Why Your Waist Size Matters More Than What You Weigh


I bet you want to ditch your scale. I know I sometimes do, especially when I over indulge (yes it happens sometimes). But know that your weight doesn’t define you and how much you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent.

 

When it comes to health your waist size matters more than your weight. So, let’s look at your waist size (well you look at yours and I’ll look at mine :-)).

 

Waist Size (Belly Fat)

Have you ever compared yourself with the fruity body shape descriptions? The “apple” or “pear” shape? The apple is kind of round around the middle and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.

 

THAT is what we’re talking about here.

 

Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (i.e. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (i.e high blood pressure, blood fat and arterial diseases).

 

If you guessed apple, you are correct!

 

The issue is not the muffin top or the mom pooch, the health risks come from the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there which is known as the visceral 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.

 

And 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.

 

I Am An Apple Shape, Now What?

The easiest way to find out if you’re in the higher risk category or not is to measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape. You can do it right now.

 

Mommys, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category. Those of you who are pregnant are exempt, of course.

 

Don’t freak out if your waist is 35” or more, this isn’t a diagnostic tool. There are lot of other risk factors for chronic diseases. Your waist size is just one of them.

 

If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.

 

Tips To Help Reduce 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 brussel sprouts, flax and chia 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 thermic effect of food (TEF) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.
  • Eliminate added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).
  • Move your body Get some aerobic exercise. Lift some weights. Walk and take the stairs. It all adds up.
  • Reduce your stress levels. Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
  • Get more sleep. Try making this a priority. You’ll see how much better you feel and look.

 

Here is a high fiber vegetable recipe you can use to start putting in action the tips shared above.

 

Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • dash salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a bowl toss brussels sprouts with garlic, oil and lemon juice. Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes. Flip them.
  4. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!

Note:  Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K. You may want to eat them more often.