6 Things Causing Your Belly Fat

tape-measure-scale-apple.jpgWhat causes belly fat? Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones. You don’t have to watch your weight, you eat what you like, you brag about not having to work out, and you shake your head in pity at your chronically-dieting friends.

But if you’re like most people, you are very aware of your weight with its ups and downs, and every time a pair of jeans feels suddenly tighter you know deep down inside they didn’t shrink in the dryer.

Every day we make small choices that make a big difference to your weight. Because we hardly think about these small choices, the weight creeps up until it’s time for a full plan of weight loss action. Instead of waiting until it gets to that point, start spotting these six diet saboteurs that may be slowly but surely adding inches to your waistline.

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Uninhibited Weekends

Researchers have found that people eat significantly more on weekends without even noticing it; especially on Saturdays when fat consumption is at its highest. Those extra weekend calories can quickly add up.

To avoid overindulging on the weekends, pay special attention to portion size and limit your alcohol consumption.  Alcohol is full of empty calories and it lowers your inhibitions enough to cause you to eat foods and amounts you wouldn’t normally.

Eating On the Run

Who hasn’t walked and scarfed down lunch at the same time?  When you’re in a hurry the first thing you sacrifice is usually time to sit down to a decent meal.  Eating on the run can cause you to eat too quickly for your body’s hunger and satisfaction signals to keep up.  If you take less than 20 minutes to eat a meal, you could be setting yourself up for cravings and overeating. To avoid this, sit down and slow down before you eat.

Plus-Sized Portions

Over the last 50 years, restaurant portions have grown out of control and so have our weights. We’ve become so used to the huge portion sizes that they seem normal now.  Cook at home instead of eating out and use a smaller plate for your meals.  Remember that half your plate should be filled with vegetables and one fourth with a lean protein.  If you must eat at a restaurant ask for a doggie bag before you eat and pack up the excess portion to avoid digging into too much food.

“Luxury” Coffee Shop Beverages

Your daily coffee supreme with the works from the coffee shop may be adding a significant amount of calories to your diet. Those specialty drinks can cost you about 370 calories and 15 g of fat. Instead, choose a regular coffee with two tablespoons of sugar and you’ll cut about 17,000 calories a year from your diet, which is almost 5 pounds.

A Dieting Mindset

Food is essential to live.  Food is not the enemy, and any diet that tells you otherwise is not good for you. Being stuck in the dieting mindset can cause you to go on a rollercoaster of losing weight just to stop dieting and put it back on.  Yo-yo dieting is bad for your health. It causes your body to slow down your metabolic rate and initiates cravings. To get to and maintain a good weight, you need to follow a balanced and nutritious diet.

Skipping Meals

Skipping meals is another way to wreak havoc on your metabolism.  Your body might store extra fat to prepare for other missed meals.  Instead of skipping meals, eat small nutritious snacks such as a handful of nuts or fiber rich cereal when you can’t get to a complete meal.  Try not to eat after 7 p.m. when your metabolism is at its lowest.

For more weight loss information, visit Energetics.

Are You Pregnant? Then Quit Smoking!

You should quit smoking anyway, of course, but pregnancy makes the issue even more important, due to serious smoking risks than not only hurt you, but your baby.

Recent research has shown that maternal smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of intrauterine growth retardation, obstetric complications and adverse health effects.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy also ffects fetal birth weight and causes spontaneous abortion, abnormal bleeding during pregnancy, premature detachment of the placenta, premature rupture of the membranes and perinatal mortality.

But, this is only the beginning…

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Babies born to smoking pregnant women are on average 200 grams lighter than babies born to non-smoking mothers because of the reduction of placental blood flow that results in a reduction in the nutrient level reaching the foetus. Fetal miscarriage has been found to be higher in such smoking women. Maternal smoking also induces preterm births.

Breastfeeding women who smoke have been found to have lower levels of prolactin, which is essential for the breastfeeding and thus, causes reduced breastfeed. Smoking in pregnancy seems to have an adverse on the physical growth and intellectual development of the child associated with a reduced height and intellectual attainments.

A study conducted to demonstrate the association between smoking during pregnancy and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) using prospectively collected data has shown that children of smokers had more than three times the risk of SIDS compared with children of non-smokers and the risk of SIDS increased with the number of cigarettes smoked per day during pregnancy.

Evidence shows that smoking interferes with a woman’s hormonal balance during pregnancy and has long-term consequences on the reproductive organs of her children.

  • Infants born of smoking mothers suffer from serious respiratory infections than the children of non-smokers.
  • Smoking during pregnancy can also increase the risk of asthma in young children due to changes in biological receptors in the baby’s immune system that are responsible for recognizing and fighting infections and bacteria.

The lesson? Pregnant women should quit smoking for a healthy baby…and for their own health as well.