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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.

 

Adding Turmeric To Your Juices Benefits Your Health

You might not be familiar with turmeric by name, but chances are you’ve eaten it at least once before.

As a primary ingredient in many Indian dishes.

Turmeric Powder

Turmeric Powder

 

As well as a coloring agent in foods such as mustard and various cheeses.

Its benefits in the culinary world are well documented.

However, did you know it also carries numerous health benefits?

Read on to find out how adding turmeric to your juices.

Brings a wide range of positive improvements to your diet and overall well-being.

 

Reducing Osteoarthritis Pain

Though much of the research into the various effects of turmeric are still in the early phases.

One study reports significant findings on its ability to treat pain from osteoarthritis, according to WebMD.com.

These researchers studied test groups with arthritis and found that.

A regular dosage of turmeric reduced the amount of pain that resulted from the joint impairment.

The research focused on patients consuming whole turmeric.

Rather than a modified supplement made from turmeric.

Meaning you can easily sprinkle the spice it into your juice for the full effect.

 

Anti-inflammatory Aid

Another major benefit of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory properties.

Which means that it helps to relax blood vessels that become engorged as a response to pain or other irritations.

Adding turmeric into your juices can thus help to alleviate discomfort from a variety of pains and aches.

Similar to that of taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Research from the University of Arizona also found.

That these properties helped to reduce pain from rheumatoid arthritis.

Furthering the evidence that it can help improve joint movement.

The research also suggests that taking the turmeric preemptively can help prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

Turmeric Root

Turmeric Root

 

Fighting Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among both men and women.

Often resulting from long-term issues relating to diet and other health factors.

Turmeric can help to fight off heart disease by aiding the body in the removal of plaque from the arteries.

Which decreases blood flow through the body.

This obstruction causes the heart to work harder than necessary to pump blood.

Which results in excessive damage to the muscle that can lead to heart attacks.

By removing the plaque, the heart is able to function at a normal level and thus stay stronger for longer.

 

Promoting Better Digestion

Many people turn to juicing to help with digestive issues.

Often focusing on detoxifying the body and flushing the system of harmful build up.

Try adding turmeric to your juices to enhance your digestive system.

By reducing bloating and eliminating excess gas.

The spice is also found to help alleviate discomfort from heartburn.

Which can lead to other health issues and major discomfort if left untreated.

Drinking a juice blend with turmeric can sometimes result in immediate relief of these issues.

Though response time may very between individuals.

Dried Turmeric

Dried Turmeric

 

Boosting Antioxidant Levels

One of the most significant health benefits of turmeric is its high levels of antioxidants.

Which have a variety of benefits to your overall health.

A diet rich in antioxidants can help repair the damage to the heart muscles.

Reduce the signs of aging, increase your energy levels, and improve the function of your other organs.

Some research also suggests that antioxidants can help combat free radicals that can lead to cancer.

Similarly, research from UCLA found that turmeric contains a compound know as curcumin.

That seems to dramatically increase the antioxidant capacity of the body.

As with all juicing ingredients and health tactics, remember that moderation and consistency.

While tossing a cup of turmeric into your next juice might have a short-term benefit.

It can lead to an upset stomach and other discomfort.

Stick to a few teaspoons per juice a few times a week to keep yourself on track.

And guarantee your ability to reap its benefits in the long haul.

 

Turmeric In Juicing

You can juice fresh turmeric or stir in the dried spice to a finished juice.

I’ve found that adding the dried spice to a spinach and kale smooth adds an exotic flavor to the drink.

juicing fresh organic carrots and beets, add in some blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.

With some turmeric, makes a real good power drink that can get you through a long day.

 

Junk Food: Removing The Crap From Your Diet

Just as the name suggests junk food is junk.

Junk food is full of calories that do absolutely nothing for your body.

Junk Food

Junk Food

 

These are called empty calories because they have no or very little nutritional value.

The truth is that most of these calories come from sugar and fats and they will do nothing but increase weight and body fat.

Junk food can also cause you to retain water which will make you feel bloated and sluggish.

This causes you to feel tired instead of having the energy to get up and move around.

The long term effects of eating junk food can be extreme.

From causing you to be overweight to causing the clogging of arteries that leads to heart attack.

Why do people love junk food? The truth is that our brains have very positive reactions to fatty and sugary foods.

It induces “feel good” hormones in the brain that actually mimic the effects of powerful addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.

It is no wonder that we need them.

How many people have cravings for spinach?

But, cravings for ice cream, chips, soda and cookies is a whole other matter.

In order to overcome these perilous food addictions, you must retrain your body, change old habits and change tastes.

It takes time and effort, but, it can be done.

Did you know that there are thousands of fitness conscious people who NEVER touch any junk food? Yes it’s really true!

Removing junk food from your diet is an important way to become proactive when it comes to your health.

 

How To Remove Junk Food From Your Diet

It starts with some common sense.

Many people say that it is cheaper to eat junk food than it is to eat healthy food.

Or they use the excuse that they just don’t like the way healthy food tastes.

First you will have to reprogram your taste buds to get used to eating healthy foods.

You have been eating junk food all of your life, this is what your body is used to and what it will crave.

But it is up to you to retrain your body and your mind to crave healthy foods.

It is not cheaper to eat junk food!

Let’s forget about the fact that you will save thousands on medical bills by eating healthy.

And let’s look at what you are spending right now.

 

Potato Chips Versus Oranges

A bag of potato chips costs about $3.99 this will usually last a family of four one day, if that long.

Now let’s look at a bag of oranges.

One bag of oranges costs about $4 on average.

When you buy a bag of oranges you will get 8-10 oranges.

This can make as many as 16 snacks which can last up to four days for a family of four.

Now you have to look at which you would rather your family or yourself eat.

Potato chips are loaded with fat, salt and a lot of calories.

1 ounce of Lays plain chips has 160 calories, 1 grams of fat and 170 grams of sodium (7% of daily allowance).

An orange has 0 fat, 0 salt and only 45 calories.

Junk Food

Junk Food

 

Plus, it’s loaded with essential nutrients, like vitamin C (a whopping 85% of the daily recommended allowance), plus potassium and fiber.

When eating a bag of potato chips you may be watching television, letting all of that fat attach itself to your body.

But, when you eat that orange, you are energized simply by the smell of it.

And, this is just one example of how junk food compares to healthier options.

Next time you go to the market do some comparison shopping.

And you will see that the prices of healthy food are not so different from junk food.

There are also plenty of healthier snack options available that can fill kid’s lunch boxes with healthier alternatives.

 

Planning

It may take some planning when you are removing junk food from your diet.

But, it is possible to eat healthy on the same budget you have right now.

 

Healthier Substitutions For Junk food

When you remove junk food from your diet you will find that you suffer from cravings.

Here are a few substitutions you can use to get past the cravings:

  • A square of dark chocolate instead of a chocolate candy bar
  • Unsalted pretzels or no butter popcorn instead of chips
  • Baked vegetable strips instead of chips
  • Raw nuts instead of chips for a crunchy snack
  • Plain yogurt with fruit, honey, or nuts instead of ice cream
  • Flavored sparkling water instead of soda
  • Fresh fruit instead of cake and cookies
  • Raisins instead of candy
  • Cherries instead of candySubstituting In Recipes

There are also ways that you can alter your favorite recipes to create a healthier version.

For example instead of using butter in your cakes and cookies.

You can create a healthier version by substituting the butter with apple sauce.

You can also use non-fat plain yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise.

If you are a real lover of mayonnaise than try replacing it with avocado on your sandwiches. I

t has the same texture and you never miss the empty calories of the mayonnaise.

 

Bottom Line

These are just a few things that you can do to remove the junk food from your diet.

There are so many other options that you can do.

But, rest assured it is possible to remove the junk food from your diet.

And replace it with much healthier alternatives.

This will ensure your good health and the health of your family.