4 Bad Habits for Belly Fat

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There are lots of things you may be doing that you have no idea are causing you to gain weight, or are making your weight loss extra hard. For example, if you find that you can’t stay away from Facebook and Instagram, you may start to notice yourself packing on the pounds.

A large study found that if participants had a friend who became obese, their chances of also becoming obese rose by 57 percent, according to Harvard Health Blog. Scientists suspect that social network influences what people perceive as normal and acceptable—if you see your high school friends getting heavier, you probably would feel a little better about packing on a few extra pounds too. Here are four more habits that could be inhibiting your weight loss:

1. Avoiding yogurt

Some types of yogurt do contain high amounts of fat, but yogurt does have amazing weight loss benefits. Gut bacteria plays a big role in weight gain or loss, and the probiotics found in yogurt and some supplements can help keep the good and bad bacteria in order. One study found that having too little of a certain type of gut bacteria was linked to being obese, according to Fitness magazine. Your gut bugs balance can also impact your appetite by affecting the regulation of the hunger hormone, ghrelin.

2. Drinking too much fruit juice

Fruits are healthy and great for weight loss, however most fruit juices are not. If drinking fruit juice is how you get your daily serving of fruit, you’re doing more harm than good. Your body needs fiber to help regulate how much and how fast sugar gets into the bloodstream. Too much sugar causes inflammation within the belly and contributes to belly fat.

Fruit juice, in general, is high in calories and sugar, plus it lacks the fiber and other vitamins and nutrients you’d get from an actual piece of fruit. Also, the number of cups of orange juice you’d have to drink to reach your daily serving exceeds the amount of sliced oranges it would take to get there.

3. Your exercise routine is irregular

Aside from diet, exercise has the biggest impact on gaining or losing belly fat. When you exercise, muscles use energy instead of allowing it remain stored in belly fat. That’s why when you start exercising, you’ll probably notice that you’ll lose inches from the waist first. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week.

4. You don’t meal plan 

Be a mindful eater instead of a mindless one. When you don’t plan what you’re going to eat, you likely will end up eating whatever is available, which a lot of the time will not be healthy for you. When you plan, you can make better choices. Plan what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the night before. If you have the time, take it one step further and use your weekend to shop for groceries for the week or prepare some meals you can keep in the fridge.

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