"Belly fat itself is a different beast. If you find you are able to lose weight in other places but not your belly, the culprit could be genetics, but it also could be cortisol," explained Rachel. If you have a fast-paced, busy life (you're not alone!), the level of stress hormones in the body will rise. Then you go running and this also creates high levels of cortisol levels in the body, explained NASM-certified trainer Ondrea Lynn. "They go back into their life after their run and repeat the stress cycle."
Increased cortisol levels can cause your body to hang on to fat on your tummy more than on other places. That's because "over time, persistently high levels of cortisol seen in stress promote the storage of excess glucose as fat in the abdomen, causing belly fat," Erica Patel, MD, explained in a previous interview.
Find ways to lower your stress levels and take a little time for self-care: read, listen to music, take a bath, meditate, write in a journal, or spend time with friends and family that lift your mood.