As well as severely affecting your mental health, stress can also affect your physical health which can lead to a little extra un-wanted weight being added to your belly.

While stress belly isn’t an actual medical diagnosis, it is real and something many people know all too well.

What is Stress Belly?

Stress belly is commonly caused through prolonged stress, and there is a scientific explanation behind it.

Cortisol is a crucial hormone that helps control blood sugars and your body’s metabolism. This, as well as hormones like adrenaline, form part of your body’s ‘fight’ response so when you become stressed over something, unnecessary body functions are slowed down so that you can focus and rewire your thoughts. If the stress passes, everything returns to normal. If it doesn’t, the hormones are elevated and so is your blood pressure and blood sugar which is not only damaging to your physical health but can lead to the dreaded stress belly.

Stress can also have side effects of vomiting or diarrhoea. IBS can be caused by long-term stress, and stress can worsen this condition and cause your belly to bloat.

How to Get Rid of Stress Belly?

The hormones caused from stress can soon become unwanted fat on your body, and it’s up to your genetics to determine where this extra fat is stored. For many people, it is common for fat to accumulate at the belly.

Stress is inevitable in life and everybody has it, but some ways to manage it better include meditation which helps lower psychological stress, socialising to take your mind off other things and taking some much needed ‘me’ time.

Exercising every day will not only improve your physical health and therefore the fat in your body, but it will boost your mental health too. Even just 30 minutes of exercise a day can have significant improvements on your body. A simple walk or using stairs instead of escalators are great ways to make initial changes to your usual daily routine.

Whilst the country is currently in lockdown, you could also try a home workout and make the most of your space in your home or use your daily exercise for a brisk walk.

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