You totally want to ditch your scale, don't you?
You may have this weird kind of relationship with your “weight”.
I mean, it doesn't define you (obviously).
What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent. It gives us some of the picture, but not all of the story!
Let's look at your waist circumference (well...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 rounder 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 (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases).
Yup – that apple!
And 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 organs there.
This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that's where a lot of the problem actually is. 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.
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 that how much you weigh.
Am I an apple or a pear?
It's pretty simple to find out if you're in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape. You can do it right now.
Women, if your waist is at 80 cm or more your risk is increased of chronic health conditions. If your waist measures at or over 88 cm you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category.
Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course.
If you are a man your risk is increased at 94 cm or more. Your risk is high at 102 cm or more.
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 definitely see your doctor.
Making lifestyle changes can dramatically increase your health, and reduce your waist circumference, even when the scales don't move. I have had numerous clients where this has happened in a matter of weeks! So here are my top tips for helping to reduce some belly fat.
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 brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
I posted a cinnamon and raisin bread recipe in our private community group of amazing women this week, click here to access the group and get the recipe! + I have a special brussel sprouts recipe coming later in the week which will be shared on my facebook page. Click here to grab it and to view other delicious recipes and health tips! 🧡
● 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 in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat. I can't stress this enough. See what I did there ;) For more information on how stress effects you and tips on self care to support reduced stress levels click here.
● Get more sleep. Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look). To read in a little more detail about sleep, it's impact and gather tips on how to improve your sleep click here.
Applying to many strategies at any one time can feel overwhelming so my philosophy is, start small, take baby steps by picking one or two strategies to work on, build the habit and then move on to the next. Changing your health takes time. And so it should. Give yourself adequate time to make real changes. 🧡