Last week we discussed the risks of excess visceral fat on your health along with a few dietary and exercise recommendations to help. This week I’d like to discuss stress and its role in visceral fat accumulation.

 When under chronic stress the adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is commonly known as the “fight or flight” hormone but is also involved in many processes such as blood sugar & insulin regulation, metabolism, inflammation, memory formation, electrolyte balance, and immunity.

 High amounts of cortisol trigger a process in the body called gluconeogenesis, which is when the body breaks down protein and fatty acid reserves from around the body and converts it into glucose for fuel. Once the stressful event is over the excess fat and glucose is stored around the abdomen (visceral fat), close to the liver so it can be easily converted back into energy if needed. 

 Since stress contributes to visceral fat storage learning ways to manage stress is key in promoting good health. Below are a few tips for managing stress.

1.      Yoga

2.      Meditation/Prayer

3.      Deep Breathing

4.      Journaling

5.      Goal Setting

6.      Exercise

7.      Get a good night’s sleep

8.      Learn time management

9.      Get more laughter in your life.

10.  Accept what you can’t control

Guest Blogger- Jessica Quinones, MS, CNS, LDN, CHHC