Ever wonder why you have that ANNOYING spare tire around your mid-section, even when you’re doing *pretty good* with diet and exercise? And why is it always the first place it seems to creep up when you drift a little from your healthy self?

The one BIG THING you may not be aware of that makes belly fat so damn stubborn……..is stress.

I know we’ve been led to believe diet and exercise are the holy grail of weight loss – and they are – to a certain extent. But stress – and most of us have waaaaaaay too much of it – plays a big part too.

Bear with me a minute here…..

Cortisol, Glucose, and Belly Fat

When we’re overwhelmed with stress, our cortisol levels rise, which signals our body to release glucose (blood sugar). Which is good if we’re running from a tiger or about to get run over by a car. Glucose fuels our muscles so we get a quick burst of speed, strength, and energy.

The problem is, our body doesn’t know the difference between real danger or having tons of work projects to complete or emails to respond to. So our muscles don’t actually need or use the glucose.

We’re just sitting in a desk chair, right?

So the glucose has to get stored somewhere to (theoretically) be used later as energy. And guess where it goes…..You got it! The tummy! Ugh!!!

The more stress we have, the more belly fat we accumulate. And it’s almost impossible to exercise enough to burn off all that extra ‘stored energy.’ There’s just too much.

So it just sits there, stretching our waistband more and more, year after year. And if we exercise less and stress more, it will continue to get worse.

Balancing Stress To Reduce Fat

Here are some suggestions to start reversing this nasty fat-storing trend.

Balancing Stress To Reduce Fat

  • Get plenty of sleep. Cortisol levels naturally lower during the night so we can relax and sleep deeply. If you don’t get enough zzzzz’s, cortisol doesn’t have a chance to go down enough to give your body a break. If you don’t feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning, it’s a good sign you’re not getting the deep sleep you need to lower cortisol.
  • Meditate or just breathe. Meditation and breathing exercises break the ‘fight or flight’ cycle. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a five-minute break and listen to a guided meditation (Headspace is a great app for this) or simply concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly, in and out.
  • Talk it out. One of the best ways to release stress is to put it out there instead of letting in go round and round in your head. Simply talking to a trusted friend, therapist, or coach can do WONDERS.


My private clients tell me one of the best things about our sessions together, is they feel supported and truly heard. They leave feeling lighter and joyful. I can almost see the cortisol flowing freely out of their body as they talk through and release it.

The extra weight (both physical and emotional) starts to melt off effortlessly.

Try one of these strategies and leave a comment below to let me know how it goes. I LOVE hearing whether my tips are useful!

Sending you love and joy,

Sarah Haas Health Coach

P.S. – If you struggle with carrying extra weight on your midsection or you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, let’s talk about how I can help. Contact me HERE to set up a free 15-minute discovery call.

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