Are you doing more harm than good to your overall health and well-being? If your waistline is 40 inches or more, you could be at risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, according to Hartford HealthCare. An average waist circumference for adults in the United States is 36 inches. According to science, there are daily habits that give you a bigger waistline that you should be aware of. Keep reading to learn more.
Research by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, affiliated with the World Health Organization (WHO), indicates that a larger waist circumference increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and types of cancer related to obesity. Cancers include the esophagus, gallbladder, prostate, stomach, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and ovaries. Dr. Peter Yu, Chief Medical Officer of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, explains (via Hartford HealthCare), “It has become clear that no matter how you measure excess weight, obesity increases cancer risk. and the risk of cancer recurrence after treatment. Dr. Yu adds, “Obesity impacts the body’s immune system and metabolism in ways that cause cancer problems.
Typically, a normal BMI measurement is between 18.5 and 24.9. Obesity means a BMI of 30 or more. If you have four or more inches around your belly, it’s important to take the time to lose weight and reduce your health risks. According to Dr. Yu, “Energy balance, which corresponds to your calorie consumption at your daily exercise level, is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. The reduction in calories associated with the increase in exercise is more likely to cause weight loss than either alone.”
Now let’s move on to some daily habits that make you fatter in your waistline and are harmful to your health, according to science. It’s never too late to start incorporating changes into your routine.
Chances are you’re eating and drinking more sugar than you think. Sugar is absolutely not your friend and it is hiding in many of your favorite items. The sneaky thing is that some of the items are perceived as healthy, such as protein and granola bars, yogurt, breakfast cereals, energy drinks and fruit juices, according to Health line. Did you know that some specialty coffees are linked to higher visceral fat content? Or that two 16-ounce cans of soda contain 104 grams of sugar?
Too much of anything isn’t good for you, but it’s a good idea to limit your daily sugar content. Also pay attention to what is on the ingredient list of items you purchase.
Related: Best-kept exercise secrets for a smaller waistline at 50, expert reveals
Granted, most people enjoy a glass of wine or two with their dinner. Hey, research has even shown that sipping red wine can lower your risk of developing heart disease (via Health Line). But drinking too many drinks leads to excessive weight gain, as well as other health problems. There are many high calorie alcoholic beverages.
When it comes to drinking wine, a 5-ounce glass of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio contains 120 calories, according to Diet vs disease. Your favorite cabernet or zinfandel will set you back 125 calories. Any sweet wine contains 160 calories per glass. You get the picture. Limit your alcohol intake and once you reduce your intake, you will start to see a difference in your belly!
Related: Get Rid of Your Waist Bulge With This Kettlebell Workout
Maintaining an irregular eating schedule can contribute to the addition of visceral fat, which impacts your waistline and overall health. (Excess visceral fat is linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, prostate, colorectal and breast cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, according to Jenny Craig)
It’s not a good idea to skip some meals and eat more than you should during others. Unhealthy eating habits can increase your stress levels and negatively alter your gut microbiota.
We totally get it: you love watching your favorite TV shows. But being sedentary for too long on a regular basis is never a good thing. It’s important to have some downtime to let your body and mind relax and recharge after a busy week, but choose your activities wisely. In fact, research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health reveals that watching TV for an hour and a half translates to about 3.5 cubic centimeters of extra belly fat. Eek!
Rather than regularly relaxing on the couch, consider engaging in some healthy physical activity. You can set up candles and do a yoga class, go for a walk while listening to your favorite audiobook, or take your pup for a short hike.
This brings us to our next point in daily habits that give you a bigger waistline: you don’t exercise as much as you should, if at all. Not exercising regularly is detrimental to your health and waist size.
A brisk walk or just an hour of exercise goes a long way towards weight loss. In fact, a study of overweight people indicates that jumping on a stairlift twice a day for just five consecutive minutes dropped about 7.3 pounds of body weight in just three weeks.
Last but not least, in the daily habits that give you a bigger waistline, you have to eat too many bad foods. Anyone who wants to reduce their waistline should reduce their calorie intake. It’s important to include more vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet and cut out foods that are simply not healthy. Mayo Clinic. (Your mind and body will thank you!)
A plant-based diet that includes foods like legumes, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits and vegetables is always a healthy choice. You can also add items like fish and low-fat dairy products to your weekly rotation. And of course, be sure to limit your intake of chicken and red meat.
If you are a woman in your 50s, it is important to reduce your calorie intake by around 200 per day just to maintain your current weight and figure, Mayo Clinic reports. If you want to shed a few pounds, you may need to cut more. Always be aware of what you put in your body and treat it with TLC!
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