You Eat Mostly With Groups
When we eat with other people, we consume, on average, 44 percent more food than we do when dining alone. Research published in the journal Nutrition found that a meal eaten with one other person was 33 percent larger than a meal savored alone. It gets scarier from there. Third-wheeling with two friends? You’re looking at a 47 percent bigger meal. Dining with four, six, or 8+ friends was associated with meal increases of 69, 70, and 96 percent, respectively. Though part of this has to do with the amount of time we spend at the table when dining with company, another study from the journal Appetite found people who spent longer eating because they were simultaneously reading didn’t eat significantly more, meaning time isn’t the only factor at play here.
Eat This, Not That! Fix: You can still hang out with your friends. Just vary the activity once in a while, and include short runs or walk-and-talks. You’ll save money and calories that are inflating your belly.
How To Reduce Upper Belly Fat
If you are too stressed about tis weight, it is best to consult a certified expert, but do understand that you cannot dream of an overnight miracle. Small steps likes these may be a way forward.
1. Drink Water
Drinking enough water regularly can keep a lot of lifestyle diseases at bay. Instead of reaching out for soda or energy drinks, drink plain water. It is known to cleanse our body and flush out all the toxins, keeping us hydrated and in shape. Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach, Shilpa Arora, says, “Water therapy magically melts stubborn fat. A tough dehydrated body will not burn calories efficiently. This potent drink in the morning will reboot your body and kick start weight loss. Try this innocent yet very effective treatment, with no side effects.”
Drinking enough water regularly can keep a lot of lifestyle diseases at bay.
2. Eat Foods That Beat Stress
3. Maintain A Healthy Diet
Having a healthy diet is also one of the major factors that can help you get back in shape.
4. Sleep At Least For Eight Hours
5. Exercise At Least Four Days A Week
Exercising is the best way to burn calories, build muscles and get rid of belly fat. We are not telling you it’s going to be easy, we are telling you it’s going to be worthwhile. Exercise for a minimum of 45 minutes, four days a week. You may consider hitting a gym, swimming, yoga, or simply brisk walking, the choice is yours!
Why Am I Gaining Weight In The Long Term
Now for the next category.
We will define long term weight gain as basically anything that occurs over a period of time longer than 1 week. Or, even better, lets define it as weeks of weight gain.
So, for example, if 2 or more weeks have passed and you are consistently gaining weight during this span of time, these are the most likely explanations for it:
Recommended Reading: What Can Cause Stomach Pain And Bloating
You’re Not Eating Enough Earlier In The Day
“While you don’t need to eat first thing in the morning if you’re not hungry, if you eat too little during the day, you may end up overeating at night,” says Young. “You didn’t realize how hungry you were, and once you eat dinner, you may end up nibbling nonstop till bedtime. A no-no for your weight loss efforts.”
The solution: Give your body a healthy boost of energy at the start of the day with one of these 91+ Best Healthy Breakfast Recipes.
You Have Painful Periods
Non-cancerous growths called fibroids could be behind your abdominal distention, a heavy feeling in your belly, and heavy periods. Women with fibroids, or benign muscle tumors, in their uterus can experience weight gain, Dr. van Dis says. According to estimates, between 40 and 80 percent of women have fibroids. Luckily, they dont usually cause harm, and they often go away after menopause, when the female hormones that feed them stop being produced. But if they are causing unwanted symptoms like weight gain, you might want to have them treated with medication or surgery. Here are more silent signs you have uterine fibroids.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Stomach Flu
Ageing And Lifestyle Pattern
As you tend to age, the body has a tendency to start depositing fat towards the abdomen in comparison to other parts, this further leads to a fat disproportion in the body. Moreover, ageing also affects muscular mass and skin firmness. While muscles tend to become flaccid, skin tends to become lose due to loss of collagen.
How To Avoid All Of This
So, there you have it. If youve been weighing yourself regularly and wondering why youre gaining weight in the short or long term take a really good look at everything this article just covered.
Youll find your unexplained explanation somewhere within it.
Oh, and if youd like to lose fat, get lean and reach your goals while avoiding the problems we talked about in this article plus other common problems like losing muscle, feeling hungry all the time, not being able to eat the foods you love, metabolic slowdown and more, then you should check out Superior Fat Loss.
I designed it to greatly minimize or completely prevent everything that sucks about losing fat and all of the problems that screw things up along the way. See for yourself: Superior Fat Loss
Don’t Miss: How Do I Know I Have Stomach Cancer
You Always Get The Side Of Fries
Yes, the salad is an upcharge, but isn’t it worth it if you could get rid of belly fat? Any fat-laden carb-fest will make you gain weight, but there’s something almost magical about the effects of fried spuds on your body’s fat-storage systemand by magical, we mean Voldemort, not Potter. One longitudinal Harvard study found that people who ate fries regularly gained more than three pounds of body weight every four years over the course of the study, the french fry eaters gained 13 pounds of belly flab from fries alone!
Eat This, Not That! Fix: Spend the dollar. Upgrade to the side salad and dress it with a healthy dose of olive oil and a splash of vinegar. And steer clear of The Unhealthiest Fast Food Side Dishes on the Planet.
Your Food Is Always On Display
Our homes are filled with hidden eating traps, and simply being aware of something as simple as the size of a bowl can influence how much you eat. For example, a study conducted at Google’s New York office found that placing M& Ms in opaque containers as opposed to glass ones and giving healthier snacks more prominent shelf space curbed candy consumption by 3.1 million calories in just seven weeks. So what does that mean for your weight? The lesson here is clear: Clear junk food off your countertops to start losing weight and to make better choices.
Eat This, Not That! Fix: Bottom line: It’s easier to change your environment than to change your mind. Employ simple strategies like removing junk food from your line of sight to keep belly fat off your frame.
You May Like: How To Improve My Stomach Health
You Are Going Food Shopping When You Are Hungry
“When you go to the market on an empty stomach, you tend to buy some of the wrong foodscakes and cookies, and junk food to munch on,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN and author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.
The solution: “I suggest eating a snack before heading out and shopping from a list. This way, you’ll remember to add the healthy foods to your shopping cart,” says Young.
Get At Least 7 Hours Of Sleep Each Night
If you’re among the 30% of Americans who sleep less than six hours a night, here’s one simple way to reduce your waistline: catch more Zs. A 16-year study of almost 70,000 women found that those who slept five hours or less a night were 30% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds than those who slept 7 hours. The National Institutes of Health suggest adults sleep seven to eight hours a night.
A smaller study also found that those who slept 4.5 hours a night had higher levels of the brain chemicals that affect appetite and our reward systems, compared to those who slept 8.5 hours. That means they ate more food between meals and were drawn to junk options.
You May Like: Do People Survive Stomach Cancer
Gas Acidity And Bloating
If you note your stomach is getting bigger and you are not gaining weight, it could be bloating due to acidity or gas. Some of the common causes of bloating include air swallowing, too much caffeine consumption, drinking beverages can lead to acid reflux in the stomach, thereby causing discomfort in the form of bloating. Acid is produced in stomach as a protective lining to kill bacteria. But, when this acid interferes with the digestion process or increases in quantity than required it could lead to reflux and bloating. Constipation or irritable bowel syndrome can be another major reason for bloated stomach leading your waistline to plunge without any significant gain of weight.
For most of gastric problems, you are sure to have gastric complaints along with your stomach getting bigger.
Why Be Concerned About Abdominal Weight Gain
For people who have a healthy BMI, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly, abdominal weight gain can come as a surprise, and it may be frustrating to gain weight when you have not changed your lifestyle.
Research has shown that the hormone estrogen controls how fat is distributed in the bodies of women. As estrogen levels decrease while a woman progresses through menopause, her body’s distribution of fat may also change. Menopause causes body fat to migrate to the abdomen and waist of a woman. This can be frustrating and make a woman feel like she has gained weight. This redistribution of fat can also be compounded by an actual gain in body fat during menopause.
Older people are at a higher risk for weight gain because as the body ages, muscle mass decreases and body fat levels increase. It takes more calories to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. This means that if your body changes and has less muscle mass, then you need fewer calories to maintain your weight.
Weight that is gained around the middle is dangerous because the fat is surrounding vital organs, and weight gain in general can lead to diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Research has also shown that even if a person is within a healthy weight range, that their risk for heart disease increases if they have excess fat around the abdomen.
You May Like: How To Treat Stomach Ulcers At Home
You’re Eating Too Much
If you take in more calories than you burn off, you put on pounds everywhere — including in your middle. You need to cut about 500 calories a day to lose a pound. That may sound like a lot, but look at cutting the highest-calorie foods from your diet first. Cookies, french fries, soda, and juice pack many calories into a few sips or bites. Replace those first with low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods like broccoli, apples, brown rice, and brothy soups.
Try Adding More Strength Training To Your Workouts
A daily run or spin class is great for your heart, but cardio workouts alone won’t do much for your waist. “You need to do a combination of weights and cardiovascular training,” Sangeeta Kashyap, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. Strength training increases muscle mass, which sets your body up to burn more fat.
“Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore you naturally burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle,” Kate Patton, RD, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. Patton recommends 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week.
Dr. Cheskin also agrees strength training is the way to go, as it builds muscle. “When you build muscle, you tend to replace fat with that muscle,” he says.
Read Also: What To Eat To Lose Weight In Your Stomach
You’ve Recently Been Dieting
“On a short-term basis, weight loss is possible and relatively easy for some people too. But long term, your body is unlikely to let you get away with this,” says Katherine Kimber, RD. “Within each of our brains lies an incredibly powerful mechanism to control our weight. It’s a somatic body fat control center that works tirelessly to maintain our weight at a level that it decides, known as the set-point weight. It’s governed mostly by your hypothalamus, which sends signals to manipulate your eating, activity, and metabolic efficiency. The setpoint weight can be a range of 10 to 15 pounds, and it’s usually the weight the body likes to go back to in between diets or weight loss attempts.”
“To manage this set point the body responds to an energy deficit by turning on physiological mechanisms, outside of our control to manage weight,” says Kimber. “It might increase hunger signals, make us feel obsessed with food or think about it a lot, make us go crazy around sugar, and crave carbohydrate-based foods. In addition, you may feel less resilient, less energetic than if you were well-nourished, which can affect activity levels and food choices.
The solution: Don’t give in to crazy fad diets and promise to properly feed your body with nutritious foods.
Your Diet Depends On The Day
Allowing your cycle of good days and bad days to dictate your eating habits can set your diet up for failure. We’re not saying that a cheat meal isn’t allowed. In fact, quite the opposite: “Occasionally indulging can aid weight-loss efforts by warding off feelings of deprivation and bouts of overeating,” explains dietitian Cassie Bjork, RD, LD of Healthy Simple Life. “It can make it easier to stick with your healthy eating regimen for the long haul.” Rather, it’s when you let your emotions dictate your eating routine or when one diet slip-up causes a cascade of poor eating decisions where you can run into a problem.
Eat This, Not That! Fix: We have two suggestions for you: Either keep your hard work in line by picking your cheat meal in advance and be sure to jump right back on the healthy eating bandwagon afterward, no matter how good a second greasy meal may sound. Or, choose a meal plan that’s realistic. If you’re a dairy lover, days without cheese, yogurt, and ice cream will be quite painful. Instead, allow yourself one meal a day with a little bit of the good stuff. That way, you never feel deprived.
Oestrogen And Fat Distribution At Menopause
A change in hormone levels, mainly oestrogen, may influence body fat distribution.
Many women in perimenopause and early post menopause years gain fat mass as their oestrogen levels drop. Women of childbearing age tend to store fat in the lower body , while men and postmenopausal women store fat around the abdomen .
Animal studies have shown that a lack of oestrogen leads to unwanted abdominal fat, although the exact mechanisms are not yet understood.
Make Sure To Switch Up Your Workouts
To banish stubborn belly fat, you have to ramp up your workouts. A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that people who completed a high-intensity workout regimen lost more belly fat than those who followed a low-intensity plan. Subsequent studies have substantiated the benefits of brief bouts of hard training. “You need to exercise at full intensity because the end goal is to burn more calories, and high intensity exercise does just that,” Natalie Jill, a San Diego-based certified personal trainer, tells Health. High intensity workouts mean you’re going all out for as long as you can. If this sounds intimidating, think of it this way: you’ll burn more calories in less time.
Also Check: How To Relieve An Anxious Stomach
You Eat Lots Of Sweets
Some research suggests that sugar intake itself actually triggers diabetesbut eating too many sweets definitely causes weight gain, a major risk factor for the disease. Approximately 90 percent of type 2 diabetes patients are overweight or obese, says Mohammad Kawji, MD, doctor of endocrinology and metabolism disorders at Spectrum Health. Weight gain is associated with metabolic changes, mainly insulin resistance, which increases the risk to develop diabetes in the future. As the pancreas has to secrete more insulin to balance blood sugar, it eventually fails, blood sugar rises, and diabetes develops. A simple blood test can check to see if your blood sugar is elevated. Unfortunately, Dr. Ng says that diabetes medications can also cause weight gain since they allow the body to absorb more sugar. Check out how much soda it takes to increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
You Don’t Weigh Yourself
Of all the little white lies, the expression “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” is one of the worst, regarding weight loss. However, when we’re talking about weight gain, ignorance could be the very reason behind your ever-tightening waistband. “When you avoid the scale because you don’t want to know the number, that’s when you get into trouble,” says Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RDN, FAND, an award-winning Chicago-area registered dietitian and nutrition expert. Rather than hinder your progress, stepping on the scale actually helps you lose weight. According to a study published in the journal Obesity, frequent self-weighing is associated with greater weight loss, less weight regain, and better weight gain prevention.
The solution: Weigh yourself at least once a weekif not two or threeto monitor your progress. “I recommend weighing in on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” says Palumbo. “If Monday is a bit higher than usual, all the better for getting back on track for the upcoming week. And Friday is good because if you’re a bit on the high side then, well, it’s all the more incentive to stay-the-course for the weekend and not go too crazy.”
Don’t Miss: Why Is The Top Of My Stomach Bloated