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How to Beat Belly Fat and Stress?

In your pursuit of beating belly fat and stress, you might tend to stare at and notice other overweight people. Perhaps you can relate to how they’re feeling and how they look – worn-out! Even simple walks become a monumental task, particularly during the summers when the heat drains your body of the fluids.

You can study people sitting in your car at the grocery store. Keep an eye on how many people in the crowd are obese against those who aren’t. The figures might shock you!

Try to count how many are unmistakably overweight rather than measuring how many are carrying excess belly fat. You’ll find a lot of men, women and even kids who are overweight. People often make fun of them, also.

Beer Belly, Muffin Top, Jelly Belly, Santa Belly, Spare Tire are quite a few nicknames of belly fat. You might also have heard some derogatory terms. Sometimes people try to give belly fat some gentler and softer names such as apple shape that doesn’t sound insulting at all. However, whether derogatory or kinder names, they all mean the same. It literally means excess fat around the middle part of your body that noticeably slumps down over your belts.

People, in general, don’t deliberately gain that spare tire. There are several factors which affect your body as you get older. For instance, belly fat and stress tend to go hand in hand. Stress is known to trigger and harbor belly fat in your body. When you get stressed, you tend to eat more often. In other cases, you get busy and overburdened with responsibilities. As a result, your health becomes your last concern.

Not all overweight people are true gluttons who tend to overeat or over drink. There’s usually a specific reason behind overeating which could be valid and even comprehensible.

How Belly Fat and Stress Go Hand-in-Hand

The association between belly fat and stress usually begins during college days. In college, kids tend to eat whatever food they find cheap and which can be consumed on the run. So, good nutrition takes a backseat because of the pressure of keeping up with a heavy class load, trying to pay for tuition, and cramming for examinations.

After college, you work hard for long hours to make ends meet. Due to this, fatigue plays a big role in developing that additional belly fat and stress. You arrive home all exhausted and chomping in front of your television becomes a bad habit.

Because of exhaustion, hitting the gym or going for a jog around the block is the last thing in your mind which is perfectly understandable. People generally tend to find their habitual ways to deal with stress.

However, gaining belly fat and stress can happen without warning. One minute, you’ll look fine. Then, you get busy as life becomes hectic. The next thing you’ll be watching in shock is your beer belly in your new photo since the camera won’t lie. It’s really hard to bring together how you feel about your belly fat on the digital format and in real life.

Inside, you feel like your appearance is still the same just like it’s always been. However, from the outside, you might find it shocking when you see how you developed that spare tire around the mid-section.

Belly Fat in the Past

Throughout history, several paintings created by the world’s renowned artists have showcased overweight people especially women. Some of these people were just a few pounds plump. In particular, the belly fat on the nude female models was pretty evident.

Yet these female bodies were never thought to be unattractive. They were considered as curvy and very pleasing to the eye. This is because in the past, being overweight was considered to be healthy and attractive. It even kind of reflected riches since it meant that these people could afford good food.

A female with belly fat was considered to have good child-bearing traits and a male with belly fat was considered to be successful and a good provider for his family. People with belly fat were considered to be quite opposite in the past to the way they are nowadays. Medical technology and science have since changed a lot of perceptions regarding those historical paintings.

In this day and age, people know that not only belly fat and stress is undesired and ugly, but it can even cut short your lifespan.

What Is Belly Fat?

The scientific name of belly fat is visceral fat or intra-abdominal fat. It means the fat people carry in their abdomen. Belly fat surrounds your internal organs and remains deep inside your body.

If you think that all the medical warnings regarding the dangers of belly fat and stress are mostly hype, then you’re absolutely wrong! Here’s an example of what this fat does to your liver. Your liver transforms this fat and turns it into cholesterol in your body which is not good for the arteries.

Your belly fat gets transformed to plaque that sticks to the arteries as well as the heart. This plaque limits the flow of blood in the arteries. When this plaque gets accumulated enough, it blocks the blood flow through the artery which can result in a heart attack.

In general, fat is of two types: visceral and subcutaneous. Subcutaneous stands for the fat visible beneath the skin which is also commonly called cellulite. Cellulite is also referred to as flab or lumps. Although the subcutaneous fat is considered unattractive, it’s less dangerous than the visceral fat.

Family genetics also play a small part in the amount of belly fat you carry. It’s all up to you to be in charge of your health and work on your belly fat.

Men’s Belly Fat and Stress

It’s actually a myth created by the society and most men prefer to believe it. They think that it’s okay for men to carry more belly fat than women and it’s not as unhealthy and unattractive.

Belly fat and stress can be a threat to your health whether you’re a man or a woman. Having excess belly fat that reaches the point of obesity is bad for you. Belly fat can result in a host of problems which simply are not confined to a specific gender.

Belly fat isn’t just something that you can hide and forget by purchasing bigger clothes and making more holes in your belt. This fat has been developing for years and years to reach its current status. Belly fat tends to grow around your internal organs which can lead to serious health risks. So, it’s just a matter of when it will have an effect on your health.

Belly fat and stress can make you prone to various diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, diabetes etc. Erectile dysfunction in men is also associated with belly fat that can adversely affect your romantic relationships and result in depression. Heart attacks are also directly linked to excess belly which can even lead to death.

Excess belly fat and stress will make you vulnerable to a number of medical ailments including sleep apnea. It’s a condition that has been directly linked to too much belly fat. Sleep apnea even took the life of a well-known athlete many years ago.

However, men often have the ability to get rid of their belly fat easier and faster as compared to women because of the higher metabolism rate.

Women’s Belly Fat and Stress

Many women gain belly fat at a very young age. But as they grow older, the excess belly fat and stress can slow everything down particularly the metabolism rate. So, they need to be diligent about their weight.

When women gain belly fat, they increase the chances of having a heart attack, stroke or even diabetes. In case of type II diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin required by the body to work properly. Various studies conducted by many leading medical universities revealed that diabetes and belly fat go hand in hand.

Belly fat and stress are also responsible for many other gender-based health risks for women which are even more dangerous than diabetes. For instance, belly fat can cause female cancers too. A study conducted by medical scientists revealed that visceral fat in female bodies can increase the chances of breast cancer. Belly fat can also increase the possibilities of having ovarian cancer in women. So, getting rid of the excess belly fat decreases the overall risk of such cancers.

For that reason, if women gain belly fat, not only they won’t look good in bikinis when hit the beach during the summertime, they also need to be diligent about their excess weight and start working out to lose that excess belly fat.

You look better, you feel better about yourself and buying fitting clothes will be a lot easier when you’re not carrying too much belly fat and stress. Apart from the outer appeal, being a woman with excess belly fat is too risky health wise because the fat around your waist doesn’t just sit there idly. Even though you don’t feel hungry, it takes a lot for your body to release hormones that trigger a hunger response.

Being in control of your life quote

Teenage Belly Fat and Stress

Even adolescents carrying belly fat and stress are vulnerable to various health risks. Belly fat among teenagers has rapidly increased by more than 50% in the last decade. It’s happening at an alarming rate.

Excess body fat, especially fat around the abdomen can lead to type II diabetes in teenagers. Nowadays, doctors are reporting far more cases of type II diabetes in adolescents than in the past. And, even if they don’t develop diabetes due to belly fat, they are still prone to serious health risks by the time they reach their forties.

It’s pretty tough being a teenager today. Teenagers go through all kinds of troubles prior to reaching their midlife. Belly fat can cause severe depression among teenagers because it tends to lower their self-esteem and eventually rob them of some of the most amazing and determining times in their lives.

Belly Fat and Stress as You Get Older

Getting rid of belly fat is a big challenge at any age, but the task becomes even more difficult for the elderly. As you age, your waistband is more likely to expand owing to a more inactive lifestyle, natural loss of muscle mass and hormonal changes. The key to losing belly fat is to combine a lower calorie diet mainly of unprocessed foods and physical activities. No matter what your age is, this strategy efficiently works to shrink belly fat.

Following are the most effective ways to combat belly fat and maintain as well as improve muscle mass:

  • Stay Active: Walk for 30 minutes 2-3 times every week. It will improve the flow of blood to your muscles which, in turn, may help in better muscles repair.
  • Eat Right: The problem with aged people is that they tend to consume less Vitamin D and protein. They need to eat at least 56 gm of protein on a daily basis. As observed by the National Institutes of Health, they also need to have 800 IUs of Vitamin D daily. A cup of orange juice has 137 IUs of Vitamin D.

 Thin Person’s Belly Fat and Stress

Even thin people with belly fat aren’t immune to the damage it can cause to their bodies. If you’re thin, it doesn’t mean that you don’t carry around the dangerous visceral fat. Doctors have begun to realize that visceral fat can exist in any body type.

Although belly fat isn’t as apparent in thin people as it is more noticeable in overweight people, it is just as bad. It is a common belief in the society that thinner people are genetically inclined to have a healthy fat level.

This kind of thinking leads to unnoticed or undiagnosed health risks for slim people. It’s a dilemma for them since they don’t know whether or not to be concerned about visceral fat as they don’t have a visible belly fat. However, there are some medical tests that can help you know how much of your body has visceral fat.

The Outer Appearance Vs the Inner Concerns

Even if you take all health concerns and issues off the table, put them aside and think that belly fat and stress didn’t do any harm to your body at all, there’s still that visual unattractiveness in case of belly fat that may haunt you relentlessly.

When your belly fat hangs out of the waistband of your jeans, the others around you won’t find it that attractive. And, no matter how you feel about it, the truth is people judge others by their outer appearance.

You’ll be judged among your peers in social settings and among colleagues in the workplace. During job interviews, physically fit people usually get hired more often than people with belly fat. Various studies reveal that physically fit employees get promoted more often than their overweight colleagues. Of course, it’s not fair and some might term it as illegal, but that’s the way society functions.

The worst feeling is the way you feel about yourself when you see your unattractive protruding belly. This feeling is far worse than how everyone else feels about you in your circle. You feel ugly inside when you look in the mirror and what it reveals you on the outside.

Your inner critic becomes very active when you stand sideways in front of a full-length mirror and look at yourself with your belly fat. When you buy new clothes, you have to think about buying bigger clothes. Even if you try to find clothes that fit your belly fat body, these are not attractive either. All of this can make you feel sickened or disheartened with how your belly looks like.

That sickening or disheartening feeling when you try to buy bigger clothes can result in more overeating. It can further lead to deep emotional depression, which further results in overeating and it turns into a cycle. However, you can definitely break this cycle with your willpower.

Measuring Excess Belly Fat

You can gauge excess belly fat by measuring your belly with a measurement tape:

  • For men: If your waist measures more than 40 inches with a measurement tape, it’s excess fat for you to have.
  • For women: If your waist measures over 35 inches, you need to be diligent about your belly fat.

Reducing Belly Fat and Stress

We’ve already discussed how belly fat and stress go hand in hand. Stress is one of the toughest challenges faced by mankind in the present day all over the globe. Particularly during hard economic times, stress seems to just continue to mount. What people generally don’t know is that stress can have an adverse effect on more than just your emotions and thoughts. In reality, when it comes to human body, reducing stress can actually help in getting rid of belly fat.

Stress is the prime reason behind hormonal imbalances in your body. There is a hormone known as Cortisol which becomes unbalanced and allows fat to build up around your abdomen. If you reduce your stress levels, you can surely defeat belly fat.

First and foremost, find out the sources or reasons that cause you the most stress. For some, it could be financial worries that cause anxiety and for others, it could be overstraining. Perhaps you are facing relationships issues which are adding to your stress or your work schedule is getting you down. The biggest challenge which everyone is facing today is that stress is coming from multiple sources.

Do whatever you need to do to eliminate the sources that are causing stress. In certain cases, it’s pretty easy such as canceling an insignificant activity which consumes too much of your time. However, in other cases, it might be really tough for you to get rid of the sources that are causing stress.

You’ll have to learn strategies for coping with the stress in order to reduce your belly fat and stress levels. For instance, physical activity is one of the best ways to deal with the stress-related symptoms such as muscle pain, headache, and fatigue. Physical activity will burn excess fat from all areas of your body, which eventually will reduce your belly fat.

Physical activities such as yoga and meditation can also help to relax your mind and calm your body. You’ll start to feel the balance again and your body will become healthier. As a result, your belly fat will also start to shrink as your mind is able to reinstate a sense of peace and wellness. You’ll gain huge benefits if you are able to quiet your mind and relax just for 5 to 10 minutes each day.

One more effective way to reduce belly fat and stress is to keep a journal. It will help you understand the things that are bothering you and get the ideas on paper. As a result, you’ll be able to keep track of those ideas which can help to solve the stress-related problems.

Whether you’re a man or woman, teen or adult, overweight or thin person, belly fat and stress isn’t safe for you to hang around with.

Your health is far too important! Don’t delay!  Do something about it!

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