Almost nobody likes to be fat, but a lot of folks consider themselves healthy-ish, aside from a rather portly midsection, a beer belly, a gut. New research is bursting that bubble, however, as one recent study has found that having a gut can actually be a greater risk, in some ways, than general obesity. As the average American is becoming increasingly more sedentary, especially at work, making the effort to minimize a gut is certainly worth it.
The trouble with central obesity
Packing on the weight above your belt is the result of numerous factors. You might actually be pretty active and eat healthy, but the sedentary lifestyle can be a problem, as can a lack of sleep and stress. There are lots of things you can do to help lose your gut, but if one of the most important things is motivating yourself, perhaps this can help.
Researchers primarily out of the Mayo Clinic compared the cardiovascular life expectancy of over 15,000 people (about 50-50 men and women) across all levels of health, including obese, healthy, and those with what’s called “central obesity.” Central obesity speaks to one of the weaknesses of using Body Mass Index (BMI) to gauge overall health. A person with regularly-proportioned arms and legs, but a sizable gut, can still register as “healthy” in terms of BMI. Basically, weight doesn’t entirely measure health.
According to the researchers, participants with central obesity, despite healthy BMIs, had a higher death rate from cardiovascular issues than any other, including the obese. There are a few reasons why gut fat is so especially bad. Outside of its association with an overly inactive, sedentary lifestyle, it means that this fat in the body is more active in releasing harmful substances, causing numerous problems connected to both leptin and insulin resistance. There are all sorts of things you can do to live longer, though.
What you can do right now
Getting rid of your gut can be difficult as a specific target. The best thing to do is to begin living a more healthy lifestyle, especially concerning specific recommendations regarding your diet and level of physical activity. If you worry that you fall into the category of central obesity, trying to lose weight may not be as straightforward.
Primarily, this means eating the right ratio of foods and getting in workouts consisting of both cardio and the right resistance exercises. Having better muscle, among myriad other benefits, boosts your metabolism, meaning you burn off fat more easily. Olumia Life can be a great guide to refining your habits into healthier ones.
Little things you do each day can really add up over time. Taking the stairs over the elevator or escalator, for example. Not sitting for more than 2 hours at a stretch helps too. Certainly one the most important things, though, would be to avoid sugar as much as possible. Whole fruits and vegetables are still good for you, despite the sugar they naturally contain. You should try to cut back on all other sugar sources. This means soda, candy/desserts, sugary coffee drinks, and other foods that have lots of sugar.
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