How stress causes belly fat

How stress causes belly fat

For years, people have been searching for answers on how to lose belly fat fast. For us to find out, it would be helpful if we’ll trace where it all began. Some people blame sweets, oily food, sedentary jobs, too much TV screening time, and busy schedules. If we try to look at the bigger picture, all these culprits point to one mastermind which is stress.

Stress triggers a person to eat even when not hungry. It also tells our body to rest and be sedentary for a prolonged period of time. In fact, the thought of stress alone makes us want to grab a bar of chocolate or slouch in the couch. With all these facts put together, does it mean stress causes belly fat?

The truth is there has been no definitive study that concludes stress as the main contributing factor of belly fat. However, a study conducted at Yale University has linked stress, Cortisol, and belly fat.

According to the said study, a stressed person releases Cortisol – a naturally occurring hormone that is produced in the body as a response to eating, exercising, and stress.  This hormone transports fat from other areas of the body and places it around the organs of the abdomen, now called as visceral fat.

An excess of visceral fat or abdominal fat is referred to as central obesity or “belly fat”, in which an outer area of the abdomen bulges and sags over time due to gravity. Furthermore, visceral fat is dangerous because it has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and breast cancer in women.

Moreover, Cortisol is also said to affect a person’s appetite. The said study further states that this hormone makes a person feel hungry, crave for sugar, and binge eat. In response to this stimulus, a person eats even when their body does not really need the excess calories causing more fat deposits in the abdominal area.

Although there have been many reported cause of belly fat formation, it has been proven that by releasing more Cortisol, stress became a big factor in the formation of stubborn belly fat. For that reason, it is safe to say that the best way to lose belly fat is through the following stress reduction techniques:

Exercise – Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi which are good stress relieving and calorie-burning exercises

Deep breathing exercises – helps you to relax and burns calories because oxygen is a component in burning calories

Sports – Physical sports burn fat and takes your mind out of stressors

Enjoy and live a happy life

Remember, avoiding stressors is equivalent to lowering your Cortisol level. A low Cortisol level prevents unnecessary eating stimuli and accumulation of fat in the abdomen, thus avoiding and reducing belly fat.