8 Reasons You Can't Get Rid of Your Belly Fat
What that has to do with belly fat: Stress increases cortisol levels, and cortisol likes to store weight in your stomach, says Jensen. (Researchers aren't sure why.) It could also slow down your metabolism. When stressed and non-stressed women ate the same high-fat meal, the harried ones burned fewer calories at rest afterward, found a study in Biological Psychiatry. Finally, if your stress is affecting your sleep, you may be overeating without even realizing it—women who got just four hours of sleep ate 300 extra calories the next day in one study.
What to do about it: We're not recommending revamping your life just for a slim stomach—these tips are good for your overall well-being. If you can disconnect from work once you leave the office, do it—any mental health expert will tell you that you need time away from your smartphone to decompress. In a pinch, try one of these seven ways to de-stress in under an hour. As for sleep, if job worries are keeping you up, we've got tips to help you switch out of work mode and go to bed.