America is overweight. We all know this. It’s easy enough to see. Just take a look at the people around you. Go to the mall, a sporting event, or the movies. The size of people is astounding. Obesity is rampant.
As a cardiologist who’s been in practice for over 20 years working with people who have heart disease, I’ve seen a remarkable change in the size of people in America. In the 1980’s, it was unusual to see someone who weighted over 250 pounds. By the 1990’s we were up to 300 pounds.. Now its quite common to see people weighing 400+ pounds or even 500+.
If you look at people you’ll also notice that many of them have a particularly large belly. They may not look that fat in other parts of their body, but their belly is big.
Interestingly, we now know that a just having a large belly can increase your chances of dying. In a medical article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2010;170:1293) it was reported that having a large waist circumference made a person twice as likely to die long term.
Just having a large belly can be hazardous to your health. In women, having a belly that was larger than 43 inches (110 cm) doubled your chances of dying prematurely. In men, a waist size greater than 47 inches (120 cm) doubled your chances of dying.
Now I know it is difficult to lose weight. People who weight a great deal have difficulty exercising due to joint pain and foot pain. And as you get older, it seems even more difficult to lose weight.
I can’t tell you how many patients who weigh over 300 pounds tell me that they don’t eat that much.
So what can you do? How can you get off the unwanted weight and keep it off.
1. You must reduce your portion size. This is critical. If you go to a restaurant share a meal. At home use smaller sized plates.
2. Eat 3 meals a day. Many research studies have shown that it’s essential to not skip breakfast.
3. Eat foods low in glycemic content. Foods that quickly raise the blood sugar cause a release of insulin. This is a bodily hormone that cause the body to retain calories in the form of fat.
4. Consider weight lifting. Adding weight lifting to your lifestyle habits can burn calories and help you increase your muscle mass. Muscle tissue utilizes more energy than fat tissue and this will help you lose weight.
5. If you can exercise, then ratchet up the intensity. This more than anything will help you burn calories.
6. Change your frame of mind. Without changing how you think about food ie- do you use food for comfort, eat for enjoyment, etc- you won’t be able to reduce that belly.
7. Measure your belly size. Knowing how big your belly is will give you motivation to change.
Is you belly large? If it is then you are someone who can benefit from reducing your waist size. You can also reduce your chances of dying or suffering serious health problems.
You can reduce your belly. Start working now!