See if the following sounds like you:
- You despise stepping on the scale and wish you could ditch it.
- You have this weird hate-love relationship with your weight. I mean, it doesn’t define you or does it.
- You step on the scale multiple times per day and argue with the results.
- You wish you would throw the scale out but, you just Can’t. Seem. To. Do. It.
Why Your Waist Circumference Matters 100x More Than What You Weigh
What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent.
Let’s look at your waist circumference (well…you look at yours, and I’ll look at mine).
Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):
Most people have 1 of 2 body shapes…. Apple or Pear
Apple- body fat lies around the abdomen
Pear- body fat lies around the hips and thighs
Apple shape is associated with a higher risk of:
Blood sugar issues such as insulin resistance and diabetes
Heart issues such as high blood pressures, blood fat, and arterial disease
So, I’m a muffin top… I must be unhealthy.
Most people wrongly believe the ‘muffin top’ area is the most unhealthy, placing a person a risk for chronic disease. This is a myth.
The real health risk is due to the internal fat or VISCERAL FAT that covers the liver and intestines.
What is Visceral Fat and what does this have to do with me?
This visceral fat releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.
People with an apple shape seem to have more hidden visceral fat than people with a pear shape.
This is why it is important to know where your fat is stored and to assess your shape.
Learn these two things: Are you an apple or a pear? What is your waist measurement?
These 2 questions are just as important as how much you weight.
So, how do you know if you are an apple or a pear?
The easiest way is to measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.
- Women that have a waist of 35” or more are considered to have “abdominal obesity” This is the higher risk category. Prego ladies exempt, of course.
- For men, the number is 40”.
- Of course, this isn’t a diagnostic tool. There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases. Waist circumference is just one of them. If you have concerns, 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 number 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 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 added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially 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. Seriously! Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
- Get more sleep. Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).
(High fiber side dish): Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- 1 lb Brussel 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
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a bowl toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice. Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. Toss.
- Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K. You may want to eat them more often.