10 Reasons Your Kids Are Making You Fat (Slideshow)

Everyone underestimates how tough it is to raise a kid. Sometimes we just need to feel better about ourselves, so we reach out to things that comfort us. Dr. Paul Hokemeyer says, "9 times out of 10 what they [parents] grab is food. And they don't reach for celery sticks. They reach for comfort and junk food that may be delicious but is terrible for their health."

You’re a Bit Stressed

We've already said it, but we'll say it again, raising kids is hard work, and it can be stressful. Stress, unfortunately, is something that happens naturally, but it can cause serious damage to our bodies. Dr. Decotiis explains that stress, and not just "stress eating," causes chemical changes in our body that cause us to retain fat. Chronic stress can cause "lack of motivation, weight gain, late night hunger, and slow metabolic rate."

You’re Losing Sleep

Kids are little balls of energy. They keep us so busy during the day that by the time it comes for us to sleep, we realize we have a hundred other things to do. Sometimes, we can't even get our kids to sleep in the first place, and lack of sleep messes with the hormones that regulate our weight. Dr. Decotiis tells us that lack of sleep can also lower your metabolism. Losing sleep might be one of those sneaky causes that are making you gain weight.

You Don’t Have as Much Time

Raising kids takes energy and it takes time, time that you used to spend doing other things like going to the gym or making healthy lunches to take to work. All that time that you used to have is now spent on your kids, and that's great, but lack of time can cause you to make poor choices about our diet. Dr. Hokemeyer says that parents without time tend to "choose convenience over health. They eat mindlessly instead of mindfully."

You Forget About Your Own Health

Being a parent means making sure that your kids are healthy and happy. You put so much effort into making sure that your kids are eating the right things and getting enough exercise that you forget about yourself. "Not everyone can be a supermom," says Dr. Decotiis. She suggests that all parents remember to get the proper amount of sleep, make time to exercise, and be sure to take care of themselves as well as their children. 

You Have a New Routine

Before kids, your routine might have consisted of gym, work, dinner, sleep. But now your schedule is completely different and it takes a bit of adjusting. Figuring out when you can do all those healthy things that you used to, like exercise, while still balance your kids' activities is tricky. That adjustment period is probably when you'll gain the most weight. Don't worry though. Eventually you'll find yourself in a new routine that allows you to keep yourself and your kids healthy. 

You’re Eating What Your Kids Eat

The food our kids like to eat is delicious, and convenient because it's already there. But often they aren't the healthiest options. Sometimes you forget that because they're growing, your kids can eat things that you probably shouldn't if you want to maintain your weight. Dr. Hokemeyer says that we often eat foods that are processed or full of fat with our kids.

You Might Have Less Money

As wonderful as children are, they are definitely expensive. You have to pay for diapers and formula when they are babies, and then school and activities when they are older. All of the money you used to spend on organic vegetables and healthy meals is now going toward other expenses. That might make you choose the less healthy, but cheaper, options when grocery shopping or eating out.

You’ve Given Up Other Habits

When we have children, we want them to be as healthy as they can be. This might cause us to give up some bad habits, like smoking, in order to maintain our children's health. Unfortunately, when you give up some bad habits, others take their place. If you recently just gave up a habit, overeating or eating unhealthily might have taken its place. 

You’re Having Too Much Fun

Now in reality, there's no such thing as too much fun, but when you have kids you start treating yourself a little bit more. You're going to the movies, you're going out to dinner, you're going to birthday parties, and all of that means food. You might have a slice of cake or two at a kid's birthday party one day and then the next get the large popcorn to share at the movies the next. Eventually, all those calories will add up.