Hey lovelies, as summer gets closer, and the pool is calling your name, I thought we’d talk about that area that most women – and men too – hate… Their stomach. The area that many of us carry extra fat in, and that’s okay because today I’m letting you in on some information as to why you may have that little pooch, muffin top, a busted can of biscuits, whatever you call your stomach. Here are five reasons your waist is getting bigger.
You can train like a professional athlete, eat like a nutritionist, and log in your 8 hours of sleep, but still not have that thin waist you want for the beach. However, according to some new research there’s a reason or two behind that. So grab your notebook and get ready to take some notes on what may be causing that extra fat to stick around.
Your Diet Soda Habit
Who could’ve guessed I would start with soda? Here’s the thing, no matter whether it’s diet or not, it’s not good for you. It makes you dehydrated – making you retain water and causing bloat -, the carbonation from the soda creates gas in your stomach – back to the bloat -, and all of the excess artificial sweeteners. Plus if you’re thinking “well I only drink diet”, according to recent research you’re more likely to gain belly fat than your non-diet drinkers.
Diet soda fans on average drink about 1.5 cans per day, and pack on about 3.2 inches onto their waist over the course of nine and a half years. Meanwhile, non-diet drinkers gained less than an inch. The reasoning? The artificial sweetener found in diet soda prevents your brain from registering that you’re full when eating. Causing you to crave more sweets, and overeat during meals.
If you can’t seem to breakup with your soda, try switching to naturally flavored calorie-free seltzers. They’re made without any sweeteners, and by sipping the slightly tangy carbonated drink, it can mimic the soda experience. Or if you need your caffeine, try coffee, or tea.
The longer your commute to work is, the wider you waistline may be getting. The reasoning? A longer commute means less time to workout. Now, you may not be able to change how you get to work, but you can add activity to your commute by parking a mile or two away from your workplace, or train stop, and than walking, biking, or running the rest of the way.
You could also join a gym that’s on your way to work and keep clothes and sneakers in the car. Making it easier for you to hit the gym on your way back home, and giving you less of an excuse to not go.
Despite the fact that multitasking is supposed to be good for your productivity – it makes you less productive – it can be a contributor to your waist getting bigger. The reasoning? Those who can focus on a single task carried about a pound less of belly fat when compared to those who mind’s jumping between tasks continuously.
The theory behind this is that people who are mindful can view their feeling more objectively, and have a greater power to overcome urges – like resisting that fried food at lunch in favor of their run after work.
Enhance your power to focus on a single task by meditating, prating yoga, or engaging in endurance exercises, such as going for a long run, biking, or swimming laps. This encourages you to constantly focus on your pace, the way your body is moving, and how you’re feeling.
Watching TV and Eating
It’s no surprise that people who watch more than three hours of TV a day have significantly more belly fat than those who watch an hour or less a day – lying on the couch with your hand in potato chip bag isn’t exactly the formula for weight loss.
Plus by tuning into cooking shows, it increases your chances of gaining weight as well. People who watch food channels and cook the featured dishes weigh 10 pounds more than people who find recipes elsewhere. The reasoning? Cooking shows tend to show unhealthy recipes, but make viewers believe it’s okay to eat that way. My favorite sources for recipes when I’m wanting something new, is to look through cookbooks, magazines, and even friends and family.
Quality of Sleep
There’s numerous studies out there that show sleep deprivation can increase your cortisol levels. However a new German study found that the quality of your sleep matters, and that people who don’t sleep soundly have more fat. Waking up in the middle of the night because of snoring, nightmares, restlessness, etc happens more than you might think. We’re naturally wired to wake up a few times, but the problem lies when you start panicking about falling back to sleep, which can raise your cortisol levels. If it’s your phone that you check the time on, place it across the room instead of on your bedside table, or next to you in bed. If it’s an alarm clock, turn it the other way, so when you wake up you don’t see the time.
What’re Your Thoughts?
Do you have any tips for slimming down your stomach? Or favorite workouts? Exercises? Share them below in the comments!