January 27, 2022

Finding you no longer have a waist was often a problem for women going through menopause, but more and more younger people are having this problem as well. 

Excess belly fat can be a big concern for people of all ages.

When we look at paintings of women through history the waist was obvious and often the hips or thighs were larger then. The modern-day comparison on social media is often of a stick-thin figure with small breasts, little muscle definition and thin thighs, a totally different look!!!!

These days many people find it harder to lose weight from around their waist. The hormone cortisol and the hormone insulin are associated with a larger waist. Belly fat leads to diet resistance or the health condition known as insulin resistance.

Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that more tummy fat (central obesity) is associated with more health risks. 

Abdominal fat (also known as visceral adipose) accumulates around internal organs and is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat (that lives just below the skin) as it behaves differently in the body. 

Abdominal fat is linked to higher risks of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer in women, as well as increased risk of dementia and overall reduced lifespan.

Together with total body weight it’s also recognised as a COVID co-morbidity risk.

The Waist to Height ratio is an easy but reliable measurement for you to determine if you are at risk. Measure your height and your waist and divide your waist by your height. If you are above 50% then your risk of developing diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease rise.

A simple public health message for all ages, including children is: Keep your waist to less than half your height.

Another guideline is a man’s waist measurement should be less than 94 cm and a woman’s waist measurement should be less than 80 cm.

8 Tips to reduce your waist measurement:

1.Keep a food journal to track your food and drink intake.

Your Daily Planner is the place where you log what you eat, drink, exercise, stress level, challenges, vision statement, water, bowel comfort, weight graph and body measurements are all in the one place. 

This makes you accountable and helps you and your coach discover what’s working for you.

2.Drink more water and green tea and limit alcohol consumption. 

Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks as they are loaded with fructose which may lead to fatty liver and often are over-consumed. Completely remove soda, punch, sweet teas, alcoholic mixers and fruit juice. These are all liquid sugar.

3.Exercise at least 30 minutes, three times a week. More if possible.

While exercise can tone and strengthen muscles, you won’t be able to just lose weight around your waist without losing weight from all over your body. This requires dietary change. There is no such thing as “spot reduction” and just doing abdominal exercise is also not effective for reducing your waist. Planks help to tone muscles that support your core so you may find that your posture improves giving you a better look. High intensity interval or circuit training with 30 seconds of high intensity and then 60 seconds of less intense exercise and resistance exercises are important for preserving muscle mass.

Without effective dietary change, no amount of exercise will cause you to lose weight.

4.Eat more protein and fibre.

Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight loss and weight management. It releases the fullness hormone and decreases appetite, raises metabolic rate and helps maintain muscle mass while losing weight. Include meat, seafood, eggs, full fat dairy, whey protein and beans. High fibre foods include flax seeds, avocado, Brussels sprouts, blackberries, and legumes.

5.Reduce your added sugar (carbohydrate) intake.

Avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods. Even “healthy” sugars like honey and many fruits and some vegetables which are high in sugar and starch can lead to belly fat gain as the carbohydrate converts to sugar in your blood and insulin production is raised. Carbs are broken down to sugars and each gram of excess sugar is stored with three grams of water. By reducing your carb intake you will reduce the amount of water stored in your body.

6.Ensure good quality, restful sleep of 7-9 hours per night.

Sleep apnea or snoring can lead to reduced hormonal production of the human growth hormone that burns fat and builds muscle. Insomnia is associated with high stress levels which also leads to the production of cortisol, the hormone associated with a larger waist size.

7.Reduce or manage your stress.

Stress hormones can cause your body to hold on to belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Finding ways to manage your stress so your body is more relaxed can help reduce the size of your waistline. Yoga or meditation may help you reduce stress so may contribute to weight loss.

8.Avoid trans fats and highly processed oils.

These are found in margarine, vegetable oils, packaged foods and sauces. They are linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain. Swap these out for good quality fats including olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, fatty fish like salmon, sardines or anchovies.

How do you measure success?

*Be realistic about how much weight you can lose off your waist

*On a regular basis measure your waist to height ratio

*Dropping a dress or pants size could mean losing 2-3 cms from your waist

Reducing your waistline requires patience and discipline. If you want good results, combining as many of these methods will not only give you back your waistline but will contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle.

If you are looking for a program that includes all the above, and more, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.