No-one want to be chained to the scale. Sometimes is seems our “weight” defines who we are. What you weight can matter but only to a certain extent. Let’s look at your waist circumference, you look at yours and I’ll look at mine.
Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”)
Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”? The apple is round around the middle, beer belly, and the pear is rounder abound the hips/thigh. The difference between the two is waist circumference.
One of these shapes is associated with higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g.insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat,and arterial diseases).
It’s not because of the subcutaneous, under the skin, fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”. The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other internal organs. The internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is. It’s this “unpinchable” fat.
The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure. The apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.
So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important than how much you weigh.
Am I an Apple or a Pear?
It’s pretty simple to find out if you are in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way s to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.
Women, if your waist is 35″ or more you could be considered to have abdominal obesity and be in the higher risk category. Of course, pregnant ladies are exempt. For men the number is 40″
This isn’t a diagnostic tool. There a lots of risk factors for chronic diseases. Waist circumference is just one of them. If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.
Tips for Helping Reduce Some Belly Fat:
- Eat more fiber. Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways. First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food. Some examples of high-fiber foods are Brussels sprouts, flax and chis seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
- Add more protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer. It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.
- Nix the added sugar. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especial those sweet drinks, even 100% pure juice.
- Move more. Get some aerobic exercise. Lift some weights. Walk and take the stairs. It all adds up.
- Stress less. Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
- Get more sleep.. Tray making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel and look.
When was the last time you had Brussels Sprouts? This easy recipe with show you what you have been missing.