Nobody wants a big waistline.
In fact, we all know how to avoid this — just don’t eat so much! It’s not rocket science.
But what you don't know is your waistline is influenced by so many factors other than just caloric intake.
In today’s post, let’s uncover the 4 uncommon reasons why your waist is getting bigger.
Once you recognize these 4 reasons, you’ll know which parts of your lifestyle to adjust so you can avoid having a big waistline.
1) Noise Pollution And Stress
A study published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal found a link between exposure to noise pollution and bigger waistlines. The more sources of noise pollution that a person was exposed to, the greater the risk of having a bigger waist.
If you were exposed to road traffic, railway, and aircraft noises, your risk of having a larger waist is higher than those exposed to only one source of noise pollution.
Women are also at risk of a 0.21cm increase in waist size for every 5dB increase in exposure to road traffic noise.
There’s no concrete explanation but researchers suggest that exposure to noise pollution increases your stress hormones, namely cortisol. Apparently, this hormone plays a role in depositing fat around your waist!
It’s clearly not realistic to simply move away to a new neighbourhood if your current one is noisy. You should consider getting yourself some cute ear muffs, if that’s the case. Gotta look cute even when you sleep!
2) Not Enough Calcium and Vitamin D
If you’re lactose intolerant then you might be on the losing end here.
Research has demonstrated that, in overweight and obese adults, those who moderately reduced their caloric intake while consuming a supplementation of calcium and vitamin D experienced a reduction in visceral fat.
In a separate two-year study, those who consumed the most dairy calcium, and with higher vitamin D levels, lost more weight (about 5.4kg) than those who got less of those nutrients.
Scientists suggest that dairy products can inhibit an enzyme that aids fat cell growth. They could also increase the amount of fat lost in the stool. Furthermore, higher vitamin D levels can promote weight loss through metabolic processes.
So increase your calcium intake by eating more calcium-rich foods like milk, yoghurt, cheese and tofu. You might want to consider taking vitamin D supplements too!
3) Beware The Diet Soda
Diet sodas are just as bad as regular soda. Period.
Sugar-free or reduced sugar sodas contain artificial sweeteners that can increase the sweetness by a whopping 200 to 600 times.
But here’s the irony — even though they don’t contain calories, some studies have found that those who rely on artificial sweeteners are the ones at higher risk of gaining weight than those who use regular sugar.
Scientists argue that artificial sweeteners trick the brain into thinking that there’s a rush of calories coming from the sugar. Since there’s no actual sugar in artificial sweeteners, your body continues to crave for this sugar and calories. This explains why artificial sweeteners can actually make you eat more.
A lot of fast food franchises have switched out the regular versions of their sodas for ‘reduced sugar’ versions. This isn’t exactly something to rejoice about.
The solution is simple: you need to do a major cut back on your diet soda intake.
4) Not Enough Quality Sleep
It’s bad enough already if you have a chronic sleep problem. But getting a bigger waistline because of it?! Absolutely horrible.
Research has shown that those with chronic sleep problems are at high risk of slowing down their metabolism. It can mess with your satiety hormones which influence your feelings of hunger and fullness, leading you to crave fatty, sugary foods.
For the average adult between the ages of 18 to 60, it’s recommended for us to have 7 or more hours of sleep each day.
There’s so many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep and it doesn’t cost a thing! Prepare a bedtime routine for yourself: dim the lights when it’s time for bed, keep your phone in your drawer, and read a book instead.
Waste Not Your Waist
Seeing our waist get bigger can be damaging to our self-esteem. However, the negative effects of an expanding waistline go far beyond just self-esteem and confidence.
A bulging waistline can bring with it a whole host of health problems that you definitely do not need in your life.