Just like obesity, a large waistline can bring with it numerous health complications. But you can fight back and shrink your waistline. Here’s how:
1. Learn about how waistlines affect health
Turns out, a large waistline increases risk for both diabetes and heart disease more than simply being overweight does. These are just a few ways that large waistlines affect your health:
- If your waistline is expansive — especially if it’s over 35 inches for women or 39 inches for men — you’re likely to be carrying around visceral fat.
- Unlike the relatively harmless fat on your buttocks, hips, thighs and the your skin at your waist, visceral fat wraps around internal organs and churns out dangerous substances.
- Inflammatory compounds is one such substance, which can make blood stickier.
- Fatty acids is another. They can cause your liver to produce more blood sugar and LDL cholesterol.
- These fatty acids also limit adiponectin, a hormone that regulates the use of blood sugar and keeps appetite in check.
- Surprisingly, food-only weight-loss programs often fail to reduce deadly visceral fat. That’s where walking and other exercise come in.
2. Plan for healthy eating that stabilizes blood sugar
Here is the basic plan for healthy eating for stable blood sugar, based on the best collective wisdom:
- Eat three modest-sized meals each day, and don’t skip meals.
- Intersperse those meals with healthy snacks. Never go more than three hours without eating, except when you sleep.
- Be sure to have lean protein with each meal.
- To get a reasonable sense of fullness, load your plate with lots of fresh vegetables.
- Have a serving of complex carbs with each meal as well. Avoid white carbs like potatoes, rice or white breads and have whole-grain versions instead.
- A few times a week, have beans or fish as your protein source, rather than poultry or meat.
3. Cut the calories
The best way to lose weight is to eat a bit less every day. Here are simple ways to cut calories without stress or strain:
- Leave the cheese off your sandwich.
- Use skim milk instead of whole milk.
- Substitute ground turkey for ground beef.
- Eat a few spoonfuls less ice cream.
- Substitute sugar-free jam for butter on your toast.
- Use light mayo instead of regular.
- Have pretzels instead of potato chips.
- Have an English muffin instead of a doughnut.
- Drink less juice and more water (or dilute fruit juice 50 percent with water).
- Use nonstick spray instead of 10 millilitres (two teaspoons) of vegetable oil.
- Drink seltzer instead of regular soft drinks.
- Put salsa on a baked potato instead of sour cream or butter.
- Have your sandwich in a small, whole-wheat pita, instead of on two slices of bread. Or, have your sandwich open-faced.
- Eat appetizers on thin whole wheat crackers rather than slices of baguette.
When it comes to your waistline, remember that a combination of diet and exercise is your best bet. Such an approach should go a long way toward keeping your blood sugar more stable, and your weight in check.