to enable you to undertake the parasympathetic relaxation response training and stop stress responses damaging your health.


  1. Appetite control techniques, How to Feel Fuller with Fewer Calories.
  2. Eliminate surplus glucose supply and stabilize blood sugar. To store fat easily the body needs surplus glucose, eliminate this and you make it harder for the body to become fat. Stabilising blood sugar also reduces food craving. 
  3. Balance brain chemistry to conquer food cravings/addictions.
  4. Eliminate excess levels of the stress hormone cortisol (if present). Excess cortisol can cause the body to accumulate body fat, especially abdominal fat. 
  5. Increase the body’s overall metabolic rate by growing muscle mass.
Be Well
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Hi my name is Peter Smith I specialise in treating and coaching people how to live well with mental health problems, digestive health problems/IBS, sleep problems and type II diabetes using natural therapies.
I used these techniques to overcome and live well with my own bipolar disorder and IBS. I've been in practice as a natural medicine practitioner since 1988.

What I Treat

  • Brain Chemistry and Mental Health problems (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addiction, OCD)
  • Digestive Health: IBS, bloating, SIBO (which can be the cause of  60% of IBS) and parasites (with external lab testing)
  • Mercury and Heavy Metal Detoxification (with external lab testing)
  • Addiction (by balancingbrainchemistry, supporting healthy dopamine levels etc.)
  • Meditation and Relaxation brain-training for mental health problems, and adrenal exhaustion (individual and small classes)
  • Cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP
  • Drug-Free better Sleep
  • Insulin resistance, pre- and early type II diabetes
If you’d like treatment for any of the issues discussed in this article I specialise in treating and coaching people how to obtain better mental health with natural remedies and self-help techniques. If you would like me to look into your individual case and develop a tailor-made programme of natural remedies, dietary advice and brain training exercises I’m available for private consultations and I’m available for private consultations at my London clinic and online for people that live too far away.
I also run regular meditation classes in London and online.
I’m passionate about treating mental health and I’d be very happy to work with you.
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At my London clinic please call the Hale clinic reception:
020 7631 0156
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As a general rule improvements are seen within 2-3 appointments so you can quickly know if the treatments are helping you and you are making a good investment.
For a more information about me and what the conditions I treat click here: About About Peter Smith
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