Heart disease and type 2 diabetes are two of the most common age-related diseases for Americans. But that doesn’t mean we just have to accept the inevitable. You can actually take quite a few proactive steps to reduce your risk of developing either of these dangerous diseases, and live a longer, healthier life.
While the development of most diseases depends on multiple factors such as genetics, age, sex, and lifestyle, we do know one thing that contributes significantly to your risk of developing heart disease and type two diabetes: Your waist circumference.
The larger your waist circumference, the higher your risk of developing these age-related diseases. Why? A higher waist circumference usually signals the presence of visceral fat, which is fat that is stored below the muscles of the abdomen. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which is stored under the skin, visceral fat can damage internal organs and contribute greatly to inflammation (which is linked to many diseases in the long run).
How much is too much? A waist circumference above 35 for women, or 40 for men, is considered dangerous with regard to health data and risk of disease.
But we do have some good news: Visceral fat, or “belly fat” as it is often called, is the easiest type of fat to lose. Whereas subcutaneous fat sometimes stubbornly clings to thighs and other areas no matter how much weight you lose, visceral fat responds very well to weight loss measures. Aim to lose one to two pounds per week (and keep it off in the long term), and you will soon begin to notice that your visceral fat is melting away. Along with it, your risk of heart disease, type two diabetes, and other age-related conditions will shrink as well.
Of course, the weight loss part can be difficult for many people. Give us a call to discuss a medical weight loss plan, and we will help you address your concerns for both your weight and overall health.