One of the questions most commonly asked of me is, “How do I get rid of belly fat?” So, let’s discuss belly fat in general and then discuss 1 tip to help reduce belly fat.
Stress is a key factor that affects belly fat. When you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol (also known as stress hormone). Studies have shown that when cortisol is released into the bloodstream, you become less sensitive to leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you are full. When this happens, you tend to eat more and more and begin to crave sugar. And fat caused by stress tends to get stored in the belly.
So, 1 tip to get rid of belly fat is to reduce stress in your life. Follow these tips:
• Place “happy photos” at work and in your car (like on the visor). When you look at them, they will immediately take you to a happy place, causing stress levels to decrease.
• Make love. The more we make love, the more endorphins our brains release. These “neuro-hormones” that are released in the brain act as natural painkillers and help to alleviate anxiety.
• Schedule “playtime” with your significant other or children. Doing fun things like miniature golf, bowling, and seeing a movie can take your mind off your stress.
• Smile often and laugh a lot. If you have a favorite comedian, include a CD in your car to listen to as you drive to and from work. Or watch movies that make you laugh out loud. Or listen to music that calms you down or makes you sing along.
• Get a massage. Deep-pressure massage stimulates the nerves that cause levels of the stress hormone cortisol to diminish. Research has also shown that those who give massages reduce their own levels of stress hormones.
• Get moving. It is well documented that regular physical activity or exercise helps to alleviate stress and raise body temperature, which helps the body prepare for sleep. There’s strong evidence that moderate exercise like brisk walking activates the “feel good” neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which reduce the symptoms of depression.
• Build better relationships. The biggest enemy of good health is stress. The biggest enemy of stress is solid relationships with other people. So show more respect and compassion to other people, even more than you feel they deserve. This might seem to hurt you in the short term, but it is a sure investment in the long term.
• Sleep more. Too many Americans are sleep-deprived. However, I can honestly say I am not one of them. I am a huge fan of sleep. I get my eight hours of sleep every night, and if I fall short one night, I make up for it over the weekend. Sleep is the body’s way of recharging the system and is the easiest yet most underrated activity to heal the body. Sleep also helps to eliminate puffy red eyes and dark circles. There isn’t anything that can compensate for lack of sleep. Lack of sleep accelerates wear and tear, accelerating aging, and pushes the body out of its natural balance and rhythm. Short-changing sleep time or going to bed stressed interferes with the best time for losing those extra pounds. So be sure to relax or meditate before going to sleep. Relaxing causes cortisol levels to drop, which will in turn help your body burn more calories. In short, getting enough sleep helps you burn more calories at night and during the day.
To get the most effective ways to get rid of belly fat, check out my new book, Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out! you will be surprised at how easily this can be accomplished!
JJ Smith (www.JJSmithOnline.com) is a nutritionist and certified weight-management specialist who has been featured on The Montel Williams Show, The Jamie Foxx Show and on the NBC, FOX, CBS and CW networks. Her advice has also been featured in the pages of Glamour, Essence, and Ladies Home Journal. Since reclaiming her health, losing weight, and discovering a “second youth” in her forties, bestselling author JJ Smith has become the voice of inspiration to women who want to lose weight, be healthy, and get their sexy back! JJ may be contacted by email at [email protected] and on Twitter: jjsmithonline and Facebook Page: RealTalkJJ