This may be the toughest lifestyle change of all – to reduce stress. Little did we know that just having too many bad days, weeks and years takes its toll on our bodies. Strangely enough, your body will “protect” itself by storing fat on your waistline.*
As a form of protecting you from dangerous animals and surviving long periods of hard times with little food, your body will automatically pack it on – right around your gut. Even now, while you aren’t afraid of animals jumping out at us or dealing with periodic famine, the hormones cortisol and adrenaline surge into your bloodstream each time you experience any amount of stress; even if it’s just you swerving to miss a cat or getting the news that your dad died or that you’re being laid off.
It’s these two main hormones that serve to prepare you to run from danger and at the same time tell your body to preserve energy (in the form of stored fat) in the event of long term famine. This is all well and good if you were really in a survival mode with little access to food. But that’s not the case in modern society.
While our bodies continue to be under stressful conditions, it still stores fat even though we have regular access to food. You will have stress in your life, much of which you can do nothing about.
You may have the tendency to pack fat on around the waistline. So while you may be a good person and you don’t eat lots of junk calories, you can still have a pad of fat covering your belly.
Stress Reduction Strategies
How do you combat the stress? This is the subject of many books. But let’s touch on several ways to reduce stress or at least reduce its effects on you. The first thing you can do is take a good look at your life and decide which things you can pare down on.
This is a toughie because we think we’re the main mover in so many things. But in reality, we have too many irons in the fire. Learn to cut out what you can and delegate what you can to lighten your load.
Next, learn to let go. Find a hobby or form of relaxation that allows you to forget the troubles for just a time. Take up yoga or try a new dance class where you get really stomping and twirling.
Adrenaline must be “burned up” through some means of moderate exercise. So the next time you get a surge of adrenaline due to some stress, make it a point to take a walk up several flights of stairs or do 10 minutes of jumping jacks. This will go a long way to ridding the body of the hormone that tells your body to store fat.
Learning to let go of the stress in your life is one of the most important things you can do to lose weight. Take life one day at a time, without being anxious about what the next day will bring, and you will avoid the cortisol / adrenaline attack that packs on belly fat. So, sit back, learn to breathe and don’t sweat the small stuff. . . you’ll find the big stuff, like you belly’s dimensions, will take care of itself.
Fitness Disclaimer: This website offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis treatment. This website does not promise any specific results, as each individual responds differently to training. The author of this article is not a medical professional.