Feeling stressed is never a good thing. In fact, anxiety can cause many health issues that may surprise you. Did you know that even your abdomen can be impacted by too much stress? If you’re wondering “What is a stress belly and how can I get rid of it”, we spoke to an expert and are here to walk you through the details. Keep reading to learn more, and then don’t miss Get rid of your balloon belly with these free weight exercises.
What is a stress belly?
Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALMDirector of Medical Content and Education at Ro and a member of our Medical Expert Council, tells Eat this, not that! the term “stress belly” is just that – a term rather than a medical condition. But it’s a real thing and describes the fat that accumulates around your midsection, sometimes due to high stress levels. If you think that sounds pretty unhealthy and a downright sneaky situation, you’re right.
This is how a stress belly occurs. According to Dr. Bohl, when your stress levels are high, your adrenal glands release greater amounts of the hormone known as cortisol. The function of cortisol is to store fat in your abdomen and also to shake up your appetite. Therefore, being stressed can actually create calorie overload and unwanted belly fat, resulting in a dreaded stress belly. If this sounds familiar, learn the steps to get rid of it.
How to get rid of a stress belly?
Dr. Bohl tells us that while high cortisol levels contribute to excess fat in the midsection, the main key to getting rid of that stressed belly is controlling your stress levels, which takes precedence over your diet. Putting anxiety reduction at the top of the list doesn’t mean that food choices and calorie reduction aren’t important; it just means that managing your stress is the very first step.
Unfortunately, trying to target that belly circumference isn’t feasible, Dr. Bohl points out. It’s called spot reduction, and you can’t pick and choose body parts when trying to lose weight. But what are you box do is to incorporate some helpful habits to lose weight all over. By doing so, you will also reduce your abdominal fat. Here are some helpful tips on how to do that.
1. Eliminate alcohol or reduce it drastically.
Dr. Bohl advises, “When it comes to diet, nutritional advice for getting rid of a stressed belly is essentially the same as nutritional advice for losing weight in general. Perhaps nearer the top of this list, however, is reducing alcohol consumption. .”
Alcohol is an important calorie contributor to your diet. Plus, it’s linked to accumulating higher levels of visceral fat, which is the fat that wraps around your organs.
2. Opt for a healthy plant-based diet.
Another nutritional step is to change your diet to a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods are generally higher in nutrients, lower in calories, and contain fiber, which is essential for your digestion. Fiber is a great friend in your diet because it helps you feel fuller and eat less.
3. Eat with a calorie deficit.
“Overall, it’s important to eat in a calorie deficit, so you burn more calories than you take in,” says Dr. Bohl. Also, avoid or eat a much smaller portion of carbohydrate-rich foods, such as fries, pasta, and bread.
4. Reduce the size of your plate.
Choose a plate that is all around smaller. This trick really works! You will start your meal with less food on your small plate and you will have to think about whether you really want more.
5. Take time while you dine.
This one is easy. Just relax and eat at a slower pace. Dr. Bohl shares, “It takes time for your body to realize that it’s full.”
6. Increase your protein intake.
Maintaining a high-protein diet (consisting of lean proteins, such as tofu or chicken) is also helpful for weight loss, as eating protein builds muscle mass. More muscle mass burns more calories each day.
7. Choose a less sugary lifestyle.
It is important to reduce your consumption of sugary drinks such as sodas and juices. It’s a surefire way to cut calories you might not even know you’re adding. Water is always a great choice! Plus, think about all the money you’ll save on your grocery bill.
8. Add leafy greens, dark chocolate, avocados and olive oil to your shopping list.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as olive oil and avocado, may have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects, and foods high in magnesium, such as leafy greens and dark chocolate, can also be helpful in reducing stress levels. .
Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care to readers. Learn more about Alexa
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