Have you been dedicatedly committing to fitness programs? Regardless of when you knock off work or lack of sleep, you always set some time aside to exercise and avoid snacking by consuming low-calorie foods but you have yet to get rid of belly fat. Don’t get us wrong, keeping to a healthy diet and regular exercise does help in your weight loss efforts but the reason stomach fat is so difficult to get rid of may be due to your hormones! With that said, we are referring to cortisol hormones, a type of stress hormone.
Belly fat exists due to weight gain which is caused by fats cells that expand from calorie intake. These fat cells actually accumulate and turn into stored energy for us to use. Due to the nature of work and lifestyle in the modern day where most of our fat cells continue to expand due to overeating, and our sedentary lifestyle, this will result in the build-up of fat which sits there as you do not expend energy. Once you accumulate fat around your midsection, it becomes harder to get rid compared to gaining it. Males and females are susceptible to belly fat and shifting it has become even more of a priority since we are judged by our appearance. Besides this, belly fat poses more health risks compared to fat that sits in other places of the body, say example around the bottom or thighs.
For individuals who are struggling to cope with weight loss and removal of stubborn belly fat, we will be sharing some causes of belly fat that you may have overlooked and how some changes you make in your daily life can help your weight loss efforts.
Understanding Your Cortisol Hormone
Cortisol can either be your best friend or enemy that is produced by your adrenal glands. It is vital when there is an immediate danger, but an increase in cortisol also happens when you experienced chronic, everyday stress. Furthermore, prolonged high levels of cortisol can increase fat held in your body, also known as visceral fat. As high levels of cortisol is a result of stress, a combination of diet and stress management can help to reduce excess weight from cortisol.
In fact, cortisol production lasts for a short duration and all metabolic function will eventually return back to normal. More often than not, things do not go as expected and planned as these stresses (mental or physical) causes your body to secrete cortisol for way too often and long. Under constant stress, the body will continuously secrete cortisol which will become counterproductive for your body. Furthermore, the duration and amount of cortisol circulating in your body can compromise the health of your body and alter your metabolic process resulting in stubborn unrelenting belly fat.
Other Unlikely Causes Of Stubborn Fat
1. Are You Getting Sufficient Rest?
We know it is difficult especially when you have a child or are trying to maintain work-life balance. If you have been working out and keeping to a healthy diet regime, consider getting more quality sleep (approximately 7—9 hours per night) to minimize your stress levels, improve your health and most importantly burn more fat! If you are facing a hard time trying to get to sleep, consider reading a book (e.g. The books can range from self-improvement to non-fiction). Other ways of getting more sound sleep are by sleeping in complete darkness by either getting rid or switching your phones, computers, TV when you sleep. By exposing yourself to fewer electric magnetic fields, your mind and body are able to rest comfortably.
2. Feeling Tired All The Time?
For individuals that constantly feel tired, it may mean that you are not recovering enough. Your body will have cortisol coursing through your body when recovery is inadequate. During times like this, it is best for you to give yourself a break from all the stress at work etc and let your body rest. Besides, pushing yourself when you are showing signs of fatigue is actually doing more disservice as it will lead to an increase in cortisol production making it more difficult to burn off belly fat.
3. Get Your Mornings Going With Caffeine
A stimulant for your nervous system and brain, caffeine actually enhances the production of cortisol! If you are not suffering from chronic fatigue, you can always drink a cup of coffee! However, you will know that you are not getting sufficient sleep and, or rest if you require a stimulant to keep yourself awake. Consider switching to green tea if you are having a tough time trying to keep it going in the morning although you are getting enough sleep. Green tea has about ¼ the amount of caffeine compared to a regular cup of coffee, plus it has catechins, a natural stimulant that aids in the boosting of your energy levels and combats against fatigue.