- Gaining belly fat is often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.
- Eating late at night, drinking alcohol, and not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain around the waistline.
- Stress can also contribute to gaining weight around the midsection.
Did you know that there are certain things that can make you gain belly fat? Although some people may be predisposed to carrying weight around their midsection, for the most part, it is avoidable. By understanding what causes belly fat, you can adjust your lifestyle to help prevent it.
Gaining weight around your middle is different than other types of weight gain because it’s more dangerous. This kind of fat is known as visceral fat, and it surrounds your organs. Visceral fat has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
So, if you’re trying to avoid gaining visceral fat, pay attention to these five things that can make you gain belly fat.
1. Eating Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are found in foods like white bread, pastries, and breakfast cereals. These foods are high in sugar and low in fiber. This combination can lead to blood sugar spikes, which can cause you to gain belly fat. To avoid this, try to eat more whole-grain foods like brown rice and oats. These foods are high in fiber and will help keep you feeling full longer.
Learn More: 10 Foods That Cause Abdominal Obesity
2. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Drinking alcohol is another behavior that can lead to abdominal weight gain. Alcoholic beverages contain empty calories that can add up quickly if you’re not careful. In addition, drinking alcohol can lead to bloating and water retention. If you want to avoid gaining belly fat, limiting your alcohol intake is a good place to start.
3. Eating Late at Night
If you often find yourself snacking late at night, you may be at risk of gaining belly fat. Eating late at night can cause indigestion and disrupt your sleep patterns, both of which can lead to weight gain. To prevent late-night snacking from causing you to gain belly fat, try to eat your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime.
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is another common behavior that can lead to weight gain, including around your midsection. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body produces more ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite. At the same time, sleep deprivation leads to decreased levels of leptin, a hormone that helps control hunger. As a result, when you don’t get enough sleep, you may end up eating more than you would if you were well-rested. To prevent this from happening, aim to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night.
Finally, stress is another factor that can contribute to weight gain, especially around the abdomen. When you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol, a hormone that promotes the storage of abdominal fat. To avoid this, find ways to manage stress in your life, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time with friends and family.
By understanding what causes belly fat and making small changes in your lifestyle, you can help prevent abdominal weight gain. Pay attention to these five things: eating refined carbohydrates, drinking too much alcohol, eating late at night, not getting enough sleep, and stress. By avoiding these behaviors or finding ways to manage them better, you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
Also read: 10 Causes of Weight Gain and Obesity