How to Reduce Your Waist Size and Lower Your Heart Attack Risk
Posted May 25 2011 3:58pm
One of the best gauges of cardiovascular disease risk may simply be your waistsize. More and more evidence is indicating that belly fat rather than a high BMI (body mass index) is a major heart attack risk factor.
Unfortunately, you can’t spot reduce your mid-section – or any body part for that matter – so situps aren’t the solution. A combination of consistent cardiovascular exercise and strength training and cutting calories is necessary for whittling the waistline. Men typically do two effective things when they want to trim down: they stop drinking (or cut way back) and they hit the gym. Both are very effective – and may be one of the reasons men tend to have an easier time losing weight than women – who are more likely to cut way back on their food consumption and lower their metabolism in the process.
Avoiding alcohol can indeed help reduce belly fat since e ven moderate alcohol consumption (in women) has been associated with increasing levels of belly fat . Limit your alcohol consumptionto a maximum 1 drink or less per day – preferably a glass of wine. I have a saying that one glass of wine may be good for the heart, but more than that is bad for the waistline. Furthermore, for women (especially post-menopausal women), more than one glass per day has also been linked to a significant increase in breast and other cancers. It’s not so much the calories that alcohol contains that can lead to weight gain (though they are relatively high at 7 cal per gm – similar to fat which is 9 cal per gm), but it’s the way in which it is metabolized. Alcohol’s conversion to body fast is efficient. Plus, because alcohol calories receive “VIP” treatment by the body and are metabolized first before carbs, fats, or proteins so drinking alcohol suppresses your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. Furthermore, alcohol increases appetite and decreases inhibition for overeating and we often combine drinking with eating high fat, high calorie foods such as cheese.
So if you’re middle is expanding with middle age, your best plan of action to prevent a heart attack is to get moving, reduce your caloric intake and cut back or eliminate alcohol. I also recommend keep a tape measure handy to measure your progress.