Mom jeans and dad pants. I get it now. It all makes sense.
You know the ones I’m talking about, they ones that ride high above your stomach. When I was younger, I couldn’t really understand why this is so fashionable, I mean surely this probably wasn’t THE first choice of so many people right?
But, oh do I get it now. These jeans are the perfect way to hide that belly fat, you know, the little extra pouch above lower pants, that just won’t go away.
Besides just not looking our best, there are also health risks involved in being overweight, especially if it’s more than just a few pounds. The risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and cancer are just some of the issues we’re more likely to have if we don’t work to keep in shape.
Many people gain belly weight because of the wrong food and habits. Eliminating or changing them can help reduce belly fat. So to help you achieve this, here are 8 things which make you gain belly fat, and should be cut out today!
1. Sugary drinks and foods
Well, we both knew this was going to be on the list, didn’t we?
The cakes, candies, soda, sweet tea, flavored coffee drinks and ‘healthier’ options like muffins and frozen yogurt you love are all high in sugar, and bad for your belly. Bad news is, even if we’re trying to be good, some foods are super fattening out there pretending to be healthy.
Studies have proven there is a link between high sugar intake and excess belly fat. So cutting down on your consumption of sugary drinks and foods, or at least eat them in moderate amounts if you there are days you just really need something sweet.
While moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine helps lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes, too much of alcohol leads to calories stored as belly fat. As studies have proven that excessive alcohol consumption leads to belly fat, stopping or at least limiting your drinking helps control your growing belly!
Stress makes many people overeat, and unfortunately, the released cortisol hormone promotes the storage of these extra calories in the belly. Moreover, women with waists larger than their hips tend to release more cortisol when stressed, great, another thing to be stressed about. This, then, cycles back into more weight gain and the introduction of a muffin top.
So start eliminating stress from your life by relaxing, meditating, and other proven stress relieving methods.
4. Trans fats
Trans fats are used to extend the life of packaged foods like muffins and crackers but unfortunately also end up extending your belly.
They cause inflammation which leads to insulin resistance, more cravings for sweets, and yes, you guess it, the accumulation of belly fat. Do your best to avoid these foods and eat more of fresh fruits and vegetables.
5. Sedentary lifestyle
We don’t get out as often as we should. We tend to sit a lot, in the car, bus, office, waiting around. We’re not as interested in exploring, adventuring, or playing sports as we could be. Basically, this means we’re not making use of, or burning off the calories we’re consuming.
Any type of movement helps. Simple exercises like resistance bands or aerobic exercises can help prevent the covering of your abs by a layer of less flattering blubber. Try to find a friend to keep you motivated, find workout or hobby you really like, or take the dog out for more and longer walks. Anything helps.
6. Not enough sleep
Like we needed another thing to keep us up at night. It is a fact that people who sleep for 5 hours or less per night were more likely to gain weight than those who slept at least 7 hours at night.
This weight gain can lead to dangerous sleep disorders like sleep apnea, in which your breathing suddenly stops and starts while you sleep. Use this as an excuse to stay in, hit the snooze button, or justify that mid-day nap. Just try not to nap at work.
7. Low protein diets
People who have high–protein diets are winning the battle against their body. High protein foods such as eggs, chicken and fish keep you satisfied longer and increases your metabolic rate. This means you’ll take in fewer calories from random snacking as well as burn off more energy throughout the day instead of converting it to fat.
8. Low fiber diets
Fiber is essential for optimal health and weight control as it helps stabilize hunger hormones and reduces your calorie absorption from food. A high-carb and low-fiber diet leads to an increase in appetite, weight, and belly fat while a high-fiber diet is associated the opposite.
I know it’s difficult, but try eating less white rice, bread, and pasta and start eating more of grains, fruits and vegetables to increase your fiber intake. Get creative and see what new dishes you can come up with.
There you go, bye bye belly and hello flat tummy!
Don’t worry if you don’t notice results right away. Anytime you change up your routine, something you’ve been doing for years; your body needs some time to adjust. But soon these habits will become second nature to you and you’ll only be buying those high-waisted pants because you can’t get enough of their look. Not because you’re trying to cover up your stomach.