“Stress” which is predominant in all our lives due to various factors like finance, health, relationships, career, etc. and can lead to serious health issues. Excess belly fat has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and stress. When you have stress, your body releases certain “fight-or-flight” stress hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands: cortisol. When you first get stressed, this hormone kicks into gear and excess of it causes heart problems, sleep problems and also leads to excessive WEIGHT GAIN and BELLY FAT. Though it is difficult to keep our stress in control but it is significant to keep it within limits or else the consequences are adverse.
A list of scientifically proven facts to decrease belly fat once and for all and its affects are discussed below in details.
STRESS INCREASES FOOD INTAKE
Stress can affect your weight and eating habits by increasing the levels of stress hormones specifically cortisol circulating in your body. These hormones can cause you to have higher intensity cravings for high fat, calorie-dense foods, which will typically make you gain weight over time. Stress also diminishes your brain’s sensitivity to food intake which means that you may be eating but the incoming energy is not registered by the brain and you still feel the need to eat more. As a result, you may be eating more calories than you need and these extra calories have to go somewhere in the body and our abdomen is the first place the body stores excess calories thereby causing a fat belly.
SOLUTION: Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory food can help the body repair the damages done by high cortisol. Such super food items are
- olive oil
- green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards.
- nuts like almonds and walnuts.
- fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.
- fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.
Apart from all this, it is also important to keep stress in check by doing certain exercises, meditation, and deep breathing.
STRESS INHIBITS SLEEP
Sometimes when we are stressed it becomes very difficult to get sleep. The reason behind this is that if the stress hormone cortisol remains elevated all day and it decreases the release of our sleep hormone melatonin. Without the sleep hormone, we experience difficulties in getting sound sleep. The next day, we tend to wake up tired, anxious and craving for high carb food rather than healthier food options. This in-turn causes an increase in our belly fat and weight gain.
SOLUTION: Firstly, what is of prime importance is to get sleep to get cortisol back in balance. This can be achieved by avoiding stimulants like alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
Fixing our bedroom lighting by having blackout curtains and dim-light.
Turning off the wifi devices, cell phones, television as the bright light from these objects disturb the secretion of melatonin the sleep hormone.
STRESS MAKES US LAZY
This is very important as when we are stressed our body produces several hormones which in-turn affects our metabolic rate and makes us physically inactive. Moreover, high cortisol alters the release of hormones like testosterone, estrogen and thyroid hormone which all affects the metabolic rate and thereby drops the amount of calories the body burns daily.
SOLUTION: Most importantly we must set a regular workout routine to deal with stress and weight gain.
Our first priority should be strength training to preserve lean muscle mass and we must definitely incorporate high-intensity exercise programs to keep cortisol in check. These, when combined together, will deal with both Stress and Belly fat.
Hence, if all the necessary protocols are kept in mind out stress and belly fat can become a thing of bygone days. So, what are you waiting for let’s get started already?