Why is my stomach growing? – Lose 20 pounds in a month diet plan

Too much inactivity can contribute to stomach upset.

Image Credit: Ozgur Donmaz / Photodisc / Getty Images

You don’t want to look down and see your stomach grow, but sometimes it does. As life gets hectic, a healthy diet and lifestyle begin to fade into the background, and the number on the scale increases. There are many reasons for weight gain – poor diet, high stress levels, aging, lack of exercise or sleep – or a combination of problems. The good news is that most of these factors are under your control and you can lose belly fat with some lifestyle changes.

Wrong foods make your stomach bigger

If you have been living with processed foods, sugar and carbohydrates, your stomach may become larger due to blood sugar imbalances. Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause rapid increases – and then dramatic decreases – in blood sugar levels. As your blood sugar rises, so does your insulin, the hormone that turns excess blood sugar into fat. High insulin levels signal your body to store fat, especially around the mid-section.

You can keep your insulin and blood sugar low by eating healthy fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. It is also important to eat balanced meals regularly throughout the day. Replace sweet drinks such as soda and fruit juice with water. You can make the water more interesting by infusing it with fresh fruits, cucumbers or mint leaves. Taste chopped vegetables or unsalted nuts instead of energy bars, chips or biscuits. Eat protein at every meal. Try eggs for breakfast, slices of turkey or tuna for lunch and chicken or salmon for dinner.

Insufficient movement affects your stomach

As you become more connected through technology, the time spent on the move decreases significantly. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you may notice that your stomach starts to get bigger. Blocking a 30- to 60-minute exercise time each day is a good start, but you should keep track of it and become more active in general. Engage in an active hobby, such as sports, swimming or hiking, instead of spending all your free time watching TV or sitting down. Just 30 minutes of hiking or swimming can burn between 180 and 266 calories, depending on your weight. Play football for 30 minutes and burn between 210 and 311 calories. Engaging in an activity like this every day can burn enough calories to help you lose half a pound a week.

Too much stress increases stomach fat

If you have been on a healthy diet and exercised regularly, but you still notice that your stomach is getting bigger or you are having trouble losing the last 5 to 10 pounds, the stress may be to blame. When you are stressed – whether it is from work, too much exercise or purely emotional – the adrenal glands release a stress hormone called cortisol. When you are chronically stressed and your cortisol stays high, it starts to interfere with your body’s hormonal signaling. Cortisol can pull triglycerides out of the store and transport them to fat cells deep in the abdomen – also called visceral fat. Elevated cortisol levels can also lead to an increase in appetite and unwanted high-calorie appetite. As a result, if you are chronically stressed, you may eat more than you would if you were relaxed.

If you suspect that stress may be the culprit for upset stomach, start incorporating a few stress-reducing activities into your day. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are three well-known ways to combat stress. You can also try to keep a journal, draw, or read a book.

Lack of sleep affects your hormones

Waking up tired and restless is not the only consequence of not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep affects your health in major ways. When you don’t get enough sleep, ghrelin and leptin – the hunger hormones – become unbalanced. The amount of circulating ghrelin, the hormone that tells you you’re hungry, increases, and the amount of leptin, the hormone that signals fullness, decreases. As a result, you may think that you are hungry when you are not hungry.

Also, lack of sleep makes you feel like eating junk food, which can lead to overeating. If you notice that your stomach is starting to grow, take a look at your sleep patterns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults sleep between 7 and 8 hours a night.

A bigger stomach comes with age

As you get closer to middle age, your proportion of body fat to body weight tends to increase. The effect occurs more often in women than in men, but in both sexes, this extra weight tends to occur around the mid section. Although you can’t slow down your aging process, eat a healthy diet and exercise, you can reduce stress and get enough sleep – all of which can help you reduce your stomach fat.

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