Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Belly Fat and Stress
Human beings often complain of "belly fat," perhaps females more than males, and studies have linked increase in weight in the belly area to a variety of increased health risks. Studies have revealed that the body tends to respond in the same way to both physiological and emotional stress. When a zebra is chased by a lion, the zebra's body releases adrenalin and cortisol to help is escape. The physical exercise (assuming the zebra outruns the lion) helps to compensate for the adrenalin and cortisol and the zebra doesn't pile on belly fat. In this culture, the human body responds to emotional stress with the release of a similar cocktail of hormones and chemical substances, which can make you feel hungry. Not only that, the body keeps releasing cortisol as long as the stress continues. Cortisol, in part, is designed to tap into your body's fat stores to deliver it to the working muscles... or to move it to another location if your muscles are not exercising. In the presence of anxiety and/or a prolonged stress response, cortisol moves fat from storage areas and relocates it to fat cells deep in your abdomen. Cortisol is also the hormone that helps little fat cells grow into bigger fat cells, all of which contributes to weight gain in the abdominal area (weight gain that doesn't seems particularly interested in reducing itself through exercise or even dieting). So what can you do? Stay tuned.