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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Want to get rid of your ‘stress belly’? Here’s what you should do

One thing that people are especially miffed about, is the fact that stress leads to extra abdominal fat.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 21, 2019 2:31:58 pm
stress belly, stress, health, indian express, indian express news Stress belly is the body’s way of responding to stress. Sometimes, genetics play a part, too. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

It is known that stress is deadly. With time, it causes many physical and mental adversities that can slow down the body. From hair loss to loss of appetite, weight loss/gain, and even loss of libido, stress is bad news. One thing that people are especially miffed about, is the fact that stress leads to extra abdominal fat, which not only chips away a person’s confidence, but is also bad for health.

What is a stress belly?

It is the body’s way of responding to stress. A crucial hormone called cortisol produced in the adrenal glands is responsible for controlling blood sugar and metabolism. Along with the adrenaline, it also takes part in the body’s fight-or-flight response. When there is a threat of any kind, the stress makes the body’s unnecessary functions slow down so it can focus. But, if stress prolongs, it keep the hormone levels elevated, along with the blood sugar and pressure.

According to a 2018 study titled Stress Obesity Reports, higher cortisol levels are associated with abdominal obesity. But, researchers believe that sometimes genetics can also play a role.

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The risks 

Broadly, there are two types of belly fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. While the subcutaneous fat is found just under the skin, visceral fat, also known as ‘intra-abdominal fat’, is found around internal organs like the liver and the intestines. It may increase the risk for asthma, cardiovascular diseases, colorectal cancer, dementia, according to Harvard Health.

Treating belly fat

As mentioned earlier, genetics can also influence this condition, along with age. Experts believe that women tend to get more visceral fat after menopause, when the estrogen levels drop. There are, however, many ways in which you can manage it. For starters, fight stress. After a long day at work, unwind and engage in things that make you happy. Take a shower, listen to your favourite songs, sip on some tea, have a healthy dinner, etc.

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Always keep an eye on your diet. While occasional indulgence is okay, try to keep your diet balanced. Have foods rich in vitamin B like leafy vegetables and bananas. Getting a good night’s sleep is also essential, since it helps the body cool down and reboot. Engaging in some kind of physical activity daily can help, too.

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