Obesity has now been declared a disease in the US. The health risks of carrying around a spare tire are nearly endless: diabetes, insulin resistance, heart attack, stroke, blood clotting, fatty liver, etc, etc, ETC. Know all this but can't quite make the huge shift? Start small and simple.
Central obesity specifically refers to the increased amount of fat around the midsection, or the 'spare tire'. The issue here is that it's an indicator that fat isn't only in the skin, it's packing in around your organs. Not to mention the amount of fat you carry influences your hormones. Abdominal fat acts differently than, say, thigh fat (ladies, we'll discuss the saddle bags further on another day) in that it increases inflammatory markers associated with diabetes, cardiovascular events, and also infertility in both men and women by affecting sperm quality, egg quality, and ovarian function. The insulin resistance induced by obesity contributes to hair loss (looking at you men out there...) or hair growth in women in all the wrong places as we see in polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS.
Ditch the spare tire. You will be amazed at the health benefits that follow. They are endless. Your loved ones will also thank you.
Wondering where to start? 9 not-so-fancy starting tips for you:
1. MOVE. You don't have to train for a marathon, just get moving. Walk, bike, hike, play the Wii, park farther away, get off the bus/subway one stop early, get a pedometer... JUST MOVE.
2. Stop the pop.
3. Cut the booze. Limit to one drink per day.
4. Cut the sweet treats in half for 2-3 weeks. Then cut them in half again, but always leave yourself time to indulge. Be gentle yet strict.
5. Make sure half your plate is veggies. Potatoes don't count. And they can't be fried.
6. No fried foods. Grill, sautee, stir-fry, or steam.
7. Night snacker? Try popcorn, veggies & hummus, edamame, frozen fruit sorbet (blend frozen fruit, a dash of vanilla extract, and a wee bit of milk), roasted veggies, or a bowl of soup.
8. Breathe. Reducing stress reduces cortisol. Cortisol will help pump up the spare tire.
9. Be accountable. To anyone. Find yourself a team and get them cheering for you.
YOU CAN DO THIS. If I can be of help, or if you need a team member, please ask. :)
Just a few of the many research papers supporting weight loss:
Abdominal fat and inflammatory markers. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23712970
Effects of 4 different diets on adipose tissue. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22258266
Effects of abdominal fat on insulin resistance. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23739143
BMI and sperm quality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22693175
Adipokines and infertility. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21510912
Androgenic alopecia and insulin resistance. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19094069