It can be too easy to think (or worry) about your weight. But actually there is something that is way more important to consider when it comes to your health and that is the distance around your stomach or your waist circumference.
Wait! Let me be clear, it’s not just about the “pinchable” fat under the skin (that “beer belly”), it’s the internal fat around your abdominal organs that can be a real issue too.
That internal fat (AKA “visceral fat”) is known to release a bunch of hormones that can mess with your blood sugar, blood fats (i.e triglycerides), and blood pressure… Not the good stuff!
In today’s post I’ll describe how to measure your waist circumference and then give you a bunch of actionable tips to help you reduce it.
The number on the scale isn’t always what you should be looking for when it comes to your health. If you can feel the trousers getting tighter and the belt having to move down one more notch it’s time to check out your waist circumference. That is where the problem lies.
Unfortunately, the scale doesn’t tell us what our insides look like and whether or not we have a real problem internally, but wouldn’t it be nice if it did? Million dollar idea there! Anyway this is why we need to look at our waist to see the problem.
*Do you know where you store your body fat can be 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)?
Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”. AKA “Beer Belly.” AKA “The DadBod.”)
You’ve probably overheard a woman or two talk about the fruit body shape descriptors like being an “apple” or a “pear?” The apple is round around the middle (you know – belly fat, beer belly).
THAT is what we’re talking about here and where pretty much all us guys carry our weight.
So What’s the Big Deal?
The health risk is due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs. This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is. It’s not because of the under the skin fat (subcutaneous) that you may refer to as a “muffin top or chef’s hat”. It’s this “un-pinchable” fat, the fat you can’t see.
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 beer belly guys tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than others.
Am I at risk?
It’s pretty simple to find out if you’re in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape. You can do it right now. Actually, do that now right now!
Men, if your waist is 40” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category. Of course this isn’t a diagnostic tool. This is a great indicator that can be measured right away to give you instant feedback to where you are right now. If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.
What You Can Do Right Now
- Add some 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;
- Brussel sprouts
- flax and chia seeds
- 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. In English that means you burn calories digesting it, which is great! Here are some examples of protein you can add;
- Lean Meats
- Say no to added sugars. Time to ditch the processed sweetened foods, especially those sweet drinks and any additional sugars. These really don’t help. Limit your intake of some of the following that have hidden sugars;
- 100% pure juice
- Tomato Sauces
- Soft drinks
- Move more, exercise more, generally do more. Don’t just one and done! In other words, don’t just go to the gym for an hour then sit for the rest of the day…stay activeeven after.
- Lift some weights
- Walk around the neighbourhood
- Take the stairs
- Cycle with your family
- Squat in between commercials
- Stress less. Seriously, hard to hear, but stress less! 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 and see how much better you feel and look. prioritize the routine not the amount of hours!
Need Help Shrinking that Gut?
Don’t think you can tackle this alone? Our Dads Academy would be great for you. This program has great ways to reduce that belly, shape that Dad Bod and motivate you to reach your goals.
Join the Dads in our group that are shredding their bodies and still making time for their family.
If you’re ready to make a positive lifestyle change, ready to be that role model, ready to be in charge of your health, all you have to do is START HERE
If you have any questions about the THE ACADEMY or about how to shrink that gut please leave a comment below!