If you’re a man carrying a spare tire… listen up. There are some impressive health benefits to be gained for keeping mens waist measurements under control.
The experts suggest that just as you should be aware of your blood pressure numbers, your cholesterol, blood sugar levels and BMI, men also should know their waist measurement as well. If you don’t, it’s time to find a tape measure and see just where you stand.
In fact, this number may be a far better barometer of your overall health than the number you see on the scale.
To measure your waistline the right way, wrap a flexible tape measure over your bare skin and let it sit at your natural waistline, just above your belly button. Holding the tape measure firmly, without making it too tight (or too loose) look at the number where the beginning of the tape meets the end. No holding your breath until the measuring is finished. Now you’ve got a solid number on which to base your assessment of your overall health.
For most men, a measure of 40 inches and over puts him at risk of some rather serious, life altering diseases. Even if he’s not overweight according to the scale, the waist measurement indicates that body fat is centered in the worst possible location.
We’ve talked before about how extra abdominal fat (compared to fat in other places of the body) is so troublesome. This visceral fat raises a man’s risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and even some forms of cancer, not to mention increasing the odds he’ll die earlier than he should.
What can a man with a larger waistline do? Plenty…
– Eat a healthy, balanced diet, including lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains
– Cut your stress levels and actively manage the stress you do have
– Limit your intake of alcohol, beer and hard liquor, though wine may be all right in moderation
– Be active regularly – at a minimum 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise per week
– Get 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep each night
Though we might wish for a magic bullet, special food, targeted exercise or secret formula to get rid of that fat in your abdomen – there just isn’t one, despite the ads and promises marketers would have you believe. Losing that beer belly or spare tire is simpler and less glamorous than that… calling for patience and consistent effort to be successful.
You need to take in fewer calories than you burn on a regular basis. Once you start to lose weight, the good news is that mens’ waist measurements usually start to decrease, as weight generally drops off the belly area first, and you’ll end up losing more weight from your belly area if you stick to your weight loss plan. It seems that that visceral fat, being more metabolically active, is also easier to drop than the kind of fat found just under the skin, more so if you have more than your fair share.