Signs You're Accumulating Stress Fat and What To Do
Explore the subtle signs of accumulating stress fat and gain valuable insights on effective coping strategies in our comprehensive guide. Learn to identify stress-related weight gain and discover practical tips to manage stress levels, prioritize self-care, and foster a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
By Davina Catt / Dec 24 2023
I began to notice an accumulating area of fat spreading across my stomach and waist. Was I being paranoid? Was it just bloating? Casually scrolling social media, on a weekend, I found others complaining of the same ‘belly fat’ predicament – although there is no medical diagnosis for it, what could one do to improve it and be able to zip up my jeans again?
As it turns out whilst there is no medical diagnosis for this concern, there is a new term for it; ‘stress belly.’ It is the extra abdominal fat that accumulates as the result of chronic or prolonged stress – and the stress hormones that impact your midsection.
Following crash diets, avoiding carbs, and so forth won’t solve it unfortunately – and that is because no diet is going to reach the stress hormones, which are the root of the problem.
Whilst some day to day stress afflicts most people, chronic stress causing high cortisol levels – the primary stress hormone – is linked with abdominal obesity. The much talked about fight or flight response is your body’s natural reaction to a situation that it sees as a crisis.
When the body senses a threat, your adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline. Whilst we have probably experienced flight or fight in the short term, the constant stress of the modern world, particularly due to technology means our stress hormones and blood sugar stay elevated. And this leads to stored belly fat.
Although it is mainly stomach fat, low energy and a struggle to lose weight which indicate imbalanced stress hormones, there are other symptoms too: you’re always hungry, (stress is connected to the hunger hormone, ghrelin, which increases your appetite) you’re overwhelmed, exercise makes things worse.
For those suffering from stored fat in this area and panicking – don’t fear – you are not alone and there are ways to conquer it!
Whilst this might be easier said than done, it is the most imperative way to reduce stored ‘belly fat.’ Discover CBD products as a way to lower daily stress cortisol – take a few minutes for meditation, or listen to an anxiety-reducing frequency meditation -there are plenty on YouTube.
eat a balanced diet + add b vitamins into your routine
Beyond the weight benefits, adding in plenty of fresh greens and veg to your diet can help your mental health too – Vitamin B supplements also are beneficial. Try also magnesium (research shows it helps to remove inflammation and gas)
exercise and move your body throughout the day
Rather than one big workout a couple of times a week, moderate but continual exercise is the best way to reduce stress fat. Beyond the usual forms of workouts, book a session with a movement coach to get stretching and into alignment.
get good sleep
Getting good sleep is vital to our physical and mental wellbeing in many ways – anything less than six quality hours adds to visceral fat.
There isn’t any magic timeline wand to get rid of stress belly fat but each week you can make a difference that whilst not totally discernible to the eye, is to a measuring tape!