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Learn Dr. Oz’s Trick to Blasting Belly Fat: Hint, It’s Not the Gym

It’s no secret that belly fat is not a good thing to have, and I’ve talked about the dangers it poses many times. Now, as reported by USA Today, Dr. Oz is highlighting a surprising cause of your waist weight gain beyond diet: stress. And guess what? No amount of gym visits will alleviate that.

Chronic stress can have serious health consequences, including weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease. It may also trigger heart attack and the onset of dementia. Stress alters the way fat is deposited because of the specific hormones and other chemicals your body produces when you're stressed. For example, recent research shows that chronic stress stimulates your body to produce betatrophin — a protein that blocks an enzyme that breaks down body fat.

While there are many stressors in life that you simply can’t avoid, there are ways of addressing these stressors that can give you relief, as well as help keep you from gaining weight. One of my favorites is a set of breathing techniques that can help you relax and refocus as you breathe away tension.

Here’s a simple exercise: Lie on your back or sit in a chair. Relax your shoulders and place your hands on the lower part of your ribs. As you breathe in, feel your ribs expanding outward, moving your hands further away from each other. When exhaling, engage and squeeze your core muscles to completely empty your lungs. Pause there for a moment before your next inhale.

You can also implement Emotional Freedom Techniques, an energy psychology tool that can help reprogram your body's reactions to everyday stress, thereby reducing your chances of developing adverse health effects.
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