You noticed that your jeans were getting a little snug, but didn’t think much of it. When you could hardly button your favourite skirt, you forced yourself onto a scale and discovered you’d increased eight pounds. But why? You haven’t changed your eating or exercise habits.

Chances are you overlooked some of the most common weight-gain culprits. Frequent dining out, evening snacks in front of the TV and even your affection for coffee can all cause a slow-but-steady weight gain. Once you identify and battle these “hidden” fat traps, you’ll see it easier to shed pounds and maintain a healthy weight.

Yet, what would it be advisable for you to have for breakfast? While great decisions like a bowl brimming with oat or an omelet may appear like the conspicuous decisions, some of these picks can pack an astonishing number of calories.

Late-Night Snacking

If you spend most evenings curled up on the couch sitting in front of the TV, chances are you snack, too. And those snacks can add up to hundreds or even a great many calories. Eating in front of the set distracts you from the amount you’re consuming, causing you to eat even more. Studies also show that ladies eat less when they focus on their food. “If you sit in front of the TV consistently and eat, then every time the TV comes on you’ll have the urge to eat,” warns Jackie Berning, R.D., an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.

The solution: Women tend to under eat during the day, so they overeat at evening time, says Berning. Ensure you eat enough at mealtimes so you are not hungry for a snack after dinner. Most importantly, turn off the TV whenever you eat.

Skipping Breakfast

A lot of busy ladies skip breakfast and live off coffee amid the morning hours. This not only affects your waistline, but also your performance and mood. Studies show that breakfast eaters are more alert and retain information more easily than breakfast skippers, plus they’re less likely to be depressed.

The solution: Always set time for this required meal, even if it’s only a banana and yogurt eaten on the run.

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