Is Stress Causing You To Store Belly Fat?
Too often, people think weight loss is all about cutting calories and exercising more. I have spoken to thousands of people who’ve explored these avenues with very little success.
These people are genuinely trying to do everything that’s “right” for their health. They exercise regularly, eat well, take their supplements and live a pretty healthy life but they are still gaining body fat (particularly ell fat) instead of losing it and they’re extremely frustrated!!
It could well be that stress is the culprit when it comes to that layer of belly fat that these women are complaining about due to the release of fat storage hormones such as cortisol in response to chronic stress.
We usually think “being stressed-out” as an emotional state and many of us don’t realise how stressed our bodies really are.
There are many different types of daily stressors that we face every day, the alarm beeping loudly waking you first thing, a screaming child while you are rushing around trying to get ready for work, a traffic jam on the way to work, a looming deadline when you arrive, rushing to pick the kids up, sorting tea for the family, a mad dash to the gym, emails to catch up on and before you know it you are heading off to bed to start the cycle again.
All pretty normal I’m sure you will agree?
However, there are many other stressors that will we will encounter daily. Typically, busy people tend to try and squeeze as much into their days as they can, spinning too many plates and trying to please everyone. With work, home, gym and other commitments its no surprise that stress levels are high all of which could well be contributing to that extra layer of belly fat you have been trying to avoid
When we have long-term stress, cortisol and insulin remain high in the blood, and the extra glucose that isn’t needed for energy gets stored in the form of fat, primarily abdominal fat. Scientists have discovered that fat cells have special stress-hormone receptors for cortisol, but that there also seem to be more of these cortisol receptors on the fat cells in the abdomen than anywhere else in the body!
And sadly visceral fat doesn’t just “sit there” doing nothing, it’s almost as if this fat is, itself, an endocrine organ that reacts to the stress response, spurring still more abdominal fat deposition. So the cycle continues unless we take steps to heal the metabolic imbalance.
Becoming aware of the signals your body sends when experiencing stress is crucial for identifying barriers to your weight loss goals. Your symptoms of stress can be different from another individual’s symptoms. Physical symptoms of stress may include headache, muscle tension and fatigue. Changes in mood such as anxiety, irritability and diminished motivation are emotional signs of stress. Impulsive behaviours such as excessive eating, smoking and using alcohol or drugs are also behavioural indicators of stress.
So what can we realistically do to reduce our stress levels? We all know that excessive stress is not good for health so working to manage your stress is crucial for balancing your hormones and getting your body back to a healthy state
No one can completely eliminate stress in this day and age. However, there are ways you can try to lessen the impact of stress on your weight.
Some people find meditation and relaxation methods helpful, maybe try a spot of yoga or pilates to calm your stress levels rather than pounding it out in the gym which may actually be doing more harm than good for your fat stores.
Having a strict sleep ritual most nights will also help, so turning off the tv, pc and any bright lights around 9.30pm giving you time to read a book or listen to some meditative music before bed is my preferred sleep ritual. Being asleep by 10.30pm most nights is also crucial.
A cup of Tulsi tea 30 minutes before bed will also help bring your cortisol levels down enabling your body’s fat burning enzymes to be switched on rather than off. More on this little gem to come in the 6 week weight management programme.
A lumie light to wake you naturally in the morning in winter is much nicer to wake up to than a beeping alarm, these can be found online.
Try making just these few changes and see how well you feel, surely it’s worth a try to rebalance your hormones which can help with reducing that belly fat you have been frustrated at for so long.
If you want to get involved on our next 6 week programme that will give you the tools you need to live the rest of your life by principle based nutrition not fads then head tohttp://getcornwallhealthy.com/welcome/ to get involved for our course starting Monday 14th Jan. The next 6 weeks will pass regardless it just depends how you choose to use them.
See below how Felicity shed 26 inches and lost a dress size.
Felicity Sheds The Light On How Matt’s 6 Week Weight Management Course Helped Her Drop A Dress Size And Lose 26 Inches.
Since finishing uni in the summer i was unhappy with the way i felt and looked and i wanted to do something about it. Having known matt for years and having completed a programme with him before i though i would do another.
The main thing i was worried about was not succeeding and letting people down. Once i started the programme i was determined to prove everyone wrong.
Over the course of the six weeks i lost 26inches in total and dropped a dress size. The food was varied each week, and tho expensive to begin it was definitely worth sticking to.
I am continuing with the new way of eating and i am looking to lose some more weight as i am going to be a bridesmaid at my brothers wedding in July.
I would like to thank matt for the fantastic support and if anyone is looking to get healthier and lose some weight it is a brilliant programme to follow.
If you want to get involved on our next 6 week programme head tohttp://getcornwallhealthy.com/welcome/
The next 6 weeks will pass regardless it just depends how you choose to use them. Doors close on Saturday 12th Jan 2013 if we haven’t sold out by then.