Why women with young children get fat

Source: Health.com via Pinterest

Here's a statistic that should give you pause when you contemplate downing Jonny's leftover macaroni and cheese tonight.  According to a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, women with children under age 5 consume 400 more calories each day than women who don't have children.

If you think this is no big deal, think again.  Such a habit translates into a shocking weight gain: nearly one pound a week and a whopping 42 pounds a year.

If you already have children you know exactly how this happens.  After your little tyke is born, you are suddenly surrounded by food all the time, and you are too tired to make yourself proper meals during the day.  So all day long you down teddy grahams, goldfish, chicken nuggets, pizza, cheese sticks, hot dogs, pasta, and other kid-friendly, high sodium, and high fat foods.  This does little for your energy level and health, not to mention your waistline.

So how do you avoid succumbing to this diet trap?  Here are some tips:
  1. Plan to manage the situation.  Make eating 3 solid meals each day a priority, and then do it
  2. Stock the refrigerator with fresh cut fruits and vegetables that you can grab quickly and easily.  When Jonny needs a snack and you feel hungry, you can nosh on carrot sticks instead of Cheez-Its
  3. Drink loads of water.  Many of us are chronically dehydrated and can confuse our body's cues for hunger and thirst.  Staying hydrated will help you overcome this issue 
  4. When the kids are done eating, carry the dish soap to the table.  Squeeze a healthy dose of soap onto each plate so you can clean up the kitchen without feeling tempted to eat the kids' meals
  5. Don't feel guilty about disposing those hot dogs.  Many moms eat their children's leftovers because they don't want to waste food and money.  But consider this: according to the CDC, healthcare costs associated with obesity in the United States were 147 billion in 2008.  Forgoing the leftovers is ultimately the best choice for your health and your pocketbook. 

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