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You might be wondering, “What is stress belly? Why have I never heard of this weird-sounding condition?”
Well, let’s be clear: “stress belly” isn’t an actual medical term for a condition. It’s a nickname for the belly fat you tend to accumulate when you gain weight as a result of stress.
But just because “stress belly” isn’t a condition, that doesn’t make it any less problematic. It’s a very real threat that you need to be prepared to deal with!
Below, we’re going to take a look at what is stress belly, how it develops, what causes it, and, most important of all, what you can do to get rid of it. Don’t worry: there’s hope for a healthy body and flatter belly on the other side of all that stress-induced weight gain.
What is Stress Belly?
The term “stress belly” refers specifically to the belly fat you gain as a result of stress.
Stress causes weight gain on a number of different levels. The stress hormone cortisol can actually slow down your metabolism and make your body less effective at burning fat. Over time, this decreased efficiency can lead to increased fat storage—for men, this typically happens around the belly, but even women may notice an increase in their belly fat if they’re gaining weight as a result of stress.
Stress can also lead to emotional eating, also known as “stress eating”. Basically, anxiety causes you to crave a mood boost, which your brain thinks it can get by eating high-sugar, high-fat “comfort foods”. These foods, as you can no doubt imagine, provide very little nutritional value but pack a lot of calories—and can cause you to gain some serious weight. Stress eating is terrible for your health and will lead to fat gain, particularly around your belly.
Want to guess what cause it? Of course, it’s right in the name: STRESS.
When you’re stressed, your anxiety levels rise, your body function decreases, your hormone balance gets thrown off, and you have a harder time controlling your impulses to binge on comfort foods. All of these things combine to contribute to weight gain. Even the stress of trying to diet can work against you, slowing your metabolism and making you more prone to cheating on your diet. Eventually, the diet fails and you go back to eating unhealthy, calorie-intense foods.
The result: accumulated belly fat that is harder than ever to lose!
How Can I Get Rid of Stress Belly?
There are two keys to getting rid of stress belly:
Manage your stress. This is always going to be easier said than done. Life is stressful and filled with worries, so it can feel like you’re always dealing with one stressor or another. It’s still worth trying to manage your stress, and you can do so by:
Taking more time to relax and engage in activities you enjoy.
Avoiding unnecessary stressors—just say “no” to things you don’t have time for.
Sleeping more, and avoid staying up late. Sleep loss can make both the stress and the poor eating habits worse.
Meditating, practicing Yoga, being more mindful, and focusing on your mental and emotional health.
Changing your job or career if it is the primary source of your stress.
Taking a short vacation to give your mind and body a break.
Keeping a journal or engaging in some other artistic pursuit. Art can be incredibly relaxing and give you an outlet to work out stressful or difficult emotions.
Managing your stress is going to be an ongoing battle, one you’ll likely fight for the rest of your life. But if you don’t, if you just give in to stress, it’s going to manifest in serious problems both in your mental and physical health.
Eat healthy and exercise. Just because you’re getting your stress under control, that doesn’t mean you’re going to start losing weight immediately. That takes some work on your part—specifically, eating healthier and doing more exercise.
Eating healthy means not only focusing on quantity (calories in vs. calories out), but also quality (the right balance of macro and micronutrients). Scale way back on the fat in your diet, eat more lean proteins, and focus on eating more healthy, complex carbs (fruits, veggies, seeds, legumes, and whole grains). Stick to a balanced diet that gives you all the protein you need to build muscle when you exercise, and you’ll see much better fat-burning results.
Exercise will do wonders to manage your stress, but it’s also your best fat-burning tool. Exercise gets your blood flowing, burns energy, and forces your body to activate stored fats to produce more energy to power your body. Make it a point to do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, 5 times per week. Start out slow but work your way up to 5+ hours per week—you’ll see results, and that stress belly will start to disappear for sure.
What is Stress Belly? Cure the Problem with Get Yoga Lean
Yoga Lean is our solution to help you deal with your stress belly in two ways:
It’s an amazing exercise program that will help you get fit by mastering Yoga forms and positions. You’ll burn fat, improve your mobility, and see drastic improvements in your cardiovascular health.
It’s excellent for restoring balance to your mind and body, calming your anxiety and helping you take back control over stress. The program focuses on your mental health as much as your physical.
Give Get Yoga Lean a try, and you’ll find that stress belly will become a problem of the past. You’ll feel better, live a happier life, and never have to ask “What is stress belly?” ever again!
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