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Personal trainer tip: Is stress causing your tummy fat?

The mistake that some people make when they’re on a weight loss journey is to focus solely on the diet and exercise. While these 2 things are absolutely going to help you, it’s only part of the equation. And this can cause frustration when you’ve got your diet and exercise right, but the weight loss still doesn’t seem to be happening. So, what could be causing this? One of the possibilities is stress.

Stress causes the body to store fat and it prefers to store it around the tummy. This happens due to an over secretion of hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are useful when we are doing exercise for short periods of the day, but if these hormones are high all day long, then it encourages the body to increase its blood sugar levels and store the sugar as fat.

It’s important to know that recognizing stress isn’t straight forward and doesn’t mean that you are unhappy or out of control, it can simply be an over active, busy mind, with lots of things to do. The body of a new mum is totally stressed out – rushing around, she has to look after her family and her baby, and possibly hold down a job, while doing it totally sleep deprived. It’s the happiest time of her life, but her body is totally stressed out.

This hormonal imbalance also causes an increase in appetite and a desire to over eat or start emotional eating. Trust me, I have first hand experience of this and how it has affected my own body. Reducing stress is almost always the best fix for my tummy fat.

Follow these 3 tips for reducing your stress levels:

Tip #1

Leisure walking. Go for a 30-60 minute leisurely walk every day. Do this especially straight after a high intensity workout.

Tip #2

Do R&R activities multiple times per day. The best ones are: taking a bath, reading a book, yoga, meditation, naps, having sex (yes, seriously), foam rolling, massage, walking/sitting in nature, drink herbal tea.

Tip #3

Supplements such as Rhodiola and Ashwaganda are amazing for supporting the adrenal glands. It’s the adrenals that secrete stress hormones.

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