Weight Watchers dietitian, Zoe Hellman, explains why your waistline is an important indicator of your health.
As the weight of Ireland as a nation increases, so waistlines are expanding. With these excess inches, come the added health risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Apple Or Pear?Most people have one of two body shapes; often referred to as apple and pear shaped figures. People who store fat around their middle (abdomen) are said to be apple-shaped and tend to have a greater risk of developing conditions such as heart disease. Losing weight and reducing excess inches around your waist will help to reduce this risk.
Those whose fat is stored around their hips and thighs are said to be pear-shaped and tend to have a lower risk of developing conditions like high blood pressure. Before you pull out a tape measure to measure your middle, read on to find out how to do it accurately.
- Find the bottom of your ribs and top of your hip bone.
- Breathe out naturally whilst standing.
- Place a tape measure in the middle of these points and wrap it around your waist (for many people this is where the tummy button is)
- Check your measurement against the table below
|Healthy||Increased Health Risk||High Health Risk|
|Men||Less than 94cm (37")||Higher than 94cm (37")||Higher than 102cm (40")|
|Women||Less than 80cm (32")||Higher than 80cm (32")||Higher than 88cm (35")|
And incorporating more activity into your daily life can help too. Recent studies have shown that people with low activity levels are more than twice as likely to have a waist circumference above healthy level compared to those with high activity levels.
Losing inches from around your waist can be a great indicator of weight loss success and a brilliant way to stay motivated if the scales don’t always show a change in your weight.
Set Up For SuccessGoal setting is best when you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Steady progress working towards realistic goals is the way to stay motivated and achieve your ultimate aim of your Goal Weight.
For most people, losing a relativity small amount of weight, about 5-10%, is enough to reduce the health risks associated with being overweight, like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure that can lead to the development of heart disease.
There are also huge benefits for emotional health; people who have lost 5-10% of their body weight report improvements in quality of life, symptoms of depression and perception of appearance, energy and vitality.
So, aim for your first 5% and get off to a flying start for your motivation – and your health!