Stress Belly Is Real
Are you worried about your growing belly? Did you know that stress could be a contributing factor? Read on to learn more about the stress belly and how you can get rid of it.
The pandemic situation has left many of us stuck at home for the past few months. The homely days haven’t been productive for all.
Rising unemployment and sad news from around the world has made it one of the most stressful times in history.
Many of you who are stuck home might naturally find your belly size grown widened and your old pants tighter. If you’re wondering why this happens, you’ve come to the right place.
Stress has a significant role to play in this unexpected growth. If you want to know if stress is behind this, read on. Also, learn how to get rid of it quickly.
Cortisol: The Reason Behind The Stress Belly
Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted by our adrenal glands. It triggers our ‘fight or flight’ response in stressful situations. By filling our blood with glucose, it helps us to deal with high-intensity problems.
After the event, the hormone levels are supposed to drop to normal. However, this is where our modern lifestyle interferes.
Nowadays, there are endless reasons of stress. Be it a negative relationship, peer pressure, or unemployment, the world is a stressful place to be. Due to this constant stress, our body goes into high cortisol levels too often. As a result, anxiety and sleeplessness creeps in.
Persistence of stress leads to lower immunity, an increase in body weight, and high blood pressure.
On top of this, if you love munching on fatty snacks, your belly might be already protruding out your t-shirt.
Cortisol can contribute to your fat belly build up in distinct ways. Firstly, the hormone releases fat from its stored location and deposits it around the belly. This, in turn, leads to more cortisol secretion.
Further, high insulin levels caused by cortisol can make cells starve energy. As a result, our body goes into high hunger mode, making us overeat. This means one thing-extra glucose gets stored as fat.
How To Confirm Your Belly Fat Is Caused By Stress?
Having belly fat is one thing, but you have to look out for a few signs to confirm stress causes it. Look out for the following symptoms:
1. You Are Extremely Hungry
Stress naturally increases our appetite. If you are tempted to down a couple more plates even after finishing your dinner or breakfast, you have reasons to worry. You can confirm it if you also feel like snacking on sugary snacks throughout the day.
2. Exercising Makes You Incredibly Hungry
Do you feel like eating all you can after your workout? Do you feel so hungry that a typical meal is nowhere near satisfying? If yes, you might have a case of cortisol imbalance. Or, you may be exercising too hard, and in the process, raising your cortisol levels.
3. You Get Overwhelmed Easily
If you get pissed off too easily or get triggered quickly by something you don’t like, there’s a reason for worry. In other words, when you feel that one more problem and you’re done, you have a case of cortisol imbalance.
Ways To Lose Stress Fat From Your Belly
Don’t lose hope if you find yourself building a stressed belly. There are ways to reduce it, and you can do it too. Check out the following methods:
1. Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are full of vital nutrients and vitamins. Not just that, they contain fewer calories but supply high fibre content.
You might be thinking that the sugar content is high in fruits. While that is true, they contain much less sugar than fruit juices. Hence, fruits are ideal for packing some sugar without crossing the healthy limit.
An excellent way to start is to fill half your plate with colourful vegetables and fruits. Further, you can eat vegetables instead of pasta or potatoes.
2. Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein foods make you feel satisfied faster than other foods. Hence, it will keep you from eating for a considerable period after one meal.
Protein also helps reduce cravings. In other words, more protein implies less snacking. Protein-rich foods are ideal for someone trying to reduce belly fat.
Remember to add at least one or two protein-rich ingredients to each meal. Examples of protein-rich foods are legumes, fruits, soybeans, and dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, and cashews.
3. Cut Down On Alcohol
If you’re a habitual drinker, this might be not easy to follow. However, this is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. If you slim down on alcohol consumption, you can see improvement in one month.
Alcohol makes you eat food that is not nutritious, contributing to uncontrolled weight gain. Once alcohol is inside, our body consumes the ethanol in it instead of burning fat.
Hence, stay away from alcohol if you have a stressed belly.
4. Exercise Regularly
This is a no brainer. The more physically active you are, the better your health condition will be. This also applies to your belly fat.
Intense physical activity helps burn fat. Muscle building keeps glucose extraction active and lowers inflammation. With regular exercise, the stress belly will gradually disappear.
Weight training is more effective than cardio for this purpose. The most impactful workouts are pull-ups, kettlebell workouts, and squats, as they make your whole bodywork.
5. Sleep More
Don’t you feel relaxed and energized after a sound sleep? This is because sleep helps bring down stress; in other words, it reduces cortisol levels.
However, sleeping for less than 6.5 hours raises the hormone levels, and increases stress. Keep this in mind, and try to clock at least 6.5 hours or more in sleep. This keeps stress hormones under control and checks further fat build-up.
By now, you must know if your belly is a result of your stress. Try to implement the steps mentioned above. They will help you not only to get rid of your stress belly but also to lead a healthier life.