Let’s be honest, losing weight is hard enough — so when you finally are losing weight, it can feel pretty impossible when you’re shedding pounds from everywhere else except your stomach. But keep in mind that you’re definitely not alone in this struggle. This phenomenon of losing weight from everywhere except from your stomach is experienced by more people than you’d expect — and over the past few years especially, that amount has grown exponentially.
The Rise Of Chronic Stress
It might not come as a surprise to hear that the stress levels of people across the globe have wildly increased over the past few years. In fact, a recent study that collected over 120,000 interviews from 122 different countries showed that more people experienced higher stress levels, worry levels, and sadness in 2021 than in any previous year. With factors including global inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic (among other variables), we’re living in more stressful times now than ever before.
So why is that important in relation to weight less???
How Stress Changes Your Body
While stress levels continue to rise among populations across the globe, so do the physical effects that those stress levels have on the body — many of which are a result of the increase in cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) in the bloodstream.
Here's how that works:
When the body is stressed, the adrenal glands begin to produce cortisol. The role of cortisol is to then regulate the body's stress response, which includes stabilizing glucose levels, suppressing inflammation, and regulating blood pressure.
But as you probably know, you shouldn't be stressed all the time. (Although it does seem like a lot of us are lately...)
So even though cortisol has multiple positive benefits in the body over a short-term period, high levels of cortisol over long periods of time can be detrimental.
Negative effects of high cortisol levels over a long period of time can include (but definitely aren't limited to!):
- Brittle Skin
- Easy Bruising
- Flushed Face
- Difficulty Healing Wounds
- Muscle Weakness
- High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Sugar
- Brain Fog
- Inability To Lose Weight
The Relationship Between Cortisol & Weight
As stress and cortisol increases throughout the body, we begin reacting as if a threat is near. Aka. Our body enters 'fight or flight' mode. And we unconsciously start preparing for a survival situation.
Because of this, we're more likely to have an increase in appetite — which makes us eat way more than usual. And we also have the heightened ability to retain visceral fat for later use — especially in our midsection.
In the short term, these effects help us cope with stressful situations by providing us with a storage of energy to use when needed. But in the long term, they lead to the continuous storage of weight in our midsection and face, making it extremely difficult to drop unwanted pounds.
How To Release Excess Cortisol To Lose Weight
Unfortunately, no amount of sit ups, HIIT exercises, or hours in the gym are going to help you lose weight from your stomach. In order to actually lose that weight, you'll want to address the root cause of the problem first (which is the cortisol.).
So in order to actively lose weight from your stomach, you first need to release the excess cortisol in your body that's causing you to hold onto that weight in the first place.
And you can release excess cortisol by starting a somatic release program that pinpoints the exact part of your body where you're storing the long-term stress, which is what's contributing to the high levels of cortisol.
Try our The 5 Course Bundle: From Pain To Power, a combination of our 5 signature somatic healing programs, to release your stress and lower your cortisol while also strengthening, shaping, sculpting, and toning your body.