Wouldn't It Be Nice To Ditch The Scale?
There are so many different factors other than weight that should be kept in mind on our health journeys and it is important to remember that. Our weight can matter but only to a certain extent.
Today we're going to be talking a little bit about our waist circumferences and what they mean in relation to our health journeys... you look at yours and I'll look at mine! Keep reading, because I will also be sharing a delicious, high fiber, weight loss friendly side dish at the end of the post!
Waist Circumference (AKA "Belly Fat")
That is just what we're talking about here.
Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues such as insulin resistance and diabetes, and heart issues such as high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases?
Yup, that apple!
This isn't because of the subcutaneous under the skin fat that we sometimes call a muffin top. The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs.
This internal fat is called visceral fat and that's the biggest source of health issues. It's this un-pinchable 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.
Apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.
Now we can begin to understand that where our fat is stored is much more important than how much we weigh.
Am I An Apple Or A Pear?
Women, if your waist measures 35” or more you could be considered to have abdominal obesity and be in the higher risk category. Pregnant ladies are 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 and waist circumference is just one of them. If you have concerns or want more specific information, you should absolutely see your doctor.
You can also read more about body composition in my previous blog post.
Tips To Help Reduce Belly Fat
- Lower our sugar intake. This means ditch the processed, sweetened foods- especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).
- Eat more fiber. Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways. First of all, it helps us feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories we absorb from our food. Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
- Add more protein to our diet. Protein reduces our appetite and makes us feel fuller for longer. It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs, and ensures we have enough of the amino acid building blocks for our muscles.
- Move more. Get some aerobic exercise. Lift some weights. Walk and take the stairs. We should always do exercise that aligns with us! It all adds up.
- Stress less. Seriously! Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
- Get more sleep. Making this a priority can make us feel so much better. Read more about this in my recent post.
...how many of these tips can we try implementing today?
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
- A dash of salt and pepper
- Plain, slivered almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a bowl, toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice. Spread them 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.
Working Towards Losing Waist Inches?
Are you working towards losing inches off your waist to help you look and feel amazing, vibrant and healthy? Would you like some help planning healthy meals and snacks to help with these goals? I am here to help you!
Planning what you eat should be easy and effective, not draining! I created the Simple Swaps Guide to Meal Planning & Prepping to help give you some simple tips and tricks. This guide was created to offer my best suggestions to help you make small changes that will have a big impact on overall health.
Click on the button below the access this free guide.