Unlike what many people think, obesity is not a disease. It is true that overweight people are more likely to face illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol , but not every obese person has health problems.
The big danger sign is, in fact, the size of the abdominal circumference, that is, the size of the belly. This, yes, indicates that the individual is prone to face serious health problems.
In this text, we will explain why having a large abdomen can be so dangerous, especially for men. We will also show you the best ways to deal with this problem. Are you interested? Then read on!
How to measure waist circumference?
The abdominal circumference refers to the accumulation of fat present in the abdomen area. The type of fat that is located in this region of the body is considered the worst of all, as it is a risk factor for several diseases and also the most difficult to lose.
The greater the waist circumference, the more likely the patient is to suffer from some cardiovascular disease . But, this is not the only point that must be analyzed. There are other relevant factors that must be taken into account, such as weight and body mass index (BMI).
To know your BMI, you need to do a calculation. His result indicates his degree of obesity. Even a thin person with a BMI considered normal, needs to worry about the size of their waist circumference, because there are people who are at the ideal weight and, even so, have a large abdomen – and, in this case, there is a greater risk of developing a cardiovascular disease than someone who is simply overweight.
The calculation to find out the BMI is very simple: weight / height x height. If you don’t trust your mathematical calculations, just use a BMI meter on the internet. There are several websites that make this meter available and even show you the classification of your BMI. The standard BMI index table is:
- below 18.5 kg / m2: malnutrition;
- between 18.5 and 24.9: healthy weight range;
- between 25 and 29.9: overweight;
- 30 or more: obesity.
Measuring waist circumference is simpler. Just place a tape measure around your belly, more precisely over your belly button. Ideally, women should have an abdominal circumference below 88 cm and men below 102 cm. Any value above these represents a high risk for the individual.
Now that you know how to measure your waist circumference and how to calculate your BMI, have these two information at hand and analyze your situation. Remember that the BMI calculates your degree of obesity, however, it does not indicate where your fat is located. Therefore, this calculation and its weight should not be the only factors to be taken into account.
What are the risks of increased waist circumference?
Abdominal fat is a type of visceral fat, that is, it is very close to several essential organs of the human body, such as heart, liver and pancreas. In addition, this fat also favors the production of pro-inflammatory substances, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis, for example, happens when there is an accumulation of fat or any other substance on the walls of the arteries, making them narrower and making the flow of blood more difficult. In short, atherosclerosis compromises the blood supply to the organ dependent on that artery – if the artery in question is that of the heart, then the patient is at great risk of suffering a heart attack.
Abdominal fat also favors the appearance of diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes , cholesterol and high triglycerides, in addition to thrombosis and several other problems. It is necessary to pay attention to the risk factors, that is, characteristics that aggravate the chances of one of these diseases, such as: smoking, family history and alcohol consumption.
Men need to be more aware of the size of their abdomen, as the risk of death from cardiovascular disease is greater in men than in women.
How to decrease waist circumference?
Before mentioning the best ways to eliminate the fat located in the abdomen, it is necessary to clarify a common question among most patients: does liposuction or abdominoplasty eliminate the belly?
Of course, these procedures do away with the belly aesthetically, but they do not solve the problem of increased waist circumference. Both liposuction and abdominoplasty remove only the subcutaneous fat, the one that is under the skin, and not the visceral fat that is close to the organs.
The best way to get rid of abdominal fat is by following that old recipe so adored by nutritionists: balanced diet and exercise.
Here, it is worth mentioning that the balanced diet is essential for weight loss and also the best option for those who want to eliminate this type of fat specifically. The fat that lodges in the abdomen comes from fatty and caloric foods , so if you want to decrease your waist circumference, you need to stop eating foods that favor the appearance of visceral fat.
Exercises help to burn calories and strengthen muscles, in addition to increasing resistance and improving the quality of life of the individual. Combining a balanced diet, results in a successful combo for health.
What foods help to reduce waist circumference?
As mentioned, a balanced diet is the main ally to reduce abdominal circumference. Therefore, some foods help to make this process happen faster. Below we list the main foods that can be included in the diet to help decrease abdominal fat:
- chia: rich in antioxidants, it helps to speed up the body and burn fat. The best times to eat are for breakfast and afternoon snacks;
- avocado: source of monounsaturated fat, helps to decrease the accumulation of fat cells in the abdomen. It can be consumed the way you prefer, 1 time a day;
- red pepper: thanks to capsaicin, it has thermogenic action, which helps to speed up the metabolism. The intake of 3 grams is indicated every day;
- apple cider vinegar: has acetic acid, which prevents insulin spikes, reducing fat accumulation, and decreasing hunger. For consumption, dilute 2 tablespoons in a glass of water and drink before lunch and dinner;
- ginger: rich in gingerol, a substance that helps in burning fat and speeds up metabolism. It can be eaten raw, sautéed or in the form of tea, being a 2 cm piece per day;
- red fruits: red fruits, like strawberry and blackberry, are rich anthocyanin that has antioxidant action and helps in burning fat. You should consume 2 tablespoons a day, preferably fresh;
- yogurt: the probiotics present help to regulate the intestine. In addition, calcium interferes with fat cells by decreasing the volume inside them. Eat 1 or 2 servings every day, preferably skimmed and unsweetened.
What physical activities to reduce waist circumference?
Many people think that the secret to losing belly size is doing abdominal, but that is not true. Abdominal exercises strengthen the muscles of the abdomen, but on the muscle plate is the adipose tissue, the fat. If the fat is not eliminated, the muscles will still not appear even if they are strengthened. Therefore, the best way to lose waist circumference is to associate aerobic exercises with localized exercises.
Aerobics are a type of activity that aims to increase blood flow and make the heart work harder than normal. These exercises are intense and ideal for anyone looking to burn fat. The following are some activities that help reduce waist circumference:
- skipping rope: it is very suitable for those who want to burn abdominal fat. In addition to burning more than 300 calories in 30 minutes, it also helps to tone the thigh, abdomen and butt muscles;
- walking or running: these are great exercises to lose visceral fat. They speed up your heartbeat and speed up your metabolism. To obtain results, it is necessary to do at least 30 minutes daily;
- functional gymnastics: very suitable for those who want to lose weight, lose fat and define muscles. Functional gymnastics consists of exercises using your own body weight, small weights and balls, and the use of elastic cables, without the need for gym equipment;
- cycling: this exercise can burn up to 400 calories per hour, in addition to working the cardiovascular part and causing intense fat burning. It is indicated for those who want to reduce visceral fat and it is recommended at least 30 minutes three times a week;
- crossfit: it is a high intensity activity and ideal for those who want to burn fat. Because it is very dynamic, it improves physical capacity, strengthens muscles and increases endurance;
- dancing: great aerobic exercise, when practiced at least 3 times a week, it is excellent for losing waist circumference. In addition to being able to burn up to 600 calories in an hour, it improves posture, balance and helps fight depression.
Before starting to practice physical activities, consult a specialist about which is right for you, especially if you have a predisposition to diseases such as knee problems.
If you think your abdomen is large, do not waste time and see a doctor to help you during your journey to lose weight. This is not a purely aesthetic issue – most sudden deaths are related to the size of the waist circumference.
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