Sure Santa is a jolly old soul but there are a lot of reasons to not want a belly quite like his. Not only do many find it unsightly but having a fat tummy has been strongly linked to diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In women, a chunky stomach is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery, says Harvard Health Publishing. Here are some easy ways to keep from looking like Kris Kringle this holiday season.
Beware the panettone people. In general, try to cut the sugar, trim the carbs and go big on fiber and calcium when you hit your next holiday buffet. A study from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, noted that the more calcium a woman consumes, the less visceral fat she gains.
“Avoid products that seem to encourage belly fat deposition, including trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oils) and fructose-sweetened foods and beverages,” said researchers. Drinking your sugar, such as chugging soda, may be particularly problematic because you don’t notice just how much you’ve consumed.
The scientists also advised giving up cigarettes, adding: “The more you smoke, the more likely you are to store fat in your abdomen rather than on your hips and thighs,” the Express reported.
It might be hard to pull off in our hectic world but not getting enough sleep has been strongly linked with getting fat. A five-year study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that adults under age 40 who slept five hours or less a night accumulated significantly more visceral fat.
Mood profoundly influences health so it should come as no surprise that stress has been linked to pudgy middles. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been associated with a buildup of visceral fat even in lean women, a Yale study pointed out. Women who showed more signs of hostility and depression also seem to have more belly fat. So try to be more chill.
How to ban belly fat despite the holidays