You totally want to ditch your scale, don’t you?

You may have this weird kind of relationship with your “weight”.  I know I did. No matter what that scale says, it’s never good enough!

I mean, it doesn’t define you (obviously) but it sure can set your mood for the day once you step on it.

What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent. It’s actually not a very good predictor of overall health!

In fact, if my keto coaching clients have a “checkered past” with the scale I usually recommend they ditch it all together. They focus on how they feel, how their clothes fit – and don’t obsess over fluctuations in water weight – leading to scale disappointment – which sometimes leads to what one of my clients calls “a case of the f-its”.

Don’t let that little metal thing on the bathroom floor have that sort of control over you.

So, what’s an alternative, easy to measure, predictor of health you ask?

Let’s look at your waist circumference (well…you look at yours and I’ll look at mine).

 

Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):

Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”?  The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.

THAT is what we’re talking about here.

Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases).

Yup – that apple!

And it’s not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”.  The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there.

This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is.  It’s this “un-pinchable” fat.

The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure. Yes you read that right, excess visceral fat can both be a cause of inflammation and occur because of it! This is why conquering inflammation is a huge part of my programs. Huge.

And the apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.

So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important that how much you weigh.

Am I an apple or a pear?

It’s pretty simple to find out if you’re in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.  You can do it right now.

Women, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category.  Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course.

For men the number is 40”.

Of course this isn’t a diagnostic tool.  There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases.  Waist circumference is just one of them.

If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.

Tips for helping reduce belly fat:

●    Eat a low insulin producing diet. Numerous hormones contribute to belly fat, but none proves more powerful than insulin, your fat storage hormone. High levels of insulin tell your body to gain weight around the belly, and you become more apple-shaped over time. Eventually you become insulin resistant, which leads your body to generate belly fat and hold on to that spare tire for dear life.

●      Eat more fibre.  Fibre can help reduce belly fat in a few ways.  First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food.  Some examples of high-fibre ketogenic friendly foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.

●      Add more protein to your day.  Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer.  It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.

●      Reduce inflammation. Most of my keto clients came to me consuming an array of inflammatory foods that are often regarded as keto friendly, including dairy, vegetable oils, additives and MSG.

●      Move more.  Keep exercise in the low-moderate (fat burning) zone, add strength sessions a few times per week with adequate recovery in between.

●      Stress less.  Seriously!  Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.

●      Get more sleep.  Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look). Just 30 minutes earlier and going to bed at a consistent time can help!

You can learn even MORE tips to help you on your transformative journey to health by grabbing my  FREE guide now!

Recipe (High fibre side dish): Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4

1 lb Brussels sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

dash salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a bowl toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice.  Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Toss.

Bake for another 10 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:  Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K.  You may want to eat them more often.

 

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-abdominal-fat-and-risk

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/visceral-fat-location

http://www.drsharma.ca/inspiring-my-interest-in-visceral-fat

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-definition/abdominal-obesity/

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/weights-poids/guide-ld-adult/qa-qr-pub-eng.php#a4

https://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat/

https://authoritynutrition.com/20-tips-to-lose-belly-fat/

 

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