This major cause of excess abdominal fat storage is NOT related to your diet.
Stress was found to be a common link in women with excess abdominal fat.
When the body is under stress it secretes a stress-coping hormone called cortisol. This hormone causes fat to be stored in the abdomen.
The level of stress does not have to be high to spike a cortisol release. Everyday worry and anxiety, a hectic schedule and a lack of sleep can all raise cortisol levels.
The Stress & Belly Fat Connection
A study published in the Psychosomatic Medicine, evaluated a group of women to see if stress-induced cortisol secretions were greater among women with belly fat.
The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) was assessed in 59 healthy premenopausal women to determine the amount of belly fat each woman was carrying.
Related Link: Why Women Have A Harder Time Losing Weight Than Men
The women were exposed to stressful challenges. After each challenge, cortisol and psychological responses (i.e. how they felt) were assessed.
The results found that the women with the most stress had the most belly fat (i.e. the highest WHR) and secreted the most cortisol.
Women with a high WHR evaluated the laboratory challenges as more threatening, performed more poorly on them, and reported more chronic stress. These women secreted significantly more cortisol during the first stress session than women with a low WHR.
The study concluded that:
Central fat distribution is related to greater psychological vulnerability to stress and cortisol reactivity. (Epel et al, 2000).
How To Fight Stress-Related Belly Fat
Joel Marion, who is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and co-founder of BioTrust, agrees that abdominal fat storage is linked to increased levels of stress. He feels that the effects can be reversed with proper nutrition.
Marion is a proponent of using conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to combat stress-induced belly fat.
He states that CLA has been linked to an array of health benefits, most noteworthy being its unique ability to burn more belly fat than any other fat known to man.
He points to research published in the Journal Lipid by stating:
those receiving conjugated linoleic acid lost 400% more fat than the placebo group over the course of 12 weeks–and this was all done without any change in diet and without the implementation of a regular exercise program (Marion, n.d.).
While research show CLA to be effective in reducing belly fat, the problem is that the daily amount needed to get the belly-fat-burning effect is upwards of 2 grams per day. To get this much naturally from foods you would need to eat 12 pounds of beef every day for a week.
This is completely impractical from a diet standpoint, but the 2 grams per day can be obtained in the form of an easy-to-take capsule that fights belly fat.
BellyTrim XP™ is a capsule formulated by BioTrust that contains the scientifically effective level of CLA. It works with your body’s natural biology to increase fat-burning and reduce fat storage, without any harmful stimulants.
If you would like to try BellyTrim XP to get rid of belly fat, you can take advantage of the current offer:
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image credits: Sara V
About the Author:
Dr. Becky Gillaspy is an associate faculty professor of nutrition and author of the book: Lose Weight without Losing Your Love Affair with Food.