Being at your ideal weight is great—congrats! But it doesn't always mean you're in ideal health. Where you carry the little fat you have can make a big difference. If you have omental fat—that is, fat between your abdominal organs—you're at risk for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome (hypertension, diabetes and a cluster of other conditions), even if your weight's ideal.
To figure out whether you're at risk, check your waist. When measured at your belly button while you suck in, it should be half your height or less in inches. The more fat you have bunched around your middle, the more proinflammatory cytokines you have racing around in your blood. These signal inflammation, and the more inflammation you have, the greater your health risks. Once the inflammation ball gets rolling, the danger of obesity, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome go up.
The great news is that you and your body get a second chance. It doesn't take that long, and it isn't that difficult—if you know what to do. Lower your percentage of body fat with the triple threat:
It's easier than you can imagine once you start. It's how both of us always eat (yes, always!). And the inches around your waist will roll off, as long as you keep walking and working out.
For more from the YOU Docs, visit RealAge.com.
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