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Why Stress Feeds Your Belly Fat

If you’re struggling with belly fat, you’ve probably tried every diet possible. If those diets aren’t working for you it’s possible that the cause of your belly fat is really about your stress levels rather than your diet.

Stress isn’t always a bad thing. We need stress to help get through challenging experiences and to push us to do our best. But more and more we live in a world where stress becomes a chronic experience rather than something which happens once in a while.

When you experience chronic stress, your body begins producing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that’s good when you’re experiencing a stressful situation. But when it’s produced all the time it begins to cause problems.

Cortisol causes your body to experience chronic inflammation and can direct fat stores directly to your belly. This situation can increase your risk of disease and it can cause you to age faster.

The good news is that you can reverse this problem by practicing stress reduction and management techniques. When you begin to soothe the inflammation in your body you can lose belly fat, reverse signs of aging, and reduce your risk of disease.

First, work to eliminate any stress that you can. For many people this means saying no to things to which you might usually say yes. Delegate any activities you can and clear your schedule as much as possible.

Next, learn to manage the stress that you can’t eliminate. Taking time to learn better time management and organization skills can cut back on stress. Daily meditation is also a good practice to help calm the stress that accumulates in your mind and body.

Another lifestyle factor that can greatly reduce cortisol levels is getting enough sleep. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, but are getting far fewer. Make it a practice to go to bed at the same time each night to get into a sleep routine.

Cut off caffeine a few hours before bed and stop looking at electronic devices an hour or two before bed time. If you still have a hard time falling asleep, you might consider taking the supplement melatonin to help you rest better.

Exercise and a healthy diet also go a long way toward supporting your body when it’s under stress. Exercise, in particular, helps with stress management.

By reducing your stress you can reduce your cortisol levels and ultimately be able to get rid of belly fat.

5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

Stress is everybody’s business, as it can lead to much more serious health issues.

Insomnia, lack of appetite and elevate blood pressure are just a few of these problems.

Stress

Stress

 

You could think you have it under control.

But the truth is that stress has a way of creeping up on you, and causing drastic health repercussions.

We live in a hectic world, one which requires our stress hormone, cortisol, to work overtime.

However, this is far from the way this hormone was meant to act.

The body’s stress reaction was supposed to be called into play when man’s survival was threatened.

Not when he or she was 5 minutes late to work.

Today, regardless of what your stressor is, you need to find effective natural ways to reduce it.

Do not rely on prescription medications.

Or consider them, as even though they may offer short term relief, they will make things worse very quickly.

Try the following tips and see yourself better for it:

 

1. Exercise

Exercise has numerous benefits on physical health.

But can also help regulate emotional wellbeing, and reduce the negative results from a stressful lifestyle.

Exercise elevated levels of beneficial brain chemicals, known as endorphins.

Which elevate mood, promote relaxation and counter stress.

In addition, exercise also increases testosterone levels.

Which shares an inverse relationship with cortisol (as one goes up, the other goes down).

For best results, exercise a minimum of three times weekly.

Making sure to include weight bearing exercises.

Stress

Stress

 

2. Eat Dark Chocolate

Eating any chocolate makes you feel better, right?

However, we’re not looking at milk chocolate varieties, which are loaded with sugar and not much else.

But rich dark chocolate, which contains a compound known as epicatechin.

This compound is highly sought after, as it has multiple beneficial effects on improving heart health, brain function and more.

But also the ability to reduce the effects of stress, and perceived stress.

Perceived stress is defined as a relative level of stress, since what affects one person may not affect another.

Improving your threshold that causes negative effects is extremely important.

 

3. Try A Massage

Why is it that people often opt for massages when feeling stressed?

Simple, because it works!

Stress is much more than “psychological”.

As its effects manifest throughout the body; muscular pain, tension, inability to sleep and much, much more.

A massage can help address some of the manifestations of stress, such as pain and tension.

Some massage therapists are also trained in the art of acupressure.

Which is using focused pressure at specific acupoints in order to get “chi” flowing once more.

Chi (or qi) is believed to be life energy.

With blockages of it resulting in many maladies that we cannot fully explain.

Acupressure isn’t merely wishful thinking.

As it has been documented to have profound effect on reducing stress levels in the real world.

Stress

Stress

 

4. Meditate

Meditation should be taught in schools.

There is likely no other technique that has a more profound effect on many facets of human health as meditation.

Yet most people do not practice any sort of.

Meditation does not need to be made into a complex science.

But at its core involves focusing the mind on absolutely nothing beyond the immediate present.

Anxiety surely worsens your stress burden.

And meditation perfectly helps to eliminate worry of the future or past.

 

5. Laugh And Have A Good Time

The number one enemy of stress is fun.

Laughter is the best medicine after all, as it can do miracles.

Ranging from reducing blood pressure, mediating pain responses.

And helping to manage the negative effects of the stress hormone cortisol.

Stressed individuals rarely take time out to smile and have fun.

Which only feeds the flames of a downward spiral.

Make time for memories, have fun with family and don’t take yourself too seriously.

 

How Stress Impacts Vital Organs

Stress affects just about everyone’s daily lives. Unfortunately, it’s not a benign thing.

It can affect your body in ways that can have a long lasting impact on your health.

Stress Effects

 

Here are some ways stress can affect your health:

1 ) The Effect Of Stress On Your Brain – Stress can cause you to lose your concentration and memory abilities.

Whether this is psychological or physiological is not completely clear.

When you are under stress, parts of your brain associated with memory.

Such as the hippocampus, do not work well and you cannot turn short-term memory into long-term memory.

You can also fail to concentrate on things you hear or things you are reading.

It isn’t clear whether this is a long-term effect or short-term effect.

However, things like stress reduction techniques seem to be able to restore your ability to think.

 

2 ) The Effect Of Stress On Your Gastrointestinal Tract – Stress triggers the body’s fight or flight response.

So that epinephrine and norepinephrine are released from your adrenal glands.

This has multiple effects on the body.

One thing this phenomenon does is shunt blood away from the gastrointestinal tract.

And toward the muscles of the body as a way of gearing up to “fight or flee” from a real or imagined opponent.

This can lead to a decreased blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract.

Which translates into indigestion and poor uptake of nutrients.

Fortunately, this can be short-lived unless you live under situations of chronic stress.

Then the GI system will be more permanently affected.

 

3 ) The Effect Of Stress On Your Cardiovascular System – Stress causes the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Which automatically raises your blood pressure and heart rate.

This puts more stress on your heart and puts you at higher risk of suffering from hypertension-related diseases.

Like heart failure, stroke, and heart attack.

These kinds of things do not happen overnight but if you suffer from chronic tension.

The long lasting implications of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease.

Heart failure, and stroke are real possibilities.

Especially if you do not eat well or have a strong family history of heart disease.

Stress Condition

Stress Condition

 

4 ) The Effect Of Stress On Your Immune System – Excess stress also causes the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex.

Cortisol has many effects on the body but one of the main ones is that it suppresses the immune system.

High levels of cortisol mean that you are at greater risk of getting colds and the flu.

And have a harder time healing from open sores, cuts, or wounds.

Cortisol can suppress several aspects of the immune system.

So you will find yourself sicker more often when under stressful conditions than you would be under normal conditions.

Stress

Stress

 

 

Things You Can Do To Reduce Stressful Conditions

Because stress can wreak havoc on your body.

You need to do what you can to lessen the tension on your life so you can remain healthy.

Sometimes it is just a matter of reducing the things in your life that are major sources of tension.

It might mean getting out of a stressful relationship.

Getting your finances in order or changing your job situation.

So you don’t go to work each day with stressful feelings.

If you can’t change your circumstances, you may want to practice stress-relieving techniques.

These include things like meditation, Tai chi, yoga, and Qi gong.

These activities can be easily learned through attending classes at a local health club.

Or by purchasing a DVD that will teach you ways to reduce the amount of stress.

You perceive in your life so you can live a healthier life.

Another great way to reduce stress is to take a vacation.

Or spend time in nature that naturally calms the mind, body, and spirit.