If you suspect that high cortisol levels are making you gain belly fat, this article will show you how to get rid of cortisol belly fat.
Cortisol is a stress hormone made by the adrenal glands. Unlike what most people think, this hormone is very beneficial. It helps reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar, assist with memory formulation, and regulate metabolism.
However, high levels of this hormone can cause many health issues and accumulation of fat in the belly, research shows.
Belly fat or visceral fat is extremely dangerous since it can impair the function of vital organs such as the liver and pancreas. Excess belly fat can also cause metabolic syndrome, insulin insensitivity, as well as type 2 diabetes.
How can you know if high cortisol levels are making your belly bigger? Below are high cortisol signs to look out for.
Signs of High Cortisol Levels
- Low sex drive
- Constant insomnia
- Unexplained belly fat gain
- Being tired all the time
- Headaches and other body pains
- Catching colds and flu often
- Panic attacks
- Premature aging
Luckily, you get rid of all these symptoms by regulating cortisol levels. Read on to discover how you can eliminate these symptoms and lose cortisol belly fat naturally.
How to Get Rid of Cortisol Belly Fat
1. Manage your stress
Stress is one of the main causes of high cortisol levels.
Unfortunately, stress will affect you more if you already have a large waist since overweight people produce more cortisol when stressed.
You can reduce belly fat by engaging in stress-relieving activities. Meditation, deep belly breathing, yoga, acupuncture, and walking are effective ways to lower stress and get rid of cortisol belly fat.
2. Add Adaptogen Herbs to Your Diet
Adaptogen herbs can help lower your cortisol levels by reducing inflammation and balancing hormones. In fact, these herbs have strong antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that fight off all sorts of diseases.
Use these adaptogenic herbs to regulate your cortisol levels:
- Holy basil
- Licorice root
- Medicinal mushrooms
Now, you don’t have to go out and buy all these herbs, you can get all their ingredients in this superfood green juice.
3. Add More Soluble Fiber to Your Diet
Soluble fiber may help reduce belly fat since it increases satiety and prevents overeating.
Research also suggests that soluble fiber can reduce the number of calories your body stores from your meals.
Researchers in this study found that participants reduced belly fat gain by 3.7 percent, for every 10-gram increase in consumption of soluble fiber, over a period of five years.
Remember to eat high-fiber foods in every meal. Flaxseeds, legumes, avocados, and Brussels sprouts are excellent sources of soluble fiber.
4. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is bad for weight loss because it contains empty calories and interferes with fat oxidation.
Even though alcohol may ease anxiety, drinking too much can increase your stress levels. According to this report, “Alcohol consumption stimulates cortisol secretion.”
You may want to quit alcohol if you want to lose cortisol belly fat. But if you can’t give it up, here are strategies you can use to lose weight while drinking alcohol.
5. Drink Plenty of Water Every Day
Staying hydrated throughout the day can rev up your metabolism and keep you energetic.
Water also helps reduce hunger and can prevent overeating. I may also note that drinking a glass of water before meals can remind you to eat mindfully and help you eat less.
6. Sleep for 7 to 8 Hours Every Night
Research shows that getting quality sleep can help regulate cortisol levels.
According to a 16-year study of over 68,000 women, participants who slept for less than 5 hours of sleep each night had higher chances of becoming overweight than those who got 7 hours of sleep or more per night.
In addition to getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night, it’s important that your sleep is deep and uninterrupted. If you notice any problem with your sleeping pattern, see your doctor.
In the meantime, you can use these tips to sleep better.
7. Exercise Every Day
You know that exercise helps burn fat, but do you know that it can also lower your cortisol levels at night?
However, don’t do long cardio workouts as they may raise your cortisol levels. Instead, do these stunningly 15-minute fat-burning home workouts.
8. Avoid Pro-Inflammatory Foods
Eating pro-inflammatory foods can raise your cortisol levels. These are high-sugar foods, trans fats, too much caffeine, sugary drinks, refined grains, and packaged foods.
Substitute pro-inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory foods such as veggies, fruits, nuts, probiotic foods (kefir, yogurt), grass-fed beef, coconut oil, olive oil, fish, and eggs.
9. Don’t Drink Fruit Juice Every Day
While fruit juice contains vitamins and minerals, it has high sugar content. Studies have shown that a high intake of fruit juice can increase the accumulation of belly fat, the same way sweetened beverages do.
Instead of drinking fruit juice, take water or unsweetened green tea. If you find water “plain”, try these fruit-infused drinks.
10. Eat Protein in Every Meal
Protein plays an important role in weight loss.
High consumption of protein promotes the release of the satiety hormone, which controls appetite and makes you full for longer.
Protein is also essential for muscle growth and metabolic activity. In addition to helping build muscles, protein promotes the retention of muscle mass when you are trying to lose weight.
Research has shown that people following a protein-rich diet tend to have less belly fat than people who eat a low-protein diet.
Here are the best protein sources according to nutrition experts.
11. Remove Trans Fats from Your Diet
Trans fats are found in spreads, margarine, baked foods, and many packaged foods. These fats have been linked to heart disease, inflammation, accumulation of belly fat, and insulin resistance.
Cutting trans fats from your diet will help you lose cortisol belly fat and lower the risk of chronic diseases. Read labels in order to avoid these deadly fats. Look out for hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list.
12. Avoid Toxic Relationships
Most people only focus on diet and exercise when trying to lose belly fat, not realizing that the quality of their relationships has a big impact on their health.
According to research, conflicts in relationships can raise cortisol levels. Therefore, it is important to maintain healthy relationships and avoid toxic people if you want to lose cortisol belly fat.
13. Drink Green Tea Every Day
Green tea is a powerful fat-burning beverage that can help reduce abdominal fat.
It is rich in catechins and caffeine – two compounds that boost metabolism and help reduce visceral fat, according to several studies.
Green tea works best for weight loss when combined with regular exercise.
14. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
The most important success factor when trying to lose weight is to adopt a healthy lifestyle that will make your weight loss goals sustainable in the long term. Adopt a healthy eating habit, move more, and practice self-love.
The Bottom Line
If you want to cortisol belly fat, start making healthier choices today!
Now, don’t try to do everything all at once. Simply pick 2 or 3 habits from this article and implement them right away.
I’d recommend you pick exercise as one of your daily habits. It will lead to more energy, faster metabolism, fat loss, and much more.
If you don’t know the exercises to do, follow this short workout sequence. It shows you exercises to do every day for the next 28 days.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]