The intricate relationship between chronic stress and belly fat encompasses physiological and behavioral factors. Learn how prolonged stress can cause belly fat:
Adrenal glands release cortisol in response to chronic stress. Cortisol increases belly fat accumulation. Cortisol stores visceral fat, which surrounds organs in the abdomen.
When anxious, many people eat sugary, fatty, and calorie-laden comfort foods. Stress eating can cause overeating and calorie consumption, leading to weight gain and belly fat.
Insulin Regulation: Chronic stress and high cortisol levels can cause insulin resistance, which reduces cell response to insulin. Insulin resistance raises blood sugar and stores belly fat.
Visceral Fat: Cortisol increases visceral fat, which is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat. Inflammation from visceral fat can cause insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Lack of Motivation: Chronic stress can cause weariness, apathy, and decreased physical activity. Sedentary lifestyles can impair weight loss and increase belly fat.
Chronic stress can affect sleep patterns and quality, resulting in poor sleep. Poor sleep increases weight and abdominal obesity risk.
Stress Coping: Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression can cause overeating and comfort eating.
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