When the stress hormone cortisol is chronically elevated in the body, it has been shown to increase fat storage in the abdominal area. A study found that vitamin C helps reduce stress levels and return blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation – which may help prevent chronic stress. This may, in turn, help to prevent increased belly fat storage. So aim to consume at least two vitamin-C rich foods each day, such as oranges, kiwis, and green peppers.
EAT MORE WHOLE GRAINS
Research shows that carbohydrates cause the brain to produce more serotonin, a hormone that relaxes us. Eating large amounts of fiber can also help to stabilize blood sugar, helping to stabilize mood and controlling appetite. This could prevent mid-day and late-night stress-related binges. And be sure to increase your intake of whole grain. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dieters who ate five servings of whole grains every day for twelve weeks lost twice as much belly fat as people who ate refined carbohydrates instead!
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SNACK ON OMEGA-3 RICH FOODS
Not only have omega-3 rich foods been shown to help reduce abdominal fat storage, but a recent study found that omega-3s keep the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from peaking. This helps prevent damage to our body from chronic stress and wards off increased fat storage caused by elevated cortisol levels. Fatty fish, such as salmon, is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, plant-based sources such as chia seeds, walnuts, and flax seeds are also terrific sources of omega-3 fatty acids!
AN AVOCADO A DAY CAN KEEP YOUR STRESS AWAY
The monounsaturated fats and potassium in avocados have been shown in research to lower blood pressure and stabilize stress levels. Studies have also linked monounsaturated fats with a decrease in belly fat. The reason for this may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of monounsaturated fats. Lowering the chronic inflammation in your body may in turn decrease the internal stressors that can pack on the pounds.
What triggers your stress and weight-gain over the holidays?
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