Stress: Is it Making You Fat?

Stress: Is it Making You Fat?

Stress is something each and everyone of us will have to deal with for the rest of our lives. It is an unavoidable fact of life that we will all be subjected to many different stressors and have to deal with it.

Stress can also lead to many different signs and symptoms and is a leading cause of stubborn fat, particularly on the abdominal area. Stress can cause:
Premature ageing
Abdominal fat
Alter your blood sugar control
Ruin your sleep cycle
Massive amounts of inflammation
Don't be a victim to stress – take charge of it.

Since stress is something we all have to deal with and isn't going away anytime soon, here are our top 7 tips to help you beat stress and drop fat off your abs.

1. Drink green tea
Green tea is an absolutely fabulous healthy drink and has 100′s of potential benefits. It can effectively mitigate the inflammation and oxidative stress caused by high levels of stress. One thing to be aware of is that a fairly high amount of green tea needs to be consumed for a therapeutic effect. 3-5 cups a day should do it, or consider a green tea concentrate supplement.

2. Consume lots of antioxidants
Antioxidants are very important when you are stressed as it will help your body produce glutathione, the primary antioxidant your body needs to deal with stress. You need to ensure you consume them with nearly every meal. Berries, dark green vegetables and spices and herbs are ideal.

3. Meditate or take up a mind body practice
The benefits of these kinds of practices cannot be overstated. For example, meditation has been found to reduce an inflammatory marker called Il-6, which is a sign of high stress and anxiety.

The best activities you can try are meditation, yoga and traditional martial arts. Which one you choose does not matter, it is as long as you enjoy it and do it consistently.

4. Take magnesium – lots of it
Magnesium is the anti-stress mineral and will help you sleep deeply. It is highly worthwhile to consume at all times, but particularly when stressed. Taking it at night time with your evening meal is your best option.

Another great option is an Epsom salt bath. This has 2 benefits: it loads your body with magnesium and the bath itself is very relaxing! Adding essential oils like lavender can only improve the experience.

5. Consume adequate fats including Omega 3′s
All stress hormones that we make are derived from dietary fat. Having a highly stressful lifestyle and a low fat diet is a recipe for disaster as you will not be supplying your body the raw materials to make stress hormones. This will then cause further stress. Make sure you include Omega 3 fatty acids as they can increase the bodies antioxidant capabilities and reduce inflammation. Other good fats include butter, coconut oil, nuts and avocado.

6. Consider a nutraceutical
Sometimes you need some extra support when dealing with stress. Some of the best nutraceuticals we have found for this purpose are:
Phosphatidyl Serine: This is especially effective in reducing the primary hormone of stress, cortisol. It is best taken in the evenings.
Holy Basil: This is considered an adaptogen and can help your body produce more or less stress hormones depending on what you need. It is best taken throughout the day.

Acetyl L Carnitine: This is a great addition if you have trouble waking up and being alert in the morning. Do not take after 2pm.

7. Fill in a gratitude journal
This is a great way to improve your sleep and improve your ability to deal with stress. All you need is a diary and a pen and before you go to sleep, simply write down all the things you are grateful for that occurred in that day. This will help frame your mind in a positive late, which will stop your mind from racing at night. Having a positive worldview will also help you deal with stress better with a lower response of stress hormones.

Stress is always going to be there and that is something we have to learn to live with. Hopefully the tips in this lesson will help you manage your stress better and you should start to experience faster fat loss on your abs. 

Paul has been involved in the health and fitness industry for nine years. During this time he has worked with thousands of clients in the areas of weight loss, muscle gain, rehabilitation and sports performance.
Paul is highly regarded within the fitness Industry and has received the following awards for his dedication; 05/06 Personal Trainer of the Year Clinical Excellence Award, Australian Sports Kinesiology Institute. He is dedicated to furthering his ability to help his clients in any way possible and to educating other professionals so they can achieve amazing results with people from all walks of life.
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