Are you struggling with stubborn belly fat? Fighting with stubborn fat, particularly in the midsection/ abdomen region, can be a daunting task. Especially if the reason behind your bulging belly is the ‘High Cortisol Levels.’
The Cortisol Belly is a side effect of High Cortisol Levels often associated with daily stress. In the present scenario, when the competitive corporate culture leads to stress from morning to evening, it results in fat deposition, especially in the easiest body part, our Belly. Here are the 4 effective ways to help you lose Cortisol Belly Fat and lead a healthy life.
What is Cortisol Belly Fat? Causes, Signs & Tips
Cortisol Belly Fat refers to fat accumulation around the abdominal (stomach) area due to high cortisol levels. Wondering what is Cortisol? Well, Cortisol is a hormone often associated with stress. The adrenal glands release cortisol in response to stress, increasing the cortisol levels in the body, thus resulting in weight gain, digestive issues, suppressed immune system, insulin imbalance, and more.
Common Causes Of Cortisol Belly Fat
- Poor and inadequate sleep.
- Prolonged exposure to physical or emotional stress, whether in a personal or professional environment.
- Genetical factors.
- Unhealthy lifestyle, including lack of exercise and poor dietary habits.
- Hormonal changes.
Common Signs Of Cortisol Belly Fat
- Abdominal obesity primarily causes fat accumulation around the waistline, creating an apple-shaped body.
- A noticeable increase in waist size; however, there was no significant gain in other parts of the body.
- Difficulty in losing weight even after following the correct diet and lifestyle.
How To Lose Cortisol Belly Fat? 4 Effective Ways
Losing Cortisol Belly Fat isn’t challenging if you follow the suitable measures. Here are the 4 easy and effective ways to help you lose the belly fat accumulated due to high cortisol levels.
✔ Reduce Stress Levels
The most effective way to lose Cortisol Belly Fat is by reducing the stress levels, the Catalyst of increased Cortisol. Start by identifying the source of stress in your schedule/ lifestyle and work on minimizing that. Also, incorporate stress-reducing practices like deep breathing, meditation, and yogic postures.
Activities like gardening, spending time with pets, traveling, or more such hobbies may also help. However, remember the idea is to engage in things that reduce your stress levels and not increase them. Avoid people and environments that aren’t healthy for your mental and emotional well-being.
✔ Engage In Moderate Exercise During Early Morning Or Early Evening
Exercising is a way to have good health and a fit body, and physical activity is the key when trying to lose cortisol belly fat. Engage in regular physical activities such as gyming, yoga, dancing, aerobics, zumba, swimming, or walking.
However, aim for low- or moderate-intensity exercises since the idea is to lower the body’s stress levels (including physical ones). Indulging in high-intensity, tiring activities can cause additional stress to the body, bringing no positive changes.
Also, timing matters, and avoid exercising too late in the evening as it can lead to a restless sleep.
✔ Focus On Good, Adequate Sleep
Good sleep is an integral part of cortisol regulation and is thus an effective way to lose stubborn belly fat. It is crucial to get at least 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. If you are struggling with the same, try to include sleep-inducing practices into your daily routine.
For instance, practice a relaxing bedtime routine where you massage your hands and legs with a relaxing oil. Or, listen to mild meditation music, dim your bedroom lights from 9 pm onwards, eat light but healthy food, avoid blue light exposure, or take a hot shower.
✔ Include Herbs With Adoptgenic Properties
Numerous herbs and species help our body adapt to stress and maintain balance. These herbs, also known as Adaptogens, are known for normalizing effects on bodily functions and thus help regulate various physiological processes.
Some of the common examples of herbs with adaptogenic properties include the following:
Panax Ginseng, Turmeric, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, and Licorice Root.
Incorporate these herbs or their supplements into your daily diet and experience the benefits. However, before using any of these, consider consulting a healthcare expert.
Health Impacts Of High Cortisol Levels (Besides Abdominal Fat)
High cortisol levels for an extended period can result in a range of health complications apart from stubborn belly fat. Some of these complications include the following:
- Disturbed sleep patterns, especially after late evening. High cortisol levels can interfere with the natural circadian rhythm, making individuals stay awake until late at night.
- Constant high levels of cortisol in the body can have immunosuppressive effects and may weaken the immune system. This may even result in increased chances of infection and slower recovery.
- High cortisol levels for an extended period can reduce bone density, making individuals prone to osteoporosis and similar conditions.
- Imbalance in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, potentially a high risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
- Digestive issues in the form of overeating, increased appetite, gastric problems, and more.
- Lastly, mood swings, increased levels of stress, and emotional disturbance.
Overall, the impact of elevated cortisol levels can be harsh, leading to numerous physiological disbalances. However, by following the methods explained above, it is possible to control stress hormones and lose the stubborn ‘Cortisol Belly Fat.’
When prioritizing weight loss or fat loss, remember to establish a balanced diet and exercise routine. Additionally, spot reduction isn’t possible; thus, instead of only focusing on your body fat, work on your overall fitness. And if, despite all these efforts, you are finding it challenging to lose your belly fat, consult a nutritionist or other health professionals for expert guidance.