Is Stress Keeping You Fat? 22 Tips to Destress AND Lose Belly Fat

Want to destress and lose belly fat? Read on for 22 amazing tips on how to destress and lose weight, fat, and get your life back!

By: Cecile Weigle

Life is stressful. It can be a real pain in the a** sometimes. While some stress is good, most of this mayhem makes us fat; especially around our waist. So if you want to get rid of those love handles, start taking lavender baths and saying “Om”, honey!

Acute stress, like taking a test or realizing you’re about to get into a car accident, is a normal part of life that elicits the “fight or flight” response. You know that feeling – it feels like you’re running from a saber tooth tiger – elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, the rush of adrenaline.

Unfortunately our hectic, chaotic lives keep our body in a chronic state of ‘fight or flight’ mode – all the time. This reeks hormonal havoc on our body and metabolism. The bottom line – stressed out people are fatter!

Your body’s primary stress messenger, cortisol, helps you respond to things like physical, mental, physiological stress and trauma, and return to “normal” (homeostasis). The chronic elevation of cortisol, a fat storing hormone, combined with elevated insulin levels, from things like sugar, processed carbs or a large meal, causes mood swings, energy lows, and metabolic resistance which leads to more fat storage.

Does this sound familiar?

You wake up, determined to make this a “good” day and stick to your diet, so you skip breakfast and opt for coffee. Lunchtime rolls around and you, still being “good”, have a salad, no dressing; convincing yourself you aren’t hungry.

Meanwhile, your inbox has 300 new emails, your boss is annoying you about an upcoming deadline, you have 10 places to be at the same time… you get the idea. So when you reach for that afternoon candy bar, from a combination of hunger, stress relief, reward, distraction, and “you deserve it since you’ve stuck to your diet all morning and need a little pick me up”, you might as well just glue it to your tummy. No six-pack here, folks! And day after day of that adds up, and around, fast.

While you can’t always control how much stress is in your life, you CAN control how you manage it.

Here are some ways to start chillin’ out:

1. Smile! – A recent study out of the University of Kansas shows that smiling, even under stress actually reduces stress and helps us feel better.

2. Meditation – Sounds woo-woo but it works – for dream bodies and so much more.

3. Regular exercise. Anything and everything. Just move your body!

4. A whole food diet rich in dark greens and other chlorophyll-containing foods.

5. Yoga

6. Cultivate a positive attitude

7. Connect with nature

8. Learn to say “no”

9. Avoid getting into arguments

10. Take time off

11. Connect with friends and family. Cultivate relationships.

12. Positive thinking and deep breathing

13. Laughing

14. Crying

15. Dancing

16. Sex

17. Massage therapy

18. Music therapy

19. Omega-3 supplements – Reduces cortisol levels influenced by mental stress.

20. Magnesium supplement – after aerobic exercise. Good for runners and triathletes.

21. Vitamin C – Great for mental and physical stress

22. Black tea – May hasten recovery from a high cortisol condition

Learning stress management skills and adopting a healthy, more calm lifestyle and mindset will help you find your happy weight and stay there!

“Just smiling goes a long way toward making you feel better about life. And when you feel better about life, your life is better.” -Art Linkletter

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