Waist Size: 32.5
Ideally, your waist should measure less than half your height (do it at the belly button—go ahead and suck in). That means if you're 5'5", yours would be less than 32.5 inches. The reason: The omental fat beneath your stomach muscles causes inflammation, which drives many of your body's other critical numbers in the wrong direction.
To lose inches at your waist: Focus on slicing off 100 calories a day. Since salad dressings sabotage many a good intention, one idea is to make this nutty recipe part of your routine:
1. Mix 1 tablespoon each of walnut (or hazelnut) oil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar; add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Chop 1 small tomato, 1/4 cup diced onions, and 6 sliced mushrooms.
3. Pour the combo over 1 head of Boston lettuce.
Makes 2 servings, about 150 calories each.
Blood Sugar: 125
The other danger of omental fat is that it can block insulin's ability to work, which increases blood sugar and puts you at risk for diabetes. Your blood sugar should be less than 100 after an overnight or eight-hour fast and less than 125 if you aren't fasting.
To lower blood sugar: Try chia seeds, which contain omega-3s and fiber (sprinkle them on yogurt or salads). It's believed that they form a gelatinous substance in the stomach that helps slow the speed at which sugar is absorbed.
Bone Density: -1
It's a good idea for all postmenopausal women to get a bone density scan, especially those who are not on hormone replacement therapy, stand taller than 5'7", or weigh less than 125 pounds. You should also be tested at around age 50 if your mother has had osteoporosis or either of you has had a hip fracture, if you take steroids, or if you drink excessively or smoke. The standard DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan provides a T score—your bone density compared with that of a healthy young woman: Above -1 is normal; between -1 and -2.5 indicates osteopenia, which may lead to osteoporosis; below -2.5 means you have osteoporosis.
To strengthen your bones: Along with 1,000 IU of vitamin D, take 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 milligrams of magnesium (to prevent the constipation that calcium can cause)—half in the morning, half in the evening. Also, start a program of resistance training (using gym equipment, dumbbells, or exercises like pushups and squats) for at least 30 minutes a week.
Next: Dr. Oz has 50 more ways to keep you healthy!