Did you know that health studies are showing that abdominal fat can develop as a result of stress. Researchers at Yale University found that women that were under more stress stored more fat around their stomachs. So it does appear that a fat belly is more likely to develop if you are stressed out.
Stress and Stomach Fat
Stress is an emotion – how is it related to belly fat? All emotions cause a chemical reaction in our body, mostly in the form of making hormones. Stress releases the hormone cortisol (one of our ‘fight or flight’ response hormones), which causes us to break down the protein in our muscles to use as energy, instead of the belly fat we’d like to lose. Less muscle equals a lowered metabolic rate (our muscle cells require more energy than fat cells). If, with less muscle we still ate the same quantity, then we’d burn less and store more as fat. Cortisol causes more of that fat to be stored in the belly area.
What can you do to reduce stress in your life?
1. Start by putting less on your proverbial plate. Have a smaller plate in general. If your list of things to do is longer then your weekly grocery list, you’ve got a problem.
2. Say no more often. Allow yourself some valuable ‘YOU’ time. Many women have been trained to believe that spending time on themselves is selfish. It’s not. It is the best gift you can give to others. By giving to yourself FIRST.
4. Re-evaluate your ideal of what perfect is. What is it that really what makes you happy?
5. Be content knowing you did your best. Baby steps can be celebrated too!
6. Exercise. Your body was meant to move, do some form of physical activity every day!
7. Eat whole foods. (Eat more foods that don’t require a label (fruits, vegetables etc.) and less foods with a label (processed foods).
8. Drink plenty of water. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day improves overall health and is important in moving you towards a healthy weight.
All these are great ways to reduce the stress in your body. Reducing the cortisol levels in your body. And ultimately, reducing your propensity to store excess belly fat.