Do you have too much stomach fat?
People who gain belly fat or visceral fat are at greater risk of serious health problems than those who accumulate fat in other areas. Your waist size is a good indicator of whether you have too much stomach fat. There are many measurements that compare your body fat distribution such as waist-to-hip ratio and body fat percentage. They are more precise but, your waist size alone can give you a good estimate if you are at risk. For most men, the risk factors for heart disease, cancer and diabetes increase with a waist size greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).
1. Get Plenty of Fiber
Research suggests that by eating 25-30 grams of fiber per day you can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and other intestinal disorders. Adding fiber to the diet helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is important in avoiding diabetes. In addition, some people with diabetes can achieve a significant reduction in their blood sugar levels and may find they can reduce their medication.
2. Increase Water Intake
Water has no fat, calories, sugar or carbs, and will curb your thirst and appetite naturally much more effectively than any other beverage. Water helps rid the body of waste by binding to fiber and “cleansing” your intestinal wall. Statistics reveal that individuals who drink more than five to six glasses of water a day are 40% less likely to suffer from a heart related death.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is a necessary aspect of life and is essential to our health. It is recommended that we get 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep helps the brain to commit new information to memory. Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite. Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do. Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells.
4. Maintain a Physically Active Lifestyle
Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help: control your weight, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers, reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your mental health and mood. According to the CDC, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (i.e brisk walking) every week and muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups.
5. Get Regular Health Exams
Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life.