When we’re stressed, the hormone cortisol is released from our adrenal glands, causing the body to lay down fat around the stomach. Research has found that even naturally slim people are likely to carry excess abdominal fat if they regularly feel stressed, because abdominal fat has more cortisol receptors than elsewhere in your body.
The good news is you don’t have to pound the treadmill for hours to get rid of this extra weight. In fact too much cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging or running, can create excess cortisol within the body. Instead, try including some light resistance work in your exercise regime to help work off the stress and get your metabolism fired up for action.
Swapping refined grains for whole grains (such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and brown pasta) and adding a source of protein to each meal can help to stabilise your blood sugar levels, which may help you to reduce fat storage by balancing the production of insulin (another important hormone).