Chrissy Barth, RDN, a registered dietitian, yoga coach, and CEO of a nutrition consulting practice in Phoenix, urges clients not to harp on their family history too much. "If people go around thinking, 'My mother is overweight and I'm destined to be overweight, too,' that's depressing! And if you stress over it, it can cause cortisol to spike, and that will cause you to gain weight."
The stress hormone cortisol can really screw with your belly. The problem with cortisol is two-fold: First, the chemical makeup of cortisol causes the body to store visceral fat. Visceral fat is stored between your main organs and in the midsection and is the most dangerous type of fat. Experts state that visceral fat increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.