General

Stress & Cortisol Can Lead to Belly Fat & Weight Gain

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Join the Conversation: What’s your favorite way to relieve stress? Share your thoughts now.
Stressed out? Struggling with excess weight?
StressIf you’rve been stressed out and you’ve gained weight, you want to learn about cortisol, which is caused by stress and its role in both weight gain and infuriating belly fat.
Here are some answers to questions you may have about the stress-cortisol-weight gain connection.
How does too much cortisol make you gain weight?
We normally think of cortisol as being released from our adrenal glands in “fight-or-flight” situations when we don’t have control of a situation or it’s threatened.
It raises our heart beat and gives us a burst of energy. Yet, there is a second even result relating to cortisol, which is related to the ‘defeat’ response, which occurs when stress is prolonged.
“Although the stress pathways work together,” wrote a team of exercise science professors at the University of New Mexico, “they each can uniquely affect the function of bodily processes.
“The ‘defeat’ response {when stress is prolonged} can lead to enhanced lipogenesis (fat creation), visceral obesity (deep abdominal obesity), breakdown of tissues, and suppression of the immune system.”
In short, stress and your elevated levels of cortisol can make you fat.
More specifically, cortisol is a steroid hormone, which has the ability to move fat in your body from storage deposits directly into the fat cells located in your abdomen.
Plus, the more cortisol you secrete over extended periods of time, the more you engorge fat cells in your abdomen to create belly fat.
Not only that, but cortisol “also indirectly influences appetite by regulating other chemicals that are released during stress such as cortiocotrophin releasing hormone, leptin, and neuropeptide Y,” the New Mexico research team noted.
Does abdominal fat attract more abdominal fat due to stress reactions?
The short answer is yes! Another study, this one from a team of health psychologists at the University of California, San Francisco, researched 59 premenopausal women, about half of whom had a high waist-to-hip ratio (abdominal fat) and half, who had a low ratio.
Over four days, all the women were exposed to stressful test situations and had their cortisol secretions measured. Women with a high abdominal fat reported more chronic stress and “secreted significantly more cortisol” than women with lower abdominal fat.
The study authors concluded that “stress-induced cortisol secretion” contributes to central body fat and this fat distribution, in turn, “relates to greater psychological vulnerability to stress and cortisol reactivity.”
Physicians at the MedicineNet website label this cortisol-induced abdominal fat “toxic fat” because its buildup in this part of your body “is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes.”
What are proven methods to control cortisol and reduce belly fat?
It’s a one-two punch in the gut, so to speak. You need to manage your stress so cortisol doesn’t continues to inflate your abdominal fat cells, and you need to adopt a dedicated exercise program that not only burns calories, but also helps to manage stress levels.
“Many types of aerobic and anaerobic exercise have been shown to be effective interventions in reducing or managing stress,” observed Len Kravitz, Ph.D., an exercise science expert at the University of New Mexico.
“Some of the popular ‘mindful’ exercise programs such as yoga and Tai Chi are also recommended for stress management. medditation, progressive relaxation, deep breathing, and visualization are methods that can be effective in decreasing stress-induced symptoms. Also, eating right and getting enough rest should be incorporated in a stress management plan for life.”
Join the Conversation: What’s your favorite way to relieve stress? Share your thoughts now.

Announcements

Soothing Tunes to Calm You As You Face Anything: What Are Your Favorites?

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If you’re going through a challenging, stressful or upsetting time, one of the best ways to rise above the situation is to soothe yourself with melodies that calm and comfort you.
Forget comfort foods that send you into Sugar Shock. They don’t work!
Music is one of the most exhilarating ways to achieve this serenity and peacefulness. (Meditation works, of course, too. More about that later.)
So help me compile a list of Soothing Tunes.
For instance, the title Hans Zimmer soundtrack from the film, Gladiator, with the talented Russell Crowe as Maximus, is one of my favorite melodies. Doesn’t it evoke a feeling of triumph in you?
So what are your favorite Comfort Tunes (not Comfort Foods, of course)?
(Usually, I don’t care to share anything personal here, but please know that I have two reasons I’m seeking Comfort Tunes. Of course, my first goal is to help you, because I know music can soothe you in a way that food or other addictions can. Secondly, I’m facing a very trying situation, and I’m seeking to arm myself with a number of powerful, potent tactics to get me through this easily. One of the ways to sail through such pain is with the help of magical melodies.)
Please submit your ideas for Magical Melodies and Soothing Tunes.

Catching Up With Connie

Become a Three Minute Meditator David Harp

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Are you stressed out, worried by umteen things, and find yourself turning to sweets for solace and comfort.
Instead, try meditating in bite-sized chunks throughout the day.
To learn more about this, listen to today’s fascinating Gab with the Gurus Radio Show today with David Harp.
David is co-author of The Three Minute Meditator: Reduce Stress. Control Fear. Diminish Anger. In Almost No Time at All. Anywhere. Anytime.
David, whom you can learn about here, gave all kinds of useful tips to meditate and be mindful without needing to take out an hour of your day.
In this show, you’ll learn, for instance, about:
– How to do mindful breathing on the way to the fridge (those of you, who seek to lose weight will love this tip).
– How to walk and meditate.
– How to watch your sugar cravings like a bird watcher.
– How you can multi-task in mindful ways. (You’ll love this!)
– And much more.
Listen to Gab with the Gurus Radio Show with David Harp now, or any time.

Announcements

Get Your Gift: Be Calm this Holiday Season

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This holiday season, wouldn’t it be nice NOT to be stressed out?
To give this a more positive spin, would you like to be calm, relaxed and refreshed?
Break away from your worries.
Join creative visualization expert Debra Berndt, the Love-Mind Expert, and me for 3 soothing, guided visualizations. This is our holiday gift to you.
Claim your gift now. Just listen here (below), or go to our replay page.
Relieve Holiday Stress with us now.
You’ll feel renewed and rejuvenated after hearing Debra’s soothing voice and meditation. Now learn about her amazing s Complete Relaxation Set (9 MP3s) and Weight Loss Set (4 MP3s).

Announcements

Heartfelt Holiday Gifts

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Wow! What a wonderful Gab With the Gurus Radio Show about Heartfelt Holiday Gifts today!
Five charming, dazzling guests just appeared on the show to offer you suggestions for Heartfelt Holiday Gifts.
1) In this Heartfelt Holiday Gifts show on BlogTalkRadio.com, you’ll hear from Randi Luckman, founder of HealthGifts.com, who tells you (drum roll here…) about The Sweeter Life Gift Basket that we’ve developed for you.
Please note that the gift shown to your left is her Stress Buster package. Tomorrow, you’ll get details about the contents of our new Sweeter Life Gift Basket.
2) In addition, on this this Heartfelt Holiday Gifts show, you’ll also get inspirational, heartwarming Gifts_Giving_Back suggestions and thought-provoking thoughts about gift-giving from the renowned Gift Guru Robyn Spizman, founder of TheGiftionary.com.
TheGiftionary.com has thousands of ideas that can help you to show your loved ones you care by offering Gifts That Give Back.
3) Meanwhile, Debra Berndt, creative-visualization guru and love-mind expert Debra Berndt, tells you about two life-changing products that she’s steeply discounting just for you.
You can get her soothing Complete Relaxation Set (9 MP3s) and Weight Loss Hypnosis Set (4 MP3s).
You’ll be shocked when you learn how the low price at which she’s offering them to you.
To get your special discount, all you Relax set CRS-2 need to do is type in the code “sweet” to get the special discount.)
To get a flavor for Debra’s amazing talents at relaxing you, check out our free, soothing holiday gift. That’s right — you get a free download from our Relieve Holiday Stress program which we held last week.
We’re offering this present to you as our way of wishing you a happy, healthy, calm holiday. You can listen to your audio download now, through the end of the month.
To get there quickly and easily, just go to http://tinyurl.com/RelieveHolidayStress.
Iloveme ring Please feel free to spread the word, too, to your friends around the world about this free holiday gift. Just send them to: http://tinyurl.com/RelieveHolidayStress.
4) You’ll also hear from Arielle Fierman, who creates amazing jewelry, especially the I Love You rings shown above).

Announcements

Conquer Your Sugar Addiction With Me, Starting Jan. 5, at the New York Open Center

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Since the new year is coming soon, if you live near New York City, I invite you to plan now to break free of your sugar habit so that you may be able to:
* Lose weight
* Finally make peace with sugar and refined carbs
* Feel free
* Get more energy on a consistent basis
* Become more productive
* Walk your talk by consuming only healthy foods and drinks
* Tap into your spirtuality
* Be unfazed when desserts and sweet snacks abound
* Feel exhilarated and excited about your many projects
* Relish moving your body in a way you’ve never done
* Enjoy more enriching, satisfying relationships
* Boost your libido
* Learn to meditate away your sugar desires
* And much more
New York Open Center – 04 – Meditation Reserve your space now for Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6 pm when you can get inspired and educated during my free introductory class at the New York Open Center.
Now, sign up for the four-week course at the New York Open Center from Jan. 12 to Feb. 2.
Let me know if you’ve signed up for this program, because I have special gifts for people who’ve enrolled to help you get through the holiday season.

Break Free With Connie

Health Tip of the Week: Take Timed Breaths to Stop Cravings

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This week, we will begin a new feature, “Health Tip of the Week.”
Specifically, today’s pointer is to help those of you who tend to battle but often cave into overpowering cravings — for sugar, coffee,cigarettes or other unhealthy behavior.
This tip will help you if you:
* Are a sugar addict
* Are overweight or obese
* Have type 2 diabetes
* Have an annoying habit of consuming refined carbohydrates
* Are going through sugar detox
* Need or desire to stay away from high fructose corn syrup-filled candies and pastries
* Want to get more healthy (just about everyone!)
So let’s pretend you’re in the throes of a yen for chocolate-covered peanuts, donuts or a sugary coffee from one of those specialty stores.
Or perhaps you’re near a bakery, vending machines or newspaper stand that sells candy bars.
Here’s how to quickly stop that craving so you don’t go into unpleasant sugar shock:
*