The Best Way To Lose Belly Fat
If youre dissatisfied with your waistline, youre probably wondering how to get rid of stress belly fat. In reality theres no one way. But there are several things you can do to particularly target the belly fat thats causing your woes. When you follow a few simple steps, youll be able to lose the belly fat for good.
When it comes to losing weight, targeting belly fat is a little different. The best way to lose belly fat is to look at all the factors in your lifestyle that may be causing the problem. For example, look at your stress levels, how much sleep youre getting, your alcohol consumption, your consumption of high calorie, low nutrient foods, and your exercise routine. No matter who you are, you can probably make at least one change that will help you to reduce belly fat.
Once youve looked at an inventory of your lifestyle, choose one or two areas to make improvements. If you overhaul everything you may get fast results, but they may not last. So start with one or two areas where you feel you need improvement.
Stroll Toward Relaxation
How To Tell If Belly Fat Is From Stress
While the accumulation of belly fat may be multifactorial, like genetics, a poor diet, or a lack of exercise, there are some signs that indicate that what you could be dealing with is stress causing belly fat. These signs include:
- Feeling overwhelmed by nearly everything.
- Feeling extremely hungry right after working out.
- Having an increased appetite throughout the day, with the need to snack every now and then.
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Okay Now You Can Do Some Crunches
Although you can’t 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 you’re 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.
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Thin People Have It Too
Even if you’re thin, you can still have too much visceral fat.
How much you have is partly about your genes, and partly about your lifestyle, especially how active you are.
Visceral fat likes inactivity. In one study, thin people who watched their diets but didn’t exercise were more likely to have too much visceral fat.
The key is to be active, no matter what size you are.
How To Lose Belly Fat On A Bicycle
Bicycle Abdominal Exercise 1 While still on your back, continue to keep your hands behind your head. 2 Bring your knees into your chest then straighten one leg while turning your upper body toward the opposite bent knee. 3 Alternate with your right and left legs until you perform 20 repetitions 10 on each side.
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Find Small Ways To Stay Active
Not every bit of exercise you do needs to be high intensity to beat belly fat, says Dr. Gottfried. “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is all the ways you burn extra calories through fidgeting, pacing or parking farther away so you walk more and it adds up,” she says.
Bonus: Even these small forms of exercise can help relieve stress by boosting production of feel-good brain chemicals, giving your mind a rest from life’s daily stressors and improving your overall sense of well-being, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Apovian agrees: NEAT can increase your brown fat, which helps you scorch more calories. So, how do you make the most of NEAT? Essentially, take every opportunity to get your body moving.
“Try smaller bits of exercise, like pacing while you talk on the phone or taking a two-minute dance break while you brew your coffee,” suggests Dr. Gottfried. Yes, a quick boogie session counts!
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Try To Limit Your Stress
Stress can mess with every part of your bodybut how you deal with it can make or break your weight loss goals. “I think most of the effect of stress is behavioral rather than neurochemical,” says Dr. Cheskin. “It makes us eat more, because we use food as a substitute for dealing with stress.”
The truth is, eating food to make yourself feel better is usually a whole lot easier than actually facing the stress head-on. “People gravitate toward something that doesn’t require anybody else to do it, is immediately satisfying, and doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, especially if you’re just opening up a package or box,” says Dr. Cheskin.
Stress-eating can only lead to one thing: growing your belly rather than whittling it. If you find yourself stress eating, take a step back and think: What’s causing my stress, and what can I do about it? Find a way to remedy the solution or talk through it with a therapist rather than turning to a bag of Doritos.
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Reducing Stressed Belly Fat
Its clear that its a bad thing to have chronically elevated cortisol. Even professional athletes and fitness models can develop a stress belly if they have elevated cortisol all the time. Those who suffer from anxiety and depression generally have higher amounts of cortisol . If you suffer from either of these mental health disorders it may be a good idea to seek professional help.
But there are some simple proven strategies you can use to lower your stress, anxiety, and depression. Eating healthier foods plays a big role in the health of your brain . Constantly eating bad foods wreaks havoc on your mental biochemistry promoting anxiety and depression . Cut out the junk like processed foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, excess alcohol, and bad vegetable oils.
Working out and exercising has been proven again and again to improve mood . Exercise and other physical activity done daily is a smart way to lower your stress, anxiety and depression. It might be a better idea to stay away from intense exercise since it can temporarily boost cortisol . Also, be sure youre not overtraining as this can lead to more cortisol in your body .
I know its easier said than done but staying away from stressful situations is key. Its not always practical but it can go a long way to lowering your stress and stubborn stomach fat.
Stress Eating: 5 Ways To Beat It According To A Nutritionist
Stress may wreak havoc on your metabolism. Hereâs how you can stop stress eating.
I think we can all agree that stress is bad. Excess stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, and depression. Research shows it may also wreak havoc on metabolism and cause stress-induced weight gain.
Weâve known for some time that stress is connected to gaining weight, because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to increase appetite and lead to stress eating, drive cravings for junk food, and make it easier to accumulate belly fat. And an Ohio State study shows that stress may also result in burning fewer calories.
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In the study, researchers questioned women about stress they had the previous day. The women were then fed a meal containing a very generous 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. After eating, scientists measured their metabolic rates and took blood samples.
In the seven hours after eating the mondo meal, those who had reported being stressed out within the previous 24 hours burned less of the fat they consumed, and they had higher levels of insulin, a hormone that contributes to fat storage. They also burned 104 fewer calories. That may not sound like much, but if you are aiming to lose pounds, itâs enough of a difference to account for a weight gain of almost 11 pounds in one year.
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Keep Portions In Check And Time Your Meals Right
Your metabolism has slowed down by the time you hit menopause with some research suggesting it burns a couple hundred calories fewer a day. You can very quickly avoid 200 calories, but that can also very quickly add up if you dont reduce the number of calories you consume, says Christine Palumbo, RD, a nutrition expert in Chicago.
Its also this time in your life, Palumbo notes, when you may be easing up from the daily duties of preparing meals for your family, and you just want to take a break from the kitchen. She has cooked for 25 years, and is sick of it, and she just wants to go out to eat, says Palumbo. What happens then is that you will inevitably eat twice as many calories as you need at that meal, and its often accompanied by alcohol, which is also associated with abdominal weight gain. Order appetizers as entrees and ask for a to-go container for leftovers when you do indulge in a large main course.
Exercise Makes You Ravenous
If youre so hungry after exercising that you crave only high-calorie foods, that can signify a cortisol imbalance. Additionally, you may be exercising too hard or too fast, which can raise cortisol to unhealthy levels.
Tip: Exercising at a lower intensity can actually reduce cortisol levels. For that reason, consider swapping HIIT or bootcamp-style workouts for something more low-key, such as Pilates or yoga.
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How Can I Get Rid Of Stress Belly Fat
To get rid of stress fat, do the following:
- Consume nutrient-dense foods
- Go on a walk daily, and make at least 10,000 steps each day
- Take regular hot baths to lower cortisol levels and increase the levels of endorphins in the brain
- Build more muscle by participating in more weight and resistance training than cardio
- Eat more protein
Time Meals And Snack Right To Counter Mindless Eating
Its not just what you eat when you are following a mid-life diet that matters, but also when you eat. Midnight ice cream binges and potato chip raids, for example, are generally bad ideas and would be a poor choice even during the light of day. But the general message on food timing is clear: Dont eat too much too late, Peeke says. Eating later in the evening is murder for trying to keep weight off.
Another way to keep snacking calories in check is to avoid mindlessly nibbling throughout the day or falling into the dreaded afternoon snack trap. What a menopausal woman does from 3 p.m. on every day can determine how big her belly is. Thats when most women tend to overeat and oversnack.
To help rein in your snacking, Peeke says to start paying attention to your circadian rhythm. Eat during a window of 8 to 12 hours a day, and then dont eat for the rest of the time. Experts find this imperative to take care of weight at any age, but especially during menopause, she says.
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Signs You Have Belly Fat Caused By Stress
If you have fat around your belly that you cant shift, there are a few other signs to watch for that could signal an imbalance of cortisol is to blame.
Youre ravenous all day
Stress causes an increase in appetite. If you feel like you could eat another four meals after finishing breakfast or dinner or you often have that all-day need to snack, especially on sugary or fatty foods, you may have an imbalance of cortisol.
You feel overwhelmed
I cant deal with this! is a common cry I hear from clients I see with cortisol imbalances. its that feeling that if someone gives you one more thing to do, one more decision to make or one more problem to solve, you will explode, break down or both. That too is an imbalance of cortisol.
Exercise makes you want to stuff your face
After exercise, do you feel so ravenous you could eat a giant hamburger or plate of pasta rather than a healthy meal such as chicken/fish and vegetables? If you feel so hungry after exercise that you want to eat foods that are super-high in calories, you may well have an imbalance of cortisol or you may be doing exercise that is too hard and fast and thereby raises your cortisol levels too high.
Want to eat everything in sight? This could be why. Image: iStock
Allow Enough Sleep For Your Body
Its important to note that if you want to lose weight, getting good sleep is critical. Adults who slept fewer than six hours or more than nine hours were found in research to have greater amounts of visceral fat. It is suggested that most people get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
To prevent raising cortisol levels, get at least seven to nine hours of excellent quality sleep each night. It was discovered in one study on adults between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five that those who slept for less than six hours each night and those who slept for more than nine hours had more visceral fat than the control group.
The same thing was discovered by two separate studies, one with a test group of 40-year-olds and younger and another with adults aged 50.
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/9increased Cortisol Levels Obesity And Weight Gain
Prolonged stress can affect our health. The problems include high blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels and elevated stress cortisol levels. Cortisol levels triggered by stress are associated with abdominal obesity and weight gain.
According to a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, people with higher levels of cortisol tended to have larger waist measurements and higher BMI as compared to people with lower levels of the hormone.
But not all people with obesity have high-cortisol levels since genetics and your lifestyle also play a role.
Accept That Your Behaviors Will Adjust
A big part of weight loss is simply being aware of the decisions you’re making. For example, when out at happy hour with friends, you may lose track of how much you’re eating or drinking. But if you take a split second to step back and become aware of that fact, you’re 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 you’re not up for crunching numbers every day, you can take a more generalized approach. “For some people, it’s knowing, ‘Typically I eat a whole sandwich,'” says Gagliardi. “Now, I’m 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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What Is A Stress Belly And How Do I Get Rid Of It
Carrie Gabriel, MS, RDN, discusses what stress belly is. Included: its causes, signs, and proactive ways to get rid of it.
It goes without saying that how you nourish your body is immensely important to your overall health. But sometimes, stress poses more harm to your physical and mental well-being than youd imagine, especially when it compounds over time.
As a result, you may eventually experience a phenomenon called stress belly. Heres a closer look at what it entails.
Get Tested For Food Allergies Or Sensitivities
A crappy boss and credit card bills might be the most obvious sources of stress. But if you have an underlying food allergy or sensitivity to, say, gluten or dairy your gut could be stressed out on a physiological level, Dr. Gottfried says. And when your gut is irritated, it sends out inflammation signals, which in turn increases your risk of accumulating belly fat and may even lead to pre-diabetes.
But how do you know if a food is causing problems? People with food allergies or sensitivities might experience symptoms like bloating, puffy eyes, grogginess, stiffness in the hands or joint pain. If you have any of these symptoms, consult your doctor. Together, you can experiment to see if eliminating certain foods makes you feel better.
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