They say beauty is pain but it can also be pound-inducing. According to several well-known doctors, physical trainers, and therapists, some of our favorite accessories and wardrobe staples could be adding on the fat, or at the very least preventing us from losing any. Here are a few things to think twice about grabbing from your closet if want to keep your body looking—and feeling—good.

Oversized Handbags

Super-sized handbags are not only fashionable, they’re super functional but hauling around a gigantic bag all day isn’t so good for you physically. Michael Prager, PhD, a well-known Cosmetic Medicine Consultant based in London, said before he performs laser fat removal he measures where patients carry fat and noticed that many of his female patients carry more fat on one side of their body and their fat stores were uneven. When he analyzed the different women, the only thing they had in common was their “ridiculously big handbags.”

The reason, posture expert Ivana Daniell says, is that heavy bags affect our posture and over time, bad posture leads to distorted fat distribution. Carrying a heavy bag works the muscles more on one side but also creates a muscular and skeletal imbalance that can affect fat distribution. If you can’t bear the thought of parting with your big bags, at least put less in them so they aren’t as heavy. Not only will this even out fat stores, you’ll probably feel a lot less pain in your back and shoulders.

Tight Leggings

Go-to black leggings have already taken the blame for making us think we’re slimmer than we really are because of their stretching capabilities and how a well-chosen pair can hide bulges here and there, but wearing pairs that are too tight (you know who you are) is also damaging to your muscles. Physiotherapist Sammy Margo says too-tight leggings hold in and support the thigh muscles, buttocks, and core muscles in your abdomen, doing the job our muscles are supposed to do. As a result, those muscles switch on and off and don’t stay or get as toned as we think they are. Since summer’s almost here, it may not be hard to wean yourself off of these but if it is just make sure you take a look at how your legs and thighs look outside of the leggings to see if you need to tone up at all.

Stilletto Heels

High heels may make you appear taller, and consequently slimmer, but they can also make you appear rounder in the middle because like large handbags, over time they distort your body frame. According to personal trainer Dax Moy, wearing super-tall heels on a regular basis can weaken abdominal muscles and cause your pelvis to tilt forward, creating the pot belly/pouch phenomenon seen in a lot of women. You definitely don’t have to give up your 6-inch heels to prevent this from happening but a little moderation will go a long way. Slip off your heels under the table at an event or put them on at the last minute. Also walking around the house barefoot or wearing flats to casual events can strengthen the muscles that might be weekend by those stilettos.

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  • Yawn

    FYI: the last sentence should read “weakened,” instead of “weekend.”

  • brandy

    mmmmm, k.

  • Babe

    I did notice an uneven fat storage on my stomach area a year ago. I had one side that was slim and defined while the other was “rounder”. After I realized it was due to my carrying my laptop bag on my right shoulder, I immediately took action and started carrying it on my left side. Now things have evened out ;)