When we want to know if our weight is healthy or if we approach the limit of overweight, we all tend to use scales and calculate our BMI (Body Mass Index). However, there is another technique much simpler and easy to do: simply measure your waist.
One of the most telling indicators of good health and a healthy weight is waist circumference. Indeed, too large a waist indicates the presence of abdominal fat, also called visceral fat, very dangerous for health. Enveloping internal organs of the body, this type of fat is generally tenacious and is the origin of several diseases and disorders such as insulin resistance, impaired blood vessels, high risk of diabetes, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
According to The INTERHEART Study, any increase in waist size implies four times higher the risk of heart disease, and increased risk of myocardial infarction by 19%.
To help you know if your waistline is healthy, and proportional to your size, here’s a quick and easy trick.
In fact, a study by a team of researchers from the University of the City of London, has shown that a healthy waist size should not exceed half our height in centimeters. For example, a person who is 170cm must not exceed 85 cm in waist circumference.
Furthermore, and according to the same study, each increase in waist circumference has a negative effect on life expectancy. Thus, a waist circumference that is 60% of your size, you lose, on average, 1.7 years of life expectancy.
Here’s how to know if your waistline is proportional to your size
All you need is a measuring tape and 30 seconds of your time.
Start first by clearing your abdomen of any garment or accessory that might interfere your measurements. Then stand before a mirror, and then locate the top of your hip (not to be confused with the protruding hip bones), located on the sides of the body. Surround your abdomen with measuring tape making sure to keep relaxed and avoiding your tape to sink into your skin. If this is the case, the tape is too tight and the results will be false.
Breathe normally to ensure that the measuring tipe is properly installed, then read your result.
If you do not have measuring tape at hand, here is another simple trick to calculate the ratio between your height and around your abdomen. Take a rope that you cut to the same length as your waist, then cut it into two equal parts. Follow the same instructions above to locate the top of your hip, then surround yourself with the rope.
Take half of the rope and if the two ends joined easily or if the cord is a little wider, your waist is healthy and your weight is normal. If you can not at all join the ends of the rope, this means that your waistline is more than half your size, which reveals the presence of abdominal fat.
Some tips to reduce your waistline and lose weight
– A healthy, balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits full of fiber and nutrients that will improve your digestion and protect your health.
– Exercise: practice walking, swimming or other exercises targeting the abdominal region, moderate regular physical activity will help you tone your body and remove toxins responsible for the accumulation of fat.
– Improve your lifestyle: stress, smoking, alcohol, lack of sleep … are all factors that promote fat accumulation in the body, and especially at the waistline. It is therefore important to adopt new healthier habits that will help you maintain your health.