If You’re NOT Doing These Three Things, You’re Not Maximizing Your Fat Loss

I’m sure you’ve heard about the hormone cortisol, right? A lot of people consider it the “belly fat” hormone. What does this mean exactly? It means that when you’re stressed out your body releases this hormone to deal with it. The bad part about this is that high levels of cortisol have been linked to increased levels of belly fat.

If you’d like to reduce the amount of fat around your belly, you’ll want to reduce your cortisol levels. Here are three things you can start doing today:

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Meditate

There is a high likelihood that meditation can reduce cortisol levels. A few studies point in this direction:

  • A 2013 study showed a direct relation between resting cortisol and scores on any type of mindfulness scale.
  • A 2007 study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that going through integrative body-mind training (a type of meditation training) helped to lessen the body’s release of cortisol and lower anxiety and fatigue levels in college students.
  • A 2008 study in the Journal of American College Health showed that stress can be reduced through meditation.

If you’ve never meditated before or think it’s not for you, think again. You can get started with some great, simple apps that will help you get started such as Headspace, Buddify or the Mindfulness app.

 

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Cut the caffeine after 2:00

Caffeine is a great way to boost your workout and can enhance fat burning but if you consume it too close to bed time it can negatively affect your sleep and thus increase cortisol levels. Caffeine reaches a peak level in your blood within 30 to 60 minutes after consumption. It has a half-life of three to five hours. The half-life is the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of the drug. The remaining caffeine can stay in your body for a long time. Effects can last from 8 to 14 hours. 

If you want to sleep better and thus reduce your cortisol levels, skip the caffeine after 2:00.

 

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Drink less (alcohol)

High cortisol levels have largely been associated with high alcohol consumption. Additionally, we all know that drinking too much can certainly lead to a fatter gut. If you’re looking to decrease your belly fat, skip the alcohol.

 

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Bonus

Unplug from technology throughout the day. People that are constantly checking their phones, email, social media accounts, watching the news on tv, etc. tend to be more stressed out. Stress=cortisol. Have some periods throughout the day where you’re not checking your electronic devices or watching tv.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed out?

 

Dedicated to getting you fit and firm on YOUR schedule,

Coach George, The White Collar Warrior

Body Transformation Coach

ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer & Precision Nutrition Certified Nutritionist

*A version of this article first appeared on FirstThingFitness.com