Close your eyes and think about the last time you were stressed out. Chances are you didn’t think about the traffic jam that made you really angry and late for work, or the rush to get the kids fed and to soccer.
Generally, people only focus on big stressful events when they consider the stress in their lives. This common misconception could be the reason you are unsuccessful at getting your belly fat to start to melt off of your body.
What Is Stress?
Stress is a chronic problem in our current society. Healthy.Net notes that most people experience chronic stress daily and it puts their body in a chronic stress response. The problem is that many of the things in our modern life cannot be controlled. Our commutes, the traffic, the plane delays for your business trip; they are all out of our control.
The University of New Mexico notes that psychological stressors can be a contributing factor in the release of cortisol. When you spill coffee on your shirt and have to change before you go to work which causes you to hit traffic and be late. This chain of events triggers a cortisol release into the blood stream.
But psychological stress is not the only type of stress, strict diets are stressful and can make cortisol levels rise by as much as 18% according to Prevention Magazine. This can cause a whole host of side effects on your mood and your will power.
So, what is this lack of control and constant state of stress doing for our bodies?
How Stress Affects Cortisol
Stress is known to cause exaggerated responses to cortisol. Prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol causes people to accumulate greater abdominal fat. And, according to Science Daily, Cortisol affects fat by causing the distribution of fat to change. Cortisol created fat likes to be stored centrally, so belly fat is likely to increase when you are stressed.
Cortisol Stops You From Losing Fat
Another reason you aren’t losing your belly fat when you are under stress is that cortisol prevents the release of fat to be used as fuel by altering the metabolic processes. This means that your stressful diet and lifestyle, even your stressful exercise routine can be the reason that you are not losing any belly fat. The hormones released when you are stressed out are stopping you from losing that stubborn fat.
What Can Be Done?
There are several things you can do to help you manage your stress. Making sure you find the right method that works for you may take some time.
Reducing the stress of extreme diets should be an easy fix by trying to achieve a more moderate diet. A moderate diet will reduce the stress felt from the lack of calories on the body.
Next, you should look for ways to reduce your psychological stressors. If there are elements in your life that cause you unwanted stress, and they can be eliminated, eliminate them. This will help ensure that you are not dealing with any unwarranted stressors.
What about those things you cannot eliminate? For these types of chronic stressors, meditation, prayer, and being mindful of your physical and emotional responses to the situation will allow you to regain control of your body’s response to stress.
When you have reduced and eliminated as much stress as you can, you will start to notice the measurements on your waist go down. When your waist measurements begin to shrink you can be sure you have reduced your stress significantly.
A giant belly full of visceral fat is a key indicator of stress. If you have this classic symptom of chronic stress, try and find the stresses in your life so that you can move on and get the healthy flat belly you’ve always wanted.