Eat In A Calorie Deficit
Increased Health Risks From Visceral Fat
According to Harvard Health, visceral fat may increase your risk for:
Genetics influences where your body stores fat. Hormones, age, and how many children a woman has given birth to also play a role.
Women tend to add more visceral fat after menopause, when estrogen levels drop.
Still, there are things you can do to lose belly fat.
First, avoid all those lose belly fat fast solutions, because theres no quick fix. Making lifestyle choices with a slow, steady mindset is your best option to help establish long-term positive results.
Here are some recommendations:
How To Get Rid Of A Stress Belly Yoga Poses For Reducing Stress
Yoga is a popular form of exercise that can help to improve overall health and wellbeing. One of the main benefits of yoga is that it can help to reduce stress levels. Various yoga poses can target different areas of the body, providing relaxation and stress relief. One particularly effective pose for reducing stress is the childs pose. This pose helps stretch the back and neck muscles, which can often become tense and painful when feeling stressed. Another beneficial pose is the lions breath, which helps relax the muscles in the face and jaw. This is often one of the first areas to tense up when feeling stressed.
By practicing these and other yoga poses regularly, it is possible to reduce stress levels and improve overall health significantly.
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The Importance Of Dealing With Stress
Once the threat or stress is dealt with, hormone balance is restored . But this is not always the case, because, as humans, we go through so many stressing situations and come across many stress-factors that lead to prolonged periods of stress. These periods of prolonged stress then lead to a stress belly.
But how? An imbalance of cortisol in the body causes excess belly fat because:
- Cortisol can actually release fat from storage and send it directly to your belly area.
- The stress hormone may also affect appetite and cravings. One study even revealed that there is an association between elevated cortisol levels and high-calorie intake in women hence leading to stress belly fat in women .
- The high blood sugar levels caused by insulins inhibiting effects can starve the cells of energy. The body then responds to this situation by sending hunger signals to the brain. This then leads to overeating/binge-eating. Any unexpended glucose is then stored as fat in the body.
One study by scientists at the University College London revealed that people with higher levels of cortisol had larger waist measurements and higher BMIs than those with low cortisol levels .
In the same vein, another study proved that high cortisol levels are associated with an increased risk of obesity .
Further research has also proven the fact that cortisol is indeed associated with abdominal obesity. However, this does not mean that every obese person struggles with higher levels of cortisol .
Ways To Beat Stress Fat
Anxiety is a powerful trigger for weight gain. Here’s how to stop itfast.
For most of us, stress is a fact of life. Unfortunately, research reveals that it’s also a fact of fat. “Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weightor even add pounds,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women.
Here’s what happens: Your body responds to all stress in exactly the same way. So every time you have a stressful day, your brain instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee. At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories. This can make you hungry…very hungry. And your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues.
But few of us reach for carrots in these situations. “Instead, we crave sweet, salty, and high-fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension,” explains Elissa Epel, PhD, a researcher on stress eating at the University of California, San Francisco. This soothing effect becomes addicting, so every time you’re anxious, you want fattening foods.
Obviously, getting rid of all anxiety isn’t an option. But by taking these 7 steps to beat stress, you can get your cortisol levels and your weight under controland improve your health.
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How To Get Rid Of A Stress Belly How Diet Affects Your Stress Belly
We all know that what we eat can affect our physical health, but did you understand that diet can also impact our mental health? In particular, the foods we eat can affect our stress and anxiety levels.
Certain foods have been shown to increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is released in response to stressful situations and can lead to several physiological changes, including increased blood pressure and heart rate. When cortisol levels are chronically high, it can lead to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen, often referred to as a stress belly.
So, what foods should you avoid if you want to keep your stress levels in check?
Firstly, sugary snacks and drinks can cause blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling tired and irritable. Caffeine can also cause anxiety and make it difficult to concentrate.
Processed foods are also a no-no as they tend to be high in sugar and unhealthy fats, causing an increase in calorie levels. These foods can lead to weight gain, which can, in turn, increase stress levels.
Finally, its essential to get enough protein as this helps the body produce serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate mood.
So, what should you eat if you want to keep your stress levels in check?
Well, there are a few things you can do:
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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A Deep Breathing Exercise For Stress Management
Deep breathing is an excellent way to lower your strain levels. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to do this exercise.
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes
- Inhale through your nose for a count of four
- Hold the breath for a count of four
- Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight
- Repeat this cycle five times or more if needed.
You will find that this exercise not only relaxes your body but also clears your mind and allows you to focus on the task at hand.
Create A Calorie Deficit
It is simple: To lose weight you must burn more calories than what you eat. This is known as a calorie deficit.
You can cut calories by either reducing your calorie intake or increasing your physical activity.
A calorie deficit of 500 calories per person is enough to lose weight. It wont affect your appetite or energy.
When creating a calorie deficit, a good tip is to fill half your plate with vegetables and the rest with lean protein as well as healthy carbs . This will allow you to control your portion.
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Ways To Get Rid Of Stress Belly
Chronic stress has become a norm in todays society, due to job pressure, social and family obligations, constant exposure to news outlets, etc. However, this doesnt mean that in order to combat stress belly, you need to eliminate all the stress from your life. A little short-term stress can even be beneficial.
The main goal is to learn to cope with lifes stressors and avoid unnecessary stressful situations. This study shows that women who had better stress coping mechanisms carried less belly fat than women who were exposed to the same stress but with less ability to cope. According to the study, differences in coping and appraisal may suggest that a particular psychological pattern might influence the reactivity of the adrenal-cortical system to stress, and subsequent fat distribution.
Here are some great coping tips that can help battle the stress belly:
Breathing exercises and meditation. Simple breathing techniques can significantly lower your cortisol and stress levels in a matter of seconds!
Lowering the intensity of your workout routine. When workouts are too intense, they can lead to heightened cortisol and stress on your body. Try incorporating more lower intensity exercises like this restorative yoga exercise between high intensity training days.
Stick To Your Workout Schedule
Bad news first: Theres no such thing as spot reduction, so you cant lose weight only from your belly.
The good news is that you can build muscle and reduce overall fat including stress belly by maintaining a consistent, full-body workout routine.
So, what are the best exercises for burning fat?
The one youll do consistently, but research suggests that a combo of strength training and high-intensity interval training is one of your best options.
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Ensure You Get Good Quality Sleep Each Night
Ensure you get seven to nine hours of good quality sleep each night to avoid increasing the levels of cortisol in your body.
In one study on adults between the age of eighteen and sixty-five, it was discovered that those adults who slept for less than six hours each night and those who slept for more than nine hours each night had more visceral fat than the control group .
Another study produced the same results, but with a test group of adults 40 years and younger .
Apart from getting the required amount of sleep each night, it is also important that you set up a sleep schedule and follow a consistent sleep routine every night.
How Does Chronic Stress Cause A Stress Belly
When youre stressed, your body releases cortisol, the most important stress hormone.
While cortisol is necessary to ensure you respond appropriately when faced with a stressful situation, having high cortisol levels for a long time can increase insulin resistance and slow your metabolism. The extra fat you retain due to stress has been proven to collect around your organs, so this is where that stubborn belly fat comes from.
High cortisol levels can also prompt the body to store more fat and use muscle for energy. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you will burn over time, which makes it harder to maintain a healthy weight.
Whats more, theres a connection between high cortisol levels and increased cravings for high-calorie foods.
Stress eating is real!
As if all of that wasnt enough to adversely impact your weight, abdominal fat can even increase cortisol levels, creating a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break .
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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
Lifestyle Changes To Reduce The Adrenal Or Stress Belly Type
When we are stressed out, it is because our bodys natural functions have been upset. Pressure can come from many different sources like a tough day at work or an argument with loved ones the key thing to remember about stress though?
You actually have two types of stress
Long-term chronic stress is the type that is damaging to your health and leads to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and the stress belly fat type.
Im sure youve been there- struggling under the weight of too many responsibilities or feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on in this world it can really take its toll over time if we dont learn some simple ways to manage our thoughts so they dont rule us completely.
To reduce cortisol levels so they dont build up too high there are steps you can take to improve your stress response.
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What Are The Accompanying Symptoms Of The Stress Belly
Sometimes its difficult to know when you are under long term pressure. You just get used to it and can fail to see what is happening. This adjustment happens when, for example, you have spent a long time in a job, dealing with the strains as you go along.
However, there are common signs of stress that you can look out for. These common symptoms of stress often show up when you are going though times of stress. They are all symptoms of cortisol imbalances.
- Excessive worrying
- Problems getting to sleep, staying asleep and getting poor quality sleep. Insomnia
- Digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome
Change In Exercise Or Diet
Maintaining a moderate level of exercise is vital for many reasons. It can help lower stress, burn calories, build strength and help release tension. If you havent exercised in a while, you might find that you have higher stress hormone levels of cortisol.
Cortisol is activated when we feel stressed and sends signals to the body to store more fat. By cutting out exercise, you may develop a hormone imbalance contributing to your lower belly fat. Eating sugary and fatty foods while cutting out the proper nutrients you need can also cause hormone imbalances of ghrelin and leptin, causing you to eat even more.
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