Weight Management and the Cortisol Connection


To have life-long weight control and avoid the ups and downs of gimmicky diets, it is needed to control overproduction of cortisol, the major hormone of the stress response. Cortisol is the only hormone that we can’t live without for even a few minutes. However, if secreted in excess over an extended period of time it will cause biochemical chaos and weight gain. In addition to stress from situations, cortisol is increased from poor dietary habits that can be controlled through our program at the Moss Center as outlined in my book, The Adaptation Diet.

Here is why this is so important for losing weight and staying well. Cortisol functions to keep us alive in times of stress by:

  • raising blood sugar and blood fats
  • preventing insulin from working and turning off sex hormones
  • breaking down muscle to produce more energy
  • lowering the immune response


In other words, cortisol helps short-term survival, but if elevated over long periods, weight gain results as well as higher risk for metabolic syndrome, diabetes and immune system suppression. Numerous studies have linked increased cortisol levels to weight gain and diabetes.
Our weight management and body composition program involves 3 steps, all of which will lower excess cortisol production:

  1. Identifying food intolerance and allergy through blood or skin testing
  2. 4 week detoxification and elimination diet including medical foods such as Opti-Cleanse that improve liver detoxification pathways, reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and systemically provide a protein source while avoiding major food allergens
  3. Mediterranean style maintenance diet, rich in good anti-inflammatory fats like olive oil, walnuts, salmon and avocado, emphasizing vegetables legumes and selected fruits and the appropriate balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates


This is the most successful dietary approach for life-long weight optimization that has also been proven to lower the risk for diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s dementia and other chronic disease. This diet is delicious and easily implemented. We will provide all the help you need to make this a success for you and achieve high-level wellness.

In addition, we have most of our patients use nutrients that improve cortisol control and help with weight loss. To assist you in losing weight, I developed the Cortisol Control Formula, a unique blend of anti-inflammatory botanicals, ashwaghanda, a powerful Ayurvedic adaptogen as well as other botanical adaptogens and phosphatidyl serine, a key phospholipid that aids in reducing cortisol production. This formula reduces cravings and helps with inflammation. In addition, will use lipotrophic injectable B vitamins when needed to increase fat burning.

Read more about our Cortisol Control Formula


Take this questionnaire to see whether you are in a maladapted (high cortisol) state.

View or print The Adaptation Questionnaire