How stress affects your waistline and what you can do about it
19th October 2014
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Stress, cortisol & tummy fat

If you’re struggling to lose weight from your stomach area your cortisol levels could be out of balance.

Cortisol is a hormone and its key role is to help control blood sugar levels, which in turn helps control your body’s metabolism.  It also has a very important role in helping your body respond to stress.  If your cortisol levels are out of balance your body will hold on to its fat stores, - especially around your tummy.

The main things that affect your cortisol levels are diets high in carbohydrates, sweets and processed foods.  High stress levels on the body will also have an impact and I don’t just mean stresses such as work.  The body also reads ill health, lack of sleep and even some forms of exercise as stress.

What can you do about it?

  • Avoid all ‘white’ starchy carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, white pasta etc., which are linked to weight gain and higher levels of body fat.  Just remember, if it’s white it’s not alright!
  • Stay away from sweets, process foods and fizzy drinks, even the diet ones.
  • Eat a protein rich breakfast like scrambled egg or quinoa with fruit to regulate your blood sugar level and keep you fuller for longer.
  • Don’t be afraid of fat.  Healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, olives, avocado and fish help your body function well and support weight loss.
  • Aim to drink 2 litres of water a day so you don’t confuse thirst with hunger.
  • Calm down!  Try to give yourself 5 – 10 minutes each day to totally relax and let your mind go blank.
  • Exercise using HIIT (high intensity interval training) to create a fat burning environment within your body.  When you exercise at high intensity adrenalin and cortisol are released but it’s the additional release of testosterone and human growth hormone that will help get your body burning fat rather than storing it round your middle.

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Until next time!


About the Author

Julie Dennis

Member since: 13th February 2014

Hello there, my name's Julie Dennis and I'm a fitness coach specialising in weight loss and body transformation results.

After 20 years behind a desk in London employed in a variety of roles in the management...

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