Belly Fat Article And My Application

I’ve been slowly (very slowly) losing weight throughout this year. I’m about 2 1/2 pounds short of 20 pounds. For some reason weight loss doesn’t seem real to me until I get into the 20 pound area. And luckily for me, when I get there, I’ve conquered most of my battle. But, I read this article today, and I know I still have a long ways to go. I’ve known for a long time (my mom’s a preacher about this) that belly fat is a big deal, and people who carry fat in their bellies are at higher risk than someone who carries it elsewhere. I know people who carry fat in their bellies are at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. But my mom’s always preached it like it’s a sign of being more prone to heart disease if you carry it in your middle. I guess you can look at it from either direction and it’s true. Anyway, here are some things I pulled from the article, and how they apply to me:

  • Waist-to-hip ratio for women should be .7-.88 for women (take your waist at the smallest point divided by hips at widest point). Last time I measured my waist was 38.5 and hips 43. This puts me at .8953. So just out of the healthy range. In November I’m supposed to measure again, so my goal is to get this to a healthy point. I’m going to add it to my measurements so I don’t forget to calculate.
  • Waist at its widest point (I assume this ISN’T hips, but the actual belly area) should be under 35 for women. I have a “lower waist” measurement that might be sneaking into the “hip” area. But it’s 41.5. Even if I go at my belly button (38.5), it’s still over 35. So I guess I’ll track my lower waist. LOTS of work there!
  • “Belly fat breaks down into fatty acids, which move into the liver and muscles and start a reaction of increasing the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and triglycerides.” Interesting quote since my triglycerides are high. I’ve always suspected it was because I’m overweight, this confirms it. So what’s this all mean? Well, obviously, I need to be concerned, especially since heart disease runs in my family. And I’m already working on weight loss, and am very aware there’s no such thing as spot-reduction.

Here are some of the article’s suggestions:

  • “Reducing your intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates, namely foods with high glycemic indexes, seems to reduce abdominal fat stores.” – Good to know. I’m pretty good with eating whole wheat everything, but I have been especially bad with sweets lately (like candy – I feel like I’m not satisfied at a meal without sugar, and fruit doesn’t work). So I NEED to really focus on not having so much sugar in my life.
  • The article of course recommends cardio and strength training, which I already do (albeit maybe not often enough). But it also says to focus on core training. I DO NOT do enough of this. But I’ve been working on increasing my number of push ups, and in the process am trying to do more core workouts like side crunches and planks. I HATE core work, which means that’s what I need to do more of.

How do you measure up? I am terrified of things like heart attacks and strokes. They seem like they’d be terrifying. And I’m also scared of diabetes because of the implications (like blindness, getting those sores on your body that sometimes lead to amputation, etc.). I DO NOT want to live that way, and don’t want to take any type of medicine or give myself shots or feel shackled by any sickness for the rest of my life. I’m young enough now, hopefully I can reverse some of these things by being mindful. The future starts today, after all!

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