The Stressful Truth about Belly Fat

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The Stressful Truth about Belly Fat
While having some fat on our bodies is healthy, too much fat around the midsection is considered unhealthy. Weight around the middle is especially associated with an increase in disease risk and mortality compared to weight on the hips and thighs. The goal should be to keep your waistline less than half your height in inches.

If you are already following The Leptin Diet and exercising but your midsection seems to hold onto those last ten pounds like a magnet, check your stress levels. Your adrenal glands make the stress hormone cortisol. Levels are naturally highest in the morning to get you going, and in healthy individuals levels gradually taper off throughout the day. Those under chronic stress during the day can eventually develop elevated cortisol later in the day which can lead to a feeling of wear and tear, poor mood, trouble sleeping, excess inflammation, and adrenal fatigue.

Many people have come to associate excess cortisol with a fat stomach, which happens to be true. Cortisol is actually anti-inflammatory and protects nerves under stress. However, under chronic stress, cortisol doesn’t work right as too much inflammation takes over.

Recent research has shown a clear connection between higher levels of cortisol and fat distribution. In a study with women, those who had a waist-to-hip ratio that was considered unhealthy were found to have higher levels of cortisol sixty minutes after a stressful situation.

In a second study of women, the women who reported more chronic stress were found to have higher waist-to-hip ratios. These particular studies support the theory that stress-induced cortisol release leads to fat gain, particularly around the middle.

Your liver, the main metabolic organ, is greatly affected by stress. Too much cortisol directly turns off fat burning gene switches in the liver, increasing the risk for fatty liver and obesity throughout the body.
Excess cortisol can also cause a fatty liver by decreasing a protein in the liver called HES1 that activates enzymes that break down fat. Once a fatty liver sets in, your main metabolic organ has been clogged and your risk for obesity increases.

So what’s the answer to shedding fat that has already settled itself onto your midsection? Following The Five Rules of The Leptin Diet will help unclog the liver and blast belly fat. The nutrients pantethine and acetyl-L-carnitine help move stuck fat from the liver and double as important nutrients for reducing stress.

Managing excessive cortisol levels is another key to blasting belly fat. Phosphatidylserine has been shown to re-calibrate cortisol response in your brain, preventing your adrenal glands from making an exaggerated amount of cortisol in response to stress. It can be used throughout the day and before exercise to prevent the negative effects of excess cortisol. Supporting the adrenal glands with adaptogenic herbs is another way to support a healthy cortisol response. These herbs help your body adapt to the demands of stress.

If you have been exercising and eating healthy but still fret about the weight around your midsection, then consider your stress levels. Practicing stress management techniques like yoga, walking or meditation and incorporating stress management supplements into your routine can take your physique to the next level. The only thing to lose is the belly!

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