Most of us experience stress on a daily basis and being a mum it comes with the job in buckets and spades – but more often than not we don’t give it a passing thought, but extended periods of stress is causing us all kinds of health issues and effecting our health – as well as hindering our weight loss.
And as well as hindering our health it is also contributing to sending many of us to an early grave and it is pretty scary stuff to say the least. As such the Hormone named ‘Cortisol’ which is responsible for making us stressed is becoming more commonly known as ‘the death hormone’.
When ‘Cortisol’ is released into our body (via the adrenal gland) its main job is to help us deal with a difficult or stressful situation by giving us a quick burst of energy to help complete the task.
When used in small amounts it’s a very useful hormone to have around, but as the World speeds up and we have less time to get everything done the Adrenal gland becomes increasingly over worked as it produces more and more Cortisol to help get everything done on time.
There is a very serious side to the over production of Cortisol which can lead to chronic inflammation, premature ageing, many cancers and the inability to lose weight – plus it contributes to the dreaded stomach fat!
Stress & Your Tummy
Fat on your tummy is often linked to your stress levels. When you are stressed, cortisol is released in the brain – and this hormone causes the body to redirect fat stores to the tummy.
A Yale University study has backed up this theory, showing that women – even slim women – were more likely to have a larger tummy if they regularly experienced stress. The women who had larger tummies were found to have reported more negative moods and higher levels of stress than women with flatter tummies, leading researchers to believe that women who are stressed are more reactive to cortisol, causing them to gain fat around their tummy.
Visceral fat in the stomach has more cortisol receptors than anywhere else in the body, which explains why fat is directed there, rather than anywhere else.
It is commonly believes that this is why people who are stressed – from whatever walk of life – tend to gain fat around their tummy.
The most important thing you can do to reduce your Cortisol levels is to find time to relax your body each day even if it’s only for 10 – 15 minutes.
How do I manage stress?
As a mum of 2 small children and Owner of The Healthy Mummy & Lose Baby Weight business I have a lot of stress coming at me every day!
Some days the stress is really high and others not so much – but it is definitely a constant presence in my life and is something I have learned to manage.
One of the things I find really helps is getting exercise in and getting fresh air. I do this with my kids too and it really helps reduce stress and put everything in perspective!
And below I have listed the top tips that I also use to control my stress that have also been suggested by lots of experts too on managing stress and cortisol levels
Tips to help manage your Cortisol levels:
1) Stretch your body – taking 10 minutes to find a quiet space to stretch your body will allow your Cortisol levels to decrease. Try the 10 minute stretching section in the Healthy Mummy Post Pregnancy Exercise DVD to stretch your whole body.
2) Turn off the TV at night – reading a book will help your mind relax and you will sleep better.
3) Listen to relaxing music with a slow beat to relax your heart and mind
4) Take a hot bath and add some Epsom salts
5) Soak your feet in warm water or if you know someone who’d like to give you a foot rub even better!
6) Go for a 30-45 minute walk a day
7) Eat a healthy diet and avoid processed foods
Join us on the next 28 Day Challenge
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- 28 Days of family friendly healthy meals
- Personalised weekly shopping lists and customisable meal plans
- Access to the exclusive challenge 1000+ recipe hub
- 28 days of effective at home exercises to fit into your busy day
- Expert advice and support from the team and 1000’s of other mums on the challenge
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Results from mums on the 28 Day Challenge
Mums lose an average of 4-6kg (8-13 pounds) on our 28 Day Challenge and below are some of the amazing results from mums JUST LIKE YOU who are already using the 28 Day Challenge and losing tummy fat – make the change and join them today too!
You can see lots of more results and you can join here too
Ash Loses 26kgs (57 pounds) on 7 Challenges
Ash says: “The 28 Day Challenges have changed my life. This was never a diet but a complete lifestyle change for me, and I committed to it 100% I’ve never experienced such a positive experience as I have with this plan IT WORKS. It’s perfectly put together for mums and so manageable.”
Take control of your health and get rid of those unwanted kgs for good.
You won’t regret it!