Swap Out Cardio For Belly Breathe
You may notice the more cardio you do, the more weight you gain. Especially around the midsection. When youre under a lot of stress, the generic fitness advice that cardio will help you lose weight will actually hold on to your pounds.
During cardio cortisol levels rise, but if that system isnt working properly, youre only taxing yourself more. This burns the body out and sends it into a deeper state of fatigue. In some cases youll gain even more weight as the more cortisol you have, the more belly fat youll create.
Solution: Swap out cardio for 10 Minutes of deep belly breathes each day.
This may seam easy for a non stress belly sufferer, but if youre a constant thinker or have a go-g0-g0 personality youll find this a good challenge to conquer.
The main objective with stress belly is to reduce cortisol levels and begin to regulate them properly again. As stress decreases, your body can reduce insulin sensitivity, and begin to release belly fat stored for emergency use.
Lie still for 10 whole minutes in a dark room and focus on deep inhales and exhales. For a more in depth breathing strategy and a list of apps to help you relax, download the Complete plan that slims stress belly below:
Can Stress Cause Stomach Pain
Anxiety and stress are closely related. But they are technically different conditions. It is possible to experience a significant amount of stress without experiencing anxiety. Yet the causes of stomach pain from stress are similar. Muscle tension, digestive issues all of these are also caused by stress and may contribute to stomach pain.
Why Does Stress Cause Stomach Pain Or Gi Discomfort
We know through research there is a strong connection between our brain and our gut through the central nervous system. The enteric nervous system an out-branching of the central nervous system serves the GI tract, making a direct connection between our brain and gastrointestinal system. That connection can cause normal physiologic processes to be interpreted as painful under stressful or anxiety-provoking situations.
When were stressed, hormones and neurotransmitters are released in the body. This can negatively impact gut motility, or the way our intestines and stomach squeeze and move waste through the body. Also, stress can affect the delicate balance of bacteria in our gut, causing GI discomfort.
People experiencing chronic stress may also eat more or eat unhealthy foods with a higher amount of natural and artificial sugar that is poorly digested and causes GI distress. People may also smoke and drink more alcohol or caffeine than normal which can cause symptoms.
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Cut Back On Highly Processed Sugary Or Fatty Foods
Stress increases the likelihood of eating high-calorie processed foods. You crave such foods is because they trigger the release of serotonin hormone, which is a pleasure-inducing substance, so you seemingly counter the negative effects of stress
The problem with serotonin is that it lasts for only a short time. You may get a surge in mood but after sometime your blood sugar will drop and you will feel hungry and tired.
When such feelings set in, you may result to eating those foods again and thus create a vicious cycle.
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What Causes B Belly
There is no one specific cause for a B belly in pregnancy. B bellies are more common in people with more weight, but possible with any body size and shape. This is because so many unique factors, like height, weight, and muscle and bone structure all combine to impact how you carry a pregnancy bump.
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A Final Note On The Best Way To Lose Belly Fat
Okay, so we’ve given you the good stuff when it comes to learning how to burn belly fat, the best diet to lose belly fat and belly fat exercises to add in to your routine. Basically everything you need to know about how to reduce belly fat.
The one takeaway we hope you leave with, though, is that for all of the ways to lose belly fat, the way you speak to and view yourself is the most important thing in all of this. Whether you do or do not want to lose stomach fat, you are still worthy of love and respect from yourself. If you feel that the only thing you can focus on is trying to lose fat fast or entering into any unhelpful and unhealthy habits, take a step back and reassess. Focus on small things like watching your stress, sleeping well or choosing nutrient-dense foods. Small, attainable goals add up to very big wins don’t lose sight of that.
*Women’s Health Naked Survey 2018
Ways Stress Causes Belly Fat And How To Control It
Belly fat is an unwanted attribute. It not only gives you a poor self-image, but it is a symptom of an unhealthy body. It is your bodyâs way of letting you know that your cortisol levels are out of balance.
The number one cause of unwanted belly fat is chronic stress. Stress is something that your body needs, however in unfiltered amounts it can cause a lot of damage.
Think of it this way â Your adrenal glands kick into action to produce cortisol anytime you are put in a threatening situation. The release of cortisol is needed to trigger the cells in your liver, fat, and muscle tissues to release the energy your body needs to get through the threatening situation.
This release of cortisol is known as fight or flight mode. Your body will naturally reduce your appetite and shut down other processes such as reproduction and tissue repair â which are not 100% necessary for survival â so that it can focus solely on safety.
This response was great when we were running away from predators, or charging after our food. Over the centuries, society has developed in such a way that this response is not needed in such drastic measures.
Yet, it remains a natural part of our life. When stress levels remain high enough to continue producing cortisol for long periods of time, unhealthy and dangerous changes will begin to occur within your body.
That urge to eat is being caused by an excess of cortisol.
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How Many Types Of Belly Fat Are There
There are two types of belly fat:
- Subcutaneous fat this one lies just under the skin, and it produces healthy hormones such as leptin.
- Visceral fat/intra-abdominal fat This type of belly fat is found deeper, around internal organs such as the liver, intestines, and also underneath the abdominal wall. Visceral fat contains more cytokines than subcutaneous fat . Cytokines may increase the risk for chronic health problems in an individual. Furthermore, too much visceral fat may increase a persons risk of asthma, cancer, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, and colorectal cancer as well .
Youre Hungry All The Time
Labeled as the hunger hormone, ghrelin tells you when its time to eat and has a significant impact on the size of your appetite. If you were to start fasting tomorrow, skipping breakfast, lunch, and dinner, your body would take notice and as a result begin to release ghrelin, telling you to eat again. On the other hand, if you suddenly began to binge on candy, your stomach would quickly recognize this overconsumption and cut back on ghrelin secretion.
However, research shows ghrelin secretion can become dysregulated when you gain weight. In fact, obese individuals tend to have elevated circulating levels of leptin and decreased levels of ghrelin. Having elevated leptin levels, despite what you may expect, does not always mean you are more likely to stop eating. When you have consistently elevated leptin levels this can lead to dysfunction of leptin receptors which means your brain will not receive the message youre full. This hormonal confusion throws your hunger cues out of whack and you do the opposite of what leptin is designed to do, so you continue to eat without ever receiving the signal to stop, resulting in the undesirable hormonal belly.
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Stress Belly: Taking A Quick Dive Into The Science Behind It
Have you been all so dedicated to your workout regimen, eating healthy, maintaining a calorie deficit, yet still cant seem to lose your belly fat? Do you often feel overwhelmed, tired, and extremely hungry throughout the day? Then you might have a stress belly, the extra weight found around the abdominal area that is oh so difficult to get rid of.
Can stress make my belly bigger? It definitely can. But how is this possible? And how can one get rid of the unwanted fat around the midsection area?
Make Sleep A Priority
Lack of sleep often contributes to higher cortisol levels, contributing to poor sleep.
To add to the problem, studies have shown that sleep deprivation can increase food cravings, especially cravings of fatty foods and high sugar goodies. This is probably due to a combination of high cortisol levels and high insulin levels .
Sleep is also involved in regulating the hunger and appetite hormones: leptin and ghrelin. Lack of sleep is believed to increase the hunger hormone ghrelin and reduce leptin, the hormone responsible for making you feel full . Therefore, it is not surprising that higher cortisol levels result in excess weight.
The sleep foundation recommends the following lifestyle changes for sleep:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake up time schedule
- Budget time to sleep
- Create a regular, relaxing nighttime routine
- Create a sleep environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool
- Use your bedroom only for relaxation and sex
- Foster healthy pro-sleep habits throughout the day
- Limit caffeine to 1-2 cups in the morning
- Limit alcoholic drinks
- Eat a well-balanced diet
Another interesting idea is to try cognitive behavioral therapy to treat sleep disorders. CBT can help you establish a healthy sleep/wake cycle.
A good nights sleep might be the key to a healthy and happy life.
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Should I Be Getting Screened Regularly For Colon Cancer Or Other Gi Tract Cancers
As of 2021, the United States Preventative Services Task Force and major GI medical societies recommend that adults at average risk for colorectal cancer are regularly screened beginning at age 45.
People who have a family history of colorectal cancer or other GI tract cancers, including stomach or pancreas cancer, or a history of GI conditions like inflammatory bowel disease may need routine cancer screening earlier than age 45.
Talk your primary care physician about your risk and ask if you should get tested.
You Constantly Feel Stressed Or Anxious
If you are currently experiencing an event that is causing you a lot of stress or work in a high-stress career that makes you feel anxious, your body could be producing high levels of the hormone cortisol.
If you are constantly feeling this way, your body will be producing high levels of cortisol to help you manage that stress. As a result, this hormone can signal your body to store more fat, resulting in weight gain, mainly in the abdominal region.
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Eat More Veggies And Vitamin B
Overall, when speaking about weight loss and fitness, I always point out that you cant spot-reduce fat. However, when it comes to belly, a proper det is even more essential for this area than for the others. Have you heard a saying:
Abs are made in the kitchen
If so, you know that your diet has everything to do with how your belly looks.
The reason is two-fold.
Mainly, you cant see your six-pack behind a layer of fat. Plus, bloating does little to highlight its beauty.
When it comes to stress fat, a clean and healthy diet lowers cortisol levels, says Medical News Today.
Thus, if you know that your cortisol level is too high, regulate your diet immediately.
You can also see in this 2010 study that low-calorie dieting increases your level of cortisol. Which is the exact opposite of what we are aiming for. Thus, consuming just the right amount of calories is the best practice.
As for the vitamin B-rich foods, there has been preliminary evidence that an increase of vitamin B in the daily ration aids in cortisol management.
Keep Your Workouts Under 45 Minutes:
Cortisol levels rise drastically after 45 minute of exercise so it important to keep your workouts under the 45 minute mark. This is a fabulous benefit considering were always looking for ways to keep our workouts quick and effective.
Solution: If it taking you longer than usual to finish your resistance/stretch workout try breaking up the fitness routine into a few smaller 10 minute workouts throughout the day.
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Okay Now You Can Do Some Crunches
Although you cant spot reduce fat, you can target building lean muscle tissue, which in turn helps burn fat. There are literally dozens of muscles between your shoulders and your hips that are involved in every movement you do, says DiVecchio. The fastest way to create a lean midsection begins with choosing the right moves.
Aim to do ab work three or four times a week on non-consecutive days with at least 24 hours of rest in between sessions, says Gagliardi. During those sessions, you can start with simpler moves like crunches, bicycle crunches, and planks. Even though you may only be directly targeting your abs three or four times a week, you should still be activating your core in every workout you do, says Gagliardi.
There are tons of different ab workouts you can do right in your home. Once youre comfortable in an ab routine, work your way up to more complex ab exercises, like side-to-side med ball slams and weighted Russian twists, says DiVecchio.
Cardio Workouts To Lose Belly Fat
- This 28-day plan by Alice Liveing will teach you the basics of strength training, helping you to build lean muscle with foundation moves.
- Or, this four-week Kayla Itsines workout plan incorporates HIIT to burn fat and tone muscle.
- PT Gauri Chopra’s four week HIIT plan will help to burn fat efficiently and increase your stamina and muscular endurance.
‘The key to continually improving and losing belly fat is to scale up your workouts every week. Incrementally increase the intensity and load of your workouts, and you will soon see improvements to your fitness,’ says Hughes.
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Signs You May Be At Risk For Developing Stress Belly Fat
If you have to deal with stress on a regular basis, whether its from work, your home life, school, or a combination of all of these, then you might be at a higher risk for developing a stress belly. Here are a few signs that could be the case.
- You feel overwhelmed When stressors become too much to handle, you might experience a surge of adrenaline due to anxiety. For some people, that leads to eating unhealthy foods in order to calm down.
- You have junk food cravings If you find yourself reaching for a bag of chips, cookies, or other so-called comfort foods, youre not alone. Its a common issue. In fact, cortisol production can sometimes lead to cravings for sugar and fat.
- Youre not sleeping enough If you cant sleep because youre stressed, that can affect the way the chemicals that control your appetite leptin and ghrelin work. That, in turn, might increase the chances that youll overeat and gain weight as a result.5
How To Reduce Hormonal Belly Fat And Stop Cortisol Weight Gain
Hormones and belly fat go hand in hand. Gone are the days when we thought only the consumption of junks was responsible for belly fat.
It is obvious that your bodys hormones, especially the cortisol hormone, also contribute to weight gain. In order to lose belly fat, we must know how to reduce cortisol.
Given the relationship between cortisol and weight gain, its no wonder that various belly fat cortisol supplements have cropped up. Lets take a look at these supplements.
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Accept That Your Behaviors Will Adjust
A big part of weight loss is simply being aware of the decisions youre making. For example, when out at happy hour with friends, you may lose track of how much youre eating or drinking. But if you take a split second to step back and become aware of that fact, youre able to course correct. The awareness and then planning for what else I can be doing, that might give me the same benefit of eating comfort foods, says Gagliardi.
2. Track your calories.
The most basic approach to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. For instance, since 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat, a weight loss appor even just a pen and papercan help you decide how many calories you need to cut from your diet or burn at the gym in order to meet your goals. If you were to burn 500 more calories per day seven days a week, that would lead to 3,500 calories in a week and one pound of weight loss, says Gagliardi.
If youre not up for crunching numbers every day, you can take a more generalized approach. For some people, its knowing, Typically I eat a whole sandwich,’ says Gagliardi. Now, Im going to eat half a sandwich at lunch and save the other half for my dinner and cut my calories in half. To get started, consider these 25 ways to cut 500 calories a day.
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