Does stress (higher cortisol) lead to abdominal fat?
Yes. There is a link between stress (high cortisol levels) and storage of body fat, particularly “visceral” abdominal body fat (also known as intra-abdominal fat). Visceral fat is stored deeper in the abdominal cavity and around the internal organs, whereas “regular” fat is stored below the skin (known as subcutaneous fat). Visceral fat is particularly unhealthy because it is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. So, the next time you are stressed out, remember your body will be fat storing! Instead, try to think of ways to deal with stress- deep breathing, meditation, going for a walk, reading a good book, etc. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time, just enough to bring those cortisol levels down.