The growth of belly fat may be facilitated by chronic stress.

Chronic stress increases abdominal fat. Cortisol and adrenaline, released during stress, might affect metabolism and fat distribution. Chronic stress may cause belly obesity in these ways:

Chronic stress releases cortisol, the "stress hormone." Cortisol increases belly fat accumulation. Because cortisol receptors are more concentrated in the abdomen, it encourages fat storage there.

Stress can increase calorie intake and comfort food consumption. Stress-induced overeating, especially of sweet and fatty meals, can cause weight gain and belly fat.

Stress can cause insulin resistance, which reduces cell response to insulin. Insulin resistance increases abdominal fat storage.

Prolonged stress can affect glucose metabolism and promote fat storage. These alterations may cause abdominal weight gain.

Chronic stress can lead to comfort eating, sedentary behavior, and sleep disturbances. These lifestyle factors can cause abdominal obesity and weight increase.

Stress can alter metabolism, appetite, and fat storage hormones. This hormonal imbalance may promote belly obesity.

Remember that stress and belly fat are complex and individual reactions differ. Stress may cause some people to store fat in the abdomen, while others may not.

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