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A NEW LEASE—on Life!

By Judit Rajhathy, B.A., RNCP, D.Ac.

New Study - Belly Bulge Can Be Deadly For Older Adults

 

Okay - time to take out the tape measure yet again! A new study just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine is downright scary. Guys, if your waist measures 40 inches or more and ladies if your waist measures more than 35 inches you have twice the risk of dying over a ten year period compared with your peers who have flat tummies. This is a very serious statistic when it comes to the difference between life and death - unless, of course, you don’t value your life. I happen to love mine so keeping my belly fat to a minimum is worth the daily effort.

Hopefully you feel the same way. Death from what you ask? Those with bigger waist circumferences were at a higher risk of dying from heart disease, respiratory diseases and cancer. In fact it was the American Cancer Society that funded this study. An increase in weight gain or BMI has less to do with an expanding middle than we previously thought. When your pants or skirt feel tighter or your belt buckle has to be expanded yet another notch, you are heading for trouble.

And if you are contemplating surgical removal of belly fat without making lifestyle changes it will not lead to any health improvement whatsoever - so you can forget that idea. The only way to reduce belly fat is . . . yep . . . diet and exercise - there are no shortcuts. Eating fewer calories and burning more energy (calories) by doing some form of intense cardiovascular activity is the solution.

There are no shortcuts.

A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism vol. 16 compared two exercise and diet programs. The first group followed a traditional food guide pyramid diet (50-55% carb; 15-20% protein and less than 30% fat.) This group did cardiovascular workouts lasting 30-60 minutes a day 4-6 days a week. The second group followed a higher protein diet which was lower in carbs and fats. Their exercise program alternated between resistance and cardiovascular interval training 6 days a week. The second group lost 20.6% more body fat than the first group which lost only 13.5%.

No time to exercise? This is the excuse I hear all the time from people who can’t seem to find the time to dedicate one hour out of a 12 hour day to a fitness program. This does not make sense at all. What does it take to understand that an exercise program is vital to your health - quality as well as quantity according to this new study. Numerous studies have proven that losing abdominal fat is one of the most important steps in remaining healthy for life. Abdominal fat - belly fat - is stored energy - you need to burn it off - it really is that simple.

On that note see you at the gym! My tape measure is waiting...

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