I’m writing this post to give myself and my brother Rick (you too, if it fits) more motivation.
A year ago Rick and I made a pact. Whoever lost 20 pounds first got to choose who visited whom. (He lives in Denver, I live in Southern California). The first year we did really well, albeit falling short of our 20 pound goal. The beginning of the second year we both gained back the weight we’d lost the first year . . .
We have very different approaches. He weighs once a week and I obsesssssively stand on the scale every morning (sometime every night in anticipation of my morning weigh-in). When I tried his approach I gained 5 pounds in a week.
Neither of us look over-weight by most standards. We both know that the weight distributed around our mid-section is not healthy, particularly considering we both have heart problems.
Why’s belly fat so bad
“Abdominal fat is one of the most dangerous kinds of fat you can have. The reason it’s so bad is that unlike your love handles — which are the pinchable fat right beneath your skin — the fat that is in your stomach area grows deep inside your body and it wraps around your vital organs. Your liver borrows this fat and turns it into cholesterol that can sneak into your arteries and start collecting there. When it collects, your arteries start to harden, and when they get hard, this can lead you to having a heart attack or stroke.”
What is overfat?
Overfat is a term created to describe if you have a body fat level that can actually hurt your health. Even people who are considered “normal weight” or “non-obese” by traditional standards can fall into this category.
“If a doctor is relying on BMI to assess your potential danger from your fat, they miss the risk. Earlier studies have also shown that doctors that rely solely on BMI may miss other warning signs for people of different ethnicities put them at greater risk for heart problems and other health issues.“
This deep layer of belly fat is also what:
Makes your body insulin-resistant, which can lead you to having type 2 diabetes.
Cause inflammation, which scientists are finding at the root of many chronic diseases and even cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Raise your glucose levels and
Decrease your muscle mass. You need good muscle mass to help keep good heart health.
It’s no wonder earlier studies have shown that excess belly fat, even if you are skinny elsewhere, may be even more deadly than being obese or overweight. And that’s saying a lot, since good old fashioned obesity is related to all sorts of diseases and potentially life threatening problems like cancer, heart attacks, stroke, asthma, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and a handful of other problems.
A better measure
“What may be a better way to assess if you are overfat is for your doctor to look more like a tailor and take a tape measure to your waist, the authors argue. If you want to try this at home, measure your circumference at your belly button. If your waist circumference is half your height or less, you are at a healthy fat level. If you are over that number, your fat could put you at risk for ill health.”
“It’s not as perfect a measure as if your doctor were to calculate your fat using an X-ray, but it’s a good indicator, suggests Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist and obesity expert at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.”
You could even do something simpler and look at your hip to waist ratio —
“If the waist is bigger than the hips, it tells me that the risk carried with that weight is much higher for that person for premature death,”
All doctors agree that dealing with excess fat needs to be a priority,as it truly can put someone’s life in jeopardy.
Are you listening, Rick?
Read CNN article Overfat & Obesity Study