How do we get rid of stress belly fat? I think we all know by now that crackers, chips, cookies, even the so-called “healthy” variety, aren’t going to do us any favors in the belly fat department. Nor is sitting at a desk all day with little to no exercise. If you need some extra support de-stressing, try Peace Maker.
However, if you’re staying on top of your food routine then you’ll want to turn your attention to the type of fitness you’re engaging in.
HIIT Workouts Can Spike Cortisol Levels
The underlying premise to abdominal fat burning is to recruit the biggest and the greatest number of muscles on your body during a workout while not spiking cortisol levels excessively. If your workouts leave you feeling physically and emotionally devastated, you are probably overdoing it.
There is nothing wrong with feeling this way on occasion as a way to build up mental fortitude and see how far you can push your body, but if you workout this way all the time, your workout is going to promote a stress response in your body which will thwart your fat burning goals.
The game changing equation for getting rid of belly fat is maximal exercise input with minimal cortisol output. Finding that balance is key to belly fat burning success.
Keys to getting rid of stress belly fat
1. Get more overall activity or steps in during the day. Give the body a reason to open up muscle cells to send glucose or fatty acids into them as opposed to storing them.
If you are getting in 2-4K steps a day aim for 6-8K steps per day. This could be going for a 10 minute walk every couple of hours. Taking a 30 minute walk at lunch. Going for a 5-10 minute walk after each meal. Skipping your shows at night most days and going for a walk or bike ride.
Walking or jogging are ideal, compared to riding as you use so much more energy due to increased muscle recruitment when walking vs sitting on a bike and having it support your body weight.
You can also drop and do 5 -10 push-ups on the hour. Or 10 air squats on the hour. You may think this sounds ridiculous but every part of human biology and physiology suggests that humans were not created to sit at a desk and stair at a screen for 6-10 hours a day. So it will require conscious planned action to burn that belly fat in our current work settings.
2. Lift weights through full range of motion. Instead of jumping up and down and getting out of breath really fast, perform lunges, squats, deadlifts, thrusters, pull ups or pull downs, rows, push ups, shoulder press. These compound movements use massive amounts of energy and trigger secretion of growth hormone and testosterone which are the absolute antithesis of cortisol activity and belly fat fuel.
Performing sit ups, planks, bicep curls, triceps extensions, lateral or front raises for the deltoid are fine to do and go accessory movements but they are going to do little to nothing for burning belly fat as they have minimal metabolic activity compared to your chest, back, glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps comparably.
3. Perform sprint intervals once per week. This could mean sprinting a couple flights of stairs and then walking down to the bottom and doing it again. Or sprinting 100 or 200 meters or speed walking this distance and then walking back the same distance and doing this again.
You could also do air squats or walking lunges or jumping lunges and then take an equal rest time between sets. Depending on your level of fitness, I recommend doing anywhere from 5-20 sets of these intervals. I wouldn’t do these more than once per week as your muscles, joints and nervous system will get fairly taxed with intervals.
For more exercise how-to’s, check out this post, Exercise: Keep It Simple.