Food & Nutrition

21 Worst Habits for Belly Fat

Belly fat is the most dangerous kind of fat since it settles around your organs and affects your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health issues. These bad habits can increase your chances of developing belly fat or prevent you from losing it.

You’re a social media junkie

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If 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 chance 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 feel like it’s OK if you do too. (On the other hand, these social media habits can actually help with weight loss.)

Fruit juice is a diet staple

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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,” says Rasa Kazlauskaite, MD, an endocrinologist at Rush University Prevention Center in Chicago. “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. Plus, the number of cups of orange juice you’d have to drink to reach your daily serving exceeds how many sliced oranges it would take to get there. Here are some clear signs you’re eating too much sugar.

You’re a snack addict

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“People treat their bodies like a garbage bin and that can really contribute to belly fat,” says Dr. Kazlauskaite. Not only does snacking all day long mean you’re ingesting extra calories that can be hard to keep track of, unless you’re munching on veggie sticks or almonds you packed the night before, but you’re also likely reaching for sweets or processed foods lying around the office, which can be high in fat, sugar, and salt. Here are some healthy alternatives that you don’t have to feel guilty about snacking on.

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