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.
See A Doctor If You Start To Feel Pain In Your Stomach
Limit Sugar And Processed Foods
Cookies and chips are the ultimate comfort food when you’re stressed. But cutting down on junk food is a must for anyone trying to beat belly fat.
Not only do highly processed foods contain heaps of added sugar and lots of empty calories without any nutritional benefits, they also contain endocrine disruptors like preservatives that can cause hormonal imbalances, says Caroline Apovian, MD, an obesity and diabetes researcher and professor of diabetes and endocrinology at Boston University School of Medicine.
This may cause a chain reaction leading to more visceral fat, the deep fatty tissue that lies beneath your abdominal wall, which can result in a host of health problems, including metabolic syndrome a group of symptoms that signal an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
“Reducing your sugar intake and removing processed foods will reset blood sugar and insulin,” says Dr. Gottfried.
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High Cortisol Levels Linked With Abdominal Obesity/belly Fat:
However, not all obese people have high cortisol levels. The researchers suggest that genes may play a role in glucocorticoid sensitivity.
Short-term stress can cause stomach problems like diarrhea and vomiting. Irritable bowel syndrome can be the result of prolonged stress. If you already have irritable bowel syndrome, stress can make gas and bloating worse.
Why Does Your Body React To Stress
This is because your body has evolutionary programming telling you that when you feel stress, its because of danger. Unfortunately, the ancient part of your brain doesnt know the difference between an invading rival tribe or your boss telling you they need that report by the end of the day.
When you feel stress, your body senses danger, and signals to itself, OK, were in danger. We need lots of calorie-dense food now so well have the energy to run from this danger or fight back.
Obviously desk job weight gain is a real thing because we keep getting the internal signals for the high-calorie foods, but we dont burn any calories running away or battling a strong enemy. We just sit at our desk, stare into our spreadsheet, feel panic, and gain weight.
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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.
Create A Consistent Sleep Routine
Stress and sleep are intertwined. A lack of sleep can make you more vulnerable to stress, but its hard to doze off when youre stressed.
And if youre burning the midnight oil fairly often, sleep deprivation is associated with higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
This can lead to stress eating.
A healthy sleep routine can help. That includes establishing a consistent bedtime, so your brain learns when its time to wind down.
When you go to bed only when youre tired, youre introducing too much unpredictability into your sleep schedule, says Mia Finkelston, M.D., family practice physician. That can catch up with you.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, spending 5 to 10 minutes on a calming routine like deep breathing or guided imagery can also help relieve stress before bed.
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The Link Between Stress And Cortisol
Researchers have long known that rises in the stress hormone cortisol can lead to weight gain. Every time youre stressed, your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, and as a result, glucose is released into your bloodstream. All of this is done to give you the energy you need to escape from a risky situation .
Once the threat has subsided, your adrenaline high wears off and your blood sugar spike drops. This is when cortisol kicks into high gear to replenish your energy supply quickly.
Why You Gain Belly Fat When Youre Stressed
Im still looking for this kitchen in which abs are madedo you know where it is?
Thats what one client said to me during a discussion in which she informed me that her belly was fat and nothing she did would get rid of it and she was gross and disgusting.
The wine we were having was not helping our bellies, but it was definitely helping our attitudes.
Look, I dont want anyone out there to feel gross and disgusting, but I know what its like when you do and Im not going to lie Its not easy to get rid of the feeling AND the belly fat. If it were, I would not be having a wine-versation about gross and disgusting bellies, nor would I be writing this article.
And yes, diet is one of the most important aspects of losing belly fatwell get to that. But there are other things we need to work on too and working on All of Them At The Same Time can make your eyeballs fall out of your head, roll across the floor and become your cats next favorite toy.
We dont want that.
So lets deal with things one thing at a time.
One major contributor to belly fat is:
You need stress management. I know the word management is an ugly one, so lets just say stress management is all about pulling your s**t together.
In a previous article, I talked about how to tame your stress in several easy steps. In this one, were digging deeper to find out what stress is, what it does to your mind and body and, most important, how it affects your belly fat.
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How Can I Reduce Stress
How can we handle stress in healthy ways?
Surprising Habits That Shrink Your Belly Fat
No one welcomes excess body fat wherever it may appear, but belly fat is a special cause for concern. This type of fatalso known as visceral fatsits deep within the abdomen, around vital organs like the liver, pancreas and intestines, and it can cause serious health issues. If you’re putting on belly fat, it’s best to lose it ASAP, and it might be easier than you think. Here are five surprising habits that shrink belly fat. Read on to find out moreand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
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How Long Does It Take To Work Off Stress Belly
There are many factors that affect how quickly one can burn belly fat. Among these factors are age, gender, genetics, and daily activity. As such, the amount of time taken to burn belly fat differs from person to person.
All in all, it is recommended that while working to get rid of belly fat, aim to lose one to two pounds of fat a week, as this is the more sustainable approach, rather than losing so much within a short amount of time.
How Does Cortisol Cause A Stress Belly
- An imbalance of cortisol levels in the body causes excess belly fat because:Cortisol can release fat from storage and send it directly to your belly area.
- Cortisol 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.
- Excessive cortisol leads to the release of more insulin, which inhibits the conversion of glucose to fat. This starves the cells of energy, and the body responds to this by sending hunger signals to the brain. This then leads to overeating/binge-eating. Any unused glucose is then stored as fat in the body.
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What Causes Stress Belly
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.
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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The Best Habits For Abdominal Fat Say Doctors
There’s a monster inside you, and it’s working quietly to take over your organsand eventually your overall health. As sci-fi as this sounds, it’s pretty common: Abdominal fat. This fat lingers around the midsection, where it can cause serious trouble, increasing your risk of cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. These are the best habits for reducing abdominal fat, according to experts. Read on to find out moreand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs COVID is Hurting YouEven After a Negative Test.
Magnesium And Calcium Are Also Critical
These two minerals have the same effect as vitamins they help to negate the negative effects of cortisol.
Magnesium can be found in seeds, nuts, low fat dairy as well as beans. Ensure that you do not overdo it with the nuts because they contain plenty of calories. Usually, a handful will do.
Calcium is also essential in reducing belly fat from stress. You can get it from yogurt and milk. Tofu may also be a good alternative.
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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.
How Do I Get Rid Of Stress Belly Fat
Here are a few to try:
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How To Lose That Stubbornbelly Fat
Patientswant to know why they cant just do sit-ups to melt away the fat, says Dr.Butsch. When you do sit-ups, youre increasing muscles in the abdomen, butthat doesnt specificallytarget the visceral fat that is around the organsdeeper in the body. Instead, Dr. Butsch recommends these strategies to trim thebelly fat:
Eat In A Calorie Deficit
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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 .
Carefully Consider Your Carbs
While dietary fat has gotten a bad rap over the years, its more likely that carbohydrates are the culprit of a growing waistline.
Theres a general misunderstanding among people who have cholesterol problems that its simply through consumption of fat, says Dr. Kroll. The overconsumption of carbohydrates and processed foods are the primary contributors to the accumulation of abdominal fat. Ive spent years trying to change peoples ideas that its not just about ice cream and heavy cuts of meatits really about carb modification.
You dont necessarily have to follow a low-carb eating style, but it is a good idea to reduce your consumption of simple carbs, such as fruit juice and cookies. Instead, look for carbohydrates that also come with fiber like vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains. Aim to consume at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day, recommends Ward.
You may also want to experiment with your starch intake. While some people do well with potatoes, oats, rice and whole wheat bread, others dont. Starch can be like rocket fuel to drive insulin resistance, says Dr. Kroll. When your body doesnt respond well to insulin, this can lead to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
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