5 Reasons You Still Have That Pesky Belly

If you aren't eating the entire contents of your kitchen and you exercise consistently you might find yourself entirely mystified why that expansive waistline of yours hasn't disappeared. The unfortunate thing is that the answer may not be entirely obvious. While you will need to look into it yourself, here are some things that may be happening:  

1. You're Staying Up Late

If you are up all hours of the night, you can expect your belly to remain the same, or even grow. Research from the University of Pennsylvania found that staying up late lead to weight gain and unhealthy food cravings. The findings said that participants who slept only 4 hours a night on 5 consecutive nights consumed 550 extra calories per night compared to subjects who slept 10 hours a nights.

2. You're A College Student

Data published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism in 2012 showed that over the 4 years of college 70% of students had gained weight by graduation. The study followed 131 students for 4 years and found the weight gain to range from 12 pounds on the low end to 37 pounds on the high end. Other studies say the weight gained is much lower than that, closer to 2-3 pounds. One thing is clear, college students tend to stay up late, eat poorly and drink too much alcohol which leads to putting on weight.

3. You're Stressed

The American Psychological Association conducted a survey and found 40% of high stressed people deal with their stress through emotional eating. Stress also produces the hormone cortisol which slows your metabolism and leads to carrying weight around the middle.

4. You're Dieting Wrong

In order to be a lasting change, clean eating needs to become a lifestyle. Crash diets may work in the short term, but it is just an illusion. Crash diets deprive you of nutrients and can potentially slow your metabolism. What's even worse, these diets put stress on your heart that is far more damaging than looking chubby in a swimsuit.

5. It Could Be Your Meds

Commonly prescribed medications, like antidepressants, can lead to weight gain. Obviously you shouldn't ditch your meds if they are helping but do talk to your doctor. There may be other medications that you can take instead without the weight gain side effect. Are you fighting a stubborn spare tire? Did you find a possible culprit on this list? Source: Muscle & Fitness  

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