Help! I Still Look Pregnant- How To Deal With Stubborn Belly Fat
It’s been almost three years since I delivered twin boys and I still have the belly fat. I’ve lost weight since their birth, but my belly is still a hot mess and it’s so frustrating. I was looking for solutions online for my stubborn belly fat and then out of no where it hit me-maybe it had something to do with my hormones still being out of whack. I am pretty good with getting in my daily cardio and eating healthy but something still isn’t right. So I started reading all about cortisol and found some interesting information.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone made in the cortex of the adrenal glands. It’s designed to help the body cope with stress and survive. It is tied to controlling the body’s blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism, acting as an anti-inflammatory and influencing memory formation.
However, if you have too much cortisol from constant physical and mental stress, your body secretes more than it needs over an extended amount of time which can affect metabolism and belly fat.
Here are some signs besides weight gain that your cortisol levels may be too high:
- Fatigue, poor energy
- Easy bruising
- High blood pressure
- Cravings for sugar, alcohol or nicotine
- Decreased libido, impotence
- Mood swings
- Poor concentration and memory
- Lower back problems
- Thinning hair or hair loss
If any of these sound like you, you can try out the following:
So for many moms this is not always realistic especially if you have a newborn or toddler who’s on their own sleeping schedule, but adequate sleep helps balance cortisol production. If you are a stay-at-home mom and are sleep deprived, take a nap when the baby takes one. Power naps can be amazing little gems. If you work a 9 to 5 and are the type to stay up late doing things around the house or doing extra work at home, create a priority list and see what things can wait for the weekend. Your body’s health needs to be top priority for you and your kids.
A Healthy Diet
Avoid junk food, alcohol, and caffeine as much as you can. Cold water fish like salmon, eggs, dark chocolate and flax seeds have all been proven to lower and help balance out cortisol levels. Also reducing salt will lower water retention and leave you feeling less bloated. The last diet staple is water because dehydration also causes water retention, so drink eight glasses a day.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. The best kind of exercise is when you balance strength training and cardio. Try and commit to at least three days a week and mix up things like swimming, walking, weight lifting or even yoga. Check out why it helps you de-stress.
- It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.
- It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements.
- It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.