Are you struggling to get rid of that stubborn excess belly fat without any sign of success? Is your strict diet and workout routine not yielding any fruits? Well, your problem might be lying beyond your diet and exercise. You might be suffering from a stress-belly health condition.
A stress belly is a medical condition that causes the accumulation of excess belly fat due to chronic stress levels. There is currently no medical diagnosis for stress belly, but it can be identified by analyzing your psychological conditions and general health levels.
Belly fat is a leading fitness nightmare as it is often hard to shed and can be caused by many causes, including aging, genetics, fitness levels, and diet. However, in the case of a stress belly, the fat accumulation results from hormonal imbalances due to high-stress levels, with the cortisol hormone being the leading culprit.
Cortisol is one of the fight-or-flight hormones, together with adrenaline and a concoction of other endocrine products. When you experience stress, your brain activates a state of emergency that places the body in a fight-or-flight condition.
At this point, the adrenal glands inject cortisol into your blood system. The hormone has one main task, speed up the conversion of glycogen to glucose and the conversion of glucose into fats in preparation for the looming crisis.
Under normal conditions, cortisol levels in the blood will be elevated in the morning as the body prepares for the day ahead and during intense exercise. It also controls glucose supply to muscle tissues and the resulting metabolism.
Where does stress come in? A continuous high-stress level means that the cortisol level in the bloodstream will remain high despite the lack of a physical threat to the body. This leads to the continuous conversion of glycogen in the liver into glucose, which is later converted into fats as the body tissues do not use it. This fat is later stored as the subcutaneous fat or visceral fat layer on the lower part of the abdomen leading to the development of a stress belly.
Studies show that high-stress levels cause spontaneous depletion of neurons in the brain, causing a craving for sugary food. Therefore, you will be tempted to consume junk food with high carbohydrates and fat levels that will be stored below your abdomen after digestion.
Processed food contains high levels of chemicals and preservatives that kill beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. Without these bacteria, the gut cannot moderate the levels of acid and alkalinity on its walls, causing inflammation.
As mentioned, there is currently no medical diagnosis for stress belly as it can be easily confused for a regular overweight tummy.
However, here are two primary cues to look out for.
Stress-related chronic hormone imbalance burns you out. You may often feel a mixture of irritable feelings that you are about to explode, scream, or even vanish from existence. If you suffer from such symptoms, you have chronic stress and should see a doctor immediately.
Alternatively, try freeing your hands by delegating your work and taking a break to lessen your brain activity. You can also go for a run or engage in physical exercise so that your body can use up the excess glucose produced by cortisol. Lastly, work on your sleeping patterns and get adequate sleep using an ideal sleeping meditation technique.
Hunger is mediated by the hormone ghrelin, which is linked to stress. Higher stress levels will constantly stimulate the production of the ghrelin hormone, which gives you a constant urge to eat even after mealtime.
Excess ghrelin may lead to overweight as you eat more carbohydrates than your body can consume. Drinking water if you feel hungry even after meals is advisable.
As is evident, stress can tremendously slow down your progress as you work hard on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Feel free to check out Mdrive fitness supplement products that can help you maintain ideal body weight alongside your routine fitness exercises.
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