Help for Cutting the Gut, Part 1

Man getting waist measured

The technical term for it is abdominal adiposity. But we all know it as the gut, the beer belly, the tubby tummy, middle age spread, and the list goes on... Whatever we call it, we don’t like and it makes it hard to button our pants and skirts.

Not Just About Looking Good

But this is about way more than just looking good. Abdominal fat, also called visceral fat, is a BIG health problem because the fat lies deep within your abdomen wrapped around your internal organs. Not a good thing.    

This increases your risk of:

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressurestroke
  • gallbladder surgery
  • sleep apnea
  • breast cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • osteoporosis
  •  dementia 
  • depression and, if that’s not enough,
  • early death

When’s the Belly Getting Too Fat?

That may seem like a ridiculous question. After all, for those of us wanting to look good, any belly fat is too fat, right?

But there’s actually a measurement you can take to determine when the gut is getting big enough to cause big problems. 

It’s Easy to Do

Just measure your waist. Anybody can do that, right? But hold on. There’s a correct way to do it, so let me explain.

  1. Place a tape measure around your bare waist, which is generally just above the navel.
  2. Pull the tape measure until it fits snugly around you, but doesn’t push into your skin.
  3. Make sure the tape measure is level all the way around, not higher in back or front.
  4. Now relax, exhale and measure your waist without sucking in your belly.

The Moment of Truth

It’s time to get serious about cutting the gut if:

  • You’re a woman and your waist is 35 inches or more 
  • You’re a man and your waist is 40 inches or more

The Good News

The good news is that we can cut the gut. Want to know the two things you can do? You'll find out in Help for Cutting the Gut, Part 2 next week. 


Diana Fleming

Diana Fleming, PhD, LDN, is a co-author of The Full Plate Diet and Nutritionist for Full Plate Living. She received her doctoral degree from Tufts University and has since dedicated her time to translating complicated nutritional data into easy and fun concepts anyone can apply at their next meal. In her spare time, she has painstakingly perfected the ultimate healthy AND delicious chocolate chip cookie.

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