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.
Consider Some Apple Cider Vinegar
It seems that the Kardashians might be onto something with their daily apple cider vinegar consumption.
A number of animal studies have concluded that the acetic acid in it is effective in reducing abdominal fat. Whilst another 12-week study showed that obese men who had a daily tablespoon of the stuff saw a half an inch loss from their waistlines.
Its thought to promote feelings of fullness, reduce blood sugar, and lower insulin levels in the body, explains Mina. However, this can only work alongside a healthy diet, so adding apple cider vinegar into your diet alone is unlikely to have much impact.
Its worth noting that apple cider vinegar can also cause acid reflux problems. And is known to strip enamel on teeth.
If you do wish to try this method of weight loss aid, Id recommend always diluting it with a glass of water and introducing it slowly into your diet to see how your body responds, she adds.
Just Say No To Processed Foods
Processed foods are not good for health even you do not have knowledge about this that all the processed foods have salt in their foods even in the boxed cakes also have a salt which is not good for your health mainly for your belly because as you dont know and you are eating continue this processed food and slightly it harm your belly and gain your belly fat.
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Insulin Resistance Is A Trigger For Meno Belly Weight Gain
Insulin resistance can also contribute to weight gain. If your insulin receptors have become less sensitive to insulin, you can have higher levels of blood sugar and lower energy and also increased disease risk for diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Chronic stress and abdominal fat can encourage insulin resistance. This results in higher insulin levels that can make the body more easily turn calories into fat even if you’re dieting.
The good news is you can do something about insulin resistance. Strength training to build muscle also boosts your metabolism and makes those insulin receptors more sensitive, helping you to lose weight. Ever notice how men tend to lose weight more easily than women? It’s because they have more lean muscle mass.
Supplements For Combating Adrenal Belly Fat
Supplementing doesnt replace a healthy diet, but supplements can help support healthy adrenal function.
Supplements important for combating adrenal belly fat include:
- Vitamin B
There are eight B vitamins. The B vitamins are:
These vitamins help your body make energy from the food you eat. The B vitamins also help form red blood cells.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It is vital for your skin, bones, and connective tissue.
Additionally, vitamin C:
- Lowers the risk of some cancers
- Helps the body absorb iron
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Calciumis essential to keeping bones and teeth strong and healthy.
The amount of vitamin D you need daily is dependent on your age.
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Best Foods For Reducing Adrenal Stomach Fat
If youre looking to reduce adrenal stomach fat, youll want to make sure your diet includes plenty of protein and healthy fats as well as foods that are high in:
Best Food Sources For Vitamin B
If youre looking to increase your intake of Vitamin B, youll want to make sure your refrigerator and pantry are stocked with:
- Leafy greens, including: spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and romaine lettuce
- Liver and other organ meats
- Shellfish, including: clams, mussels, and oysters
- Legumes, including: black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, green peas, edamame, and soy nuts
Best Food Sources For Vitamin C
Vitamins C comes from fruits and vegetables. Good sources for Vitamin C include:
- Citrus: oranges, lemons, grapefruit
- Greens: kale, turnip greens, swiss chard, spinach
Best Food Sources for Vitamin D
We get the majority of our Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D isnt found naturally in many foods. However, many foods are fortified with vitamin D to provide us with essential nutrients.
Vitamin D can be found naturally in:
Foods often fortified with vitamin D include:
- Orange juice
Belly Fat Cortisol Supplements
Bringing your bodys cortisol level back into balance is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to cortisol and weight gain.
There are supplements that can help to accelerate these processes and stop cortisol weight gain.
We take a look at the best supplements on the market that can help in cortisol fat loss
You might not know, but many foods you consume today contain Choline Bitartrate.
Foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, and so on have this supplement in it.
The body is also known to produce a little percentage of this supplement.
However, even though we can find this basic supplement all around us, a large percentage of the population is still deficient in it.
The supplement not only reduces anxiety and cortisol, it also helps to improve your focus and memory.
According to the research , choline may be able to lower immune inflammation and also suppress oxidative stress in asthma patients.
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You’re Into The Wrong Foods
Unhealthy eating is the biggest driver of big bellies. Too many starchy carbohydrates and bad fats are a recipe for that midsection to expand. Instead, get plenty of veggies, choose lean proteins, and stay away from fats from red meats. Choose healthier fats in things like fish, nuts, and avocados.
Even a moderate cutback on carbs can help, too.
Drink Plenty Of Water Every Day
Staying hydrated throughout the day can rev up your metabolism and keep you energetic.
Water also helps reduce hunger and can prevent overeating. I may also note that drinking a glass of water before meals can remind you to eat mindfully and help you eat less.
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Add Adaptogen Herbs To Your Diet
Adaptogen herbs can help lower your cortisol levels by reducing inflammation and balancing hormones. In fact, these herbs have strong antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that fight off all sorts of diseases.
Use these adaptogenic herbs to regulate your cortisol levels:
- Holy basil
- Medicinal mushrooms
Now, you dont have to go out and buy all these herbs, you can get all their ingredients in this superfood green juice.
What Exactly Is A Stress Belly
Basically, stress belly is not a medical diagnosis, its a way of describing how stress and stress hormones can affect your weight, especially your belly. For instance, higher levels of cortisol – the primary stress hormone – have been associated with abdominal obesity. This crucial hormone produced in the adrenal gland also helps with blood sugar control, metabolism and many other functions in the body. Cortisol, along with other hormones like adrenaline, is a part of the bodys fight or flight response that occurs when faced with a crisis. During a stressful event, cortisol levels rise to give you a surge of energy to help you deal with the event. And once the stress is addressed, everything returns to normal.
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Mix And Match Your Stress Relief
Your first line of defense is to manage the stress thats causing that natural response. Of course, thats easier said than done, especially right now.
After all, its not like you can magically eliminate all the stress in your life. And the last thing you need is to be stressed about being stressed.
Your best bet?
Try a variety of stress relief techniques to see which ones work best for you.
Whats making you feel stressed is unique to your set of circumstances, so it makes sense that what alleviates that stress will also be tailored to you, says Sharon McDowell-Larson, Ph.D., exercise physiologist and coach at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Start playing around with different options and be aware of what works and what doesnt, McDowell-Larson adds. Often, it takes a combination of strategies.
Here are a few to try:
- If youre working from home, create a clock-out time for work.
You’re Doing The Wrong Exercises
Those sit-ups arent enough. You also need weight training to build muscle. More muscle means more calorie burning.
That said, if you can only do one exercise, choose aerobic exercise . It works best for burning fat. Make it a habit, and slowly ratchet up the intensity to get the results youre after.
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What Causes Stress Belly
Excess fat around the midsection can be attributed to a variety of factors. Genetics, aging, and eating habits can all play a part, but this fat can often be attributed to a cortisol imbalance.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps control blood sugar and metabolism. Further, it helps us get motivated and focused. Cortisol is usually elevated in the morning, when many of us need to perform at our best. In addition, exercise and periods of acute stress also help release cortisol and regulate energy.
Perhaps more notably, cortisol is also part of our bodys fight or flight response. The sympathetic nervous system activates in times of crisis, with the adrenal cortex then releasing cortisol. The body also gets a surge of glucose, which is meant to give our muscles an immediate supply of energy. At this point, insulin is also released to prevent the surge of glucose from being stored as fat.
In an ideal world, our stressors would be short-lived and our hormones would soon balance out. But in reality, many of our stressors stay persistent, leaving cortisol levels consistently high and stress belly fat in its wake.
Mix Strength Training And Cardio
There are no specific exercises that target belly fat, so instead opt for a whole-body approach. Studies show that a combination of cardio and strength training can lead to greater weight loss than just one or the other.19
combines strength and cardio and has been praised for its numerous health benefits. It can help you to get into shape quickly and is an accessible form of exercise for most people. Some research has suggested it may even target belly fat.20
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The Fight Or Flight Response
Cortisol is a crucial hormone produced in the adrenal glands. It helps control blood sugar and metabolism, among other things.
Along with other hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol is part of your bodys fight or flight response.
When faced with a crisis, this stress response slows unnecessary body functions so you can focus. Once the threat passes, everything goes back to normal.
Thats a good thing.
However, prolonged stress can keep stress hormones levels elevated, along with your blood pressure and blood sugars, and thats not good.
Load Up On Whole Grains
Whole grains are a fantastic option for those looking to lose belly fat, says Mina, praising their nutritional properties:
Oats, brown rice and barley often have a low glycaemic index which means the carbohydrates in these foods are released more slowly, therefore helping you to keep fuller for longer.
Swapping refined grains for whole grains has scientifically shown to aid weight loss too. With one study noting whole grains as boosting our metabolism and reducing the amount of calories retained during digestion. This in turn is a win-win for those wanting to lose belly fat.
Whole grains to try:
- Wholewheat pasta
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Boost Your Fiber Intake
For women ages 31 to 50, the recommended daily fiber intake is 25.2 grams per day for men in the same age group, its 30.8 grams.
High-fiber foods like beans, bran cereal, and chia seeds can help you hit this goal.
If you dont normally eat a lot of fiber, ramping up your intake too dramatically may lead to gas or bloating, says dietitian Tamara Duker Freuman, R.D., who specializes in digestive health. So be sure to add it to your diet gradually.
Why Does Stress Cause Belly Fat
Why Does Stress Cause Belly Fat, Particularly speaking, stress and belly fat are co-related and you can see how stress affects belly fat for the following reasons? The metabolism of the body starts slowing down as you grow older and thus, fat starts to build up around the belly.
Stress, alongside diabetes, is known to be a silent killer as it causes a decline in healthand also affects every part of the body. These days, individuals are more stressed-out than their ancestors. Due to this fast pace world, people don’t want to lag behind the race and thus, health is most affected and stress is the primary reason for it.
A sedentary lifestyle, bad eating habits, and stress along with this natural aging process lead to belly fat. This fat, also known as visceral fat is the most hazardous fat in the body. This fat has the fastest access to the heart and other vital organs of the body since it’s situated behind the wall of the abdomen.
The abdominal fat doesn’t only rest in the stomach and if you want to remove belly fat, then you need to take some vital steps. This belly fat, in fact, is extremely active and releases substances into your organs that are enormously injurious to the body. The body releases free fatty acids into the systems that damage the functioning of the body. Belly fat is not good for anyone, but it’s particularly bad for men. This abdominal fat also carries a potential risk of heart disease.
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How Does The Cortisol Hormone Work
The human brain has the ability to sense if the blood contains just about the right level of cortisol.
If the brain senses that the level of cortisol is low, it increases the amount of the hormone it produces.
The adrenal glands recognize these signs and fine-tune the amount of cortisol hormone it releases into your body.
Most cells in your body contain cortisol receptors. These receptors receive and use the cortisol hormones that are released into your body in different ways.
The basic idea is that your bodys cortisol needs will always be different as the day goes by.
For example, there are days when your body is on a high alert. In days like this, the cortisol can shut down or alter other functions that can get in the way.
Some of these can even include the immune system, growth process, or even the reproductive and digestive system.
Symptoms Of High Cortisol Levels
However, apart from the obvious relationship between cortisol and weight gain, the hormone can also cause other problems which include
- Heart diseases
- Digestion problems.
For the purpose of this article, we shall look at the relationship between cortisol and weight gain.
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What Are Adrenals And How Are They Connected To Belly Fat
Adrenals oradrenal glandsare small, triangular-shaped glands located at the top of both kidneys. Theyre also known as suprarenal glands.
Adrenal glands produce hormones.
The hormones produced by your adrenal glands are responsible for helping to regulate your:
- Blood pressure
- Response to stress
Adrenal fatiguehappens when your adrenal glands function below the necessary level, leaving you exhausted and burnt out, regardless of how much sleep you get.
When adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, it may cause weight gain and fatty deposits in the:
- Below the back of the neck
HealthierUhelps patients overcome their health issues with nutrition and lifestyle guidance rather than medication or surgery. Dr. Donna Sergi has helped thousands of patients remedy problems with:
- Back pain
- Stubborn adrenal belly fat
- And more
Nutritional therapy with HealthierU may be exactly what you need to combat adrenal fatigue and the stomach fat that often comes with it.