Burn belly fat by relaxing

A flat stomach is not for everyone. Many of us have been dreaming of this for years, but still do not achieve the beauty ideal. Despite a responsible diet, abdominal exercises and cardio training. Not everyone knows that stress is often the culprit of the ‘beer belly’. But anyone who knows how to reduce stress and lives a healthy lifestyle will definitely see their belly shrink.


This article is mainly intended for people who are normal weight to slightly overweight but cannot get rid of their belly. People who are overweight are better off losing weight first by eating healthy and taking regular exercise.

How do you determine if you are overweight?

Body Mass Index

You can calculate obesity by calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index). You do this by dividing your weight in kilos by the square of your height in meters. For example, if you weigh 74 kilos and are 1 meter 68 tall, then your BMI is 26. But what exactly does this number mean? A BMI of 18.5 or less is considered underweight.

From mild to seriously overweight

From the age of 25 you are considered slightly overweight. So somewhere between 18.5 and 25 is a good weight. If you have a Body Mass Index higher than 30, you are seriously overweight. When your BMI exceeds 40, this is called morbidly overweight. You even speak of super obesity when you have a BMI of over 40. You can also easily calculate your BMI on the website of the nutrition center.

Burn belly fat

Adjust diet

Belly fat generally disappears first when losing pounds. So first follow a responsible diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and exercise vigorously. Losing weight too quickly often leads to a yo-yo effect, so adjust your diet gradually.

Apples instead of cookies

Replace your cookies with an apple in the afternoon. Integrate exercise into your daily activities. If the belly is retained, it is advisable to work on the stress level. This way you can burn belly fat effectively.

Belly fat and stress

Belly fat consists of fatty tissue located in the abdominal cavity. This active fatty tissue contains substances such as cortisol. This hormone is made in the adrenal cortex from cholesterol. Metabolic (digestive) processes take place in and through the abdominal fat. Cortisol in itself is a useful hormone that is used for our sleep and wake rhythm and our immune system. Excessive production of cortisol or stress can be harmful and eventually even contribute to the development of diabetes. A belly that is too big is also often a cause of too much stress.

Cortisol production

Those who produce a lot of cortisol will often see this reflected in their waist size. This is larger than the average fit for the body. Belly fat is located around our organs. A very big belly is therefore not good for your health. Some people lose weight but don’t burn belly fat. A cause of this may be excessive cortisol production due to too much stress. And that’s why we don’t see any burning of belly fat despite our trips to the gym.

How can you measure belly fat?

There are two ways to measure belly fat

  1. Via a CT scan
  2. By measuring the waist circumference with a measuring tape

Belly fat can become dangerous if the following limits are exceeded

  1. Women: > 88-90 cm
  2. Men: > 100-102 cm


Cortisol and the fight-flight response

Stress belly

A belly is often caused by too much stress, or too high cortisol production. Cortisol is therefore better known as the ‘stress hormone’. It is released when there is too much exertion, both physically and psychologically. Those who are constantly under pressure usually produce a lot of cortisol. The body panics, as it were, and wants to ‘flee’. This dates back to the time when we had to hunt for food and suddenly came face to face with a bear.

Positive features

The cortisol production allowed us to flee quickly. Cortisol will always be necessary because it also has positive functions, such as suddenly having to act quickly. It also plays a role in getting up in the morning. Nowadays, however, we need this hormone less than before. However, a lot of negative stress still causes high peaks in our cortisol levels.

Cortisol and nutrition


Certain foods can lead to high cortisol levels and too much cortisol often leads to cravings for certain foods. “Eat healthy and varied” is always the message. It is also advisable to eat all kinds of colored foods (fruits and vegetables). These different fruits and vegetables ensure that you get the right nutrients.


High cortisol production often leads to cravings for carbohydrates such as bread and sweets. This initially provides an energy boost. However, later you get tired of it because these foods lead to extra production of cortisol. And so the circle is complete and you can’t get rid of your belly.

Some tips for a healthy diet

  • Start the day with two glasses of lukewarm water, this reduces cravings
  • always have breakfast
  • eat healthy meals, preferably spread over 5 portions per day
  • eat enough fruit and vegetables of all colours
  • eat fresh oily fish regularly
  • avoid fast energy suppliers such as sugar, cola and coffee


Facts about burning belly fat

A balanced diet is always important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. This is the first thing one should work on to get rid of excess pounds and belly. However, there also appear to be things that may prevent you from burning your belly fat. Some examples:

  • lack of sleep
  • smoking
  • excessive coffee consumption
  • heavy cardio workouts
  • too much alcohol
  • negative stress

All these factors ensure that the heart rate increases and cortisol is produced. And too much cortisol causes an increase in belly fat.

Smoking can cause tummy tucks

This is important to realize: most people think that smoking and stress will cause you to lose weight. Sometimes people lose pounds, but the excess fat is always stored in and around the abdomen. To burn belly fat, it is therefore advisable to avoid the above factors.

How can we relax?

It is important to live life as relaxed as possible and, above all, to experience positive stress. Yet stress is a part of life and cannot be completely avoided. Accepting this in itself can reduce stress. A mindfulness course can help with this. Some ways to further relax in a feasible way:

  • balance work and private life
  • be grateful for positive things
  • practicing moderately intensive sports (e.g. (fast) walking, swimming and cycling)
  • take a yoga class
  • meditate
  • visit the sauna
  • get enough sleep
  • listening to calm music
  • get enough fresh air
  • healthy eating (fruit and vegetables contain elements that promote relaxation)
  • practicing a fun hobby
  • maintain good contacts with friends and family
  • get a pet


Integrate into daily pattern

Just as nutrition must be integrated into the daily pattern to achieve lasting results, it is also advisable to do so with relaxation. For example, plan half an hour for yourself every day. Go on a nice bike ride with a friend every week or do half an hour of relaxation exercises every day before going to bed. Those who establish regularity and rhythm will last the longest. Your belly fat is burned permanently.

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