How much weight are you carrying around your middle? Your waist measurement is important as it's the most obvious indicator of how much visceral fat is packed around your organs. Unlike subcutaneous fat (which jiggles just under the skin and is relatively harmless), visceral fat is a serious threat to your health. In addition, visceral fat generates chemicals called cytokines that cause inflammation. This in turn raises your risk of heart disease and some cancers. In addition, cytokines make your cells less sensitive to insulin. In short? Visceral fat is harmful to your health and diabetes. To get your tummy fat under control, make these healthy lifestyle changes today!
Recognise what triggers your stress, whether it's managing diabetes, work woes or health issues. Then, think about what relaxes you. It may be a yoga session, or listening to music, or simply being outside in the sunshine. Try doing one stress-busting activity each day, even if it's only for a few minutes.
Aim to sleep for at least seven hours a night to reduce your cortisol (a stress hormone) levels, and encourage appetite-regulating hormones. Struggling to get a good night's rest? Try shaping up your pre-bed routine.
The Harvard Medical School recommends doing 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day to combat belly fat. Associate Professor Stephen Boutcher from the University of New South Wales' School of Medical Sciences has found that doing a 20-minute program on a stationary bike three times a week can cut visceral fat by 15% over 12 weeks. In addition, doing this workout can reduce your insulin resistance by 20-50%. Talk to your doctor or exercise physiologist about whether this kind of program will work for you.
SWITCH TO LOW GI
Recent research has concluded that a diet consisting primarily of low-GI foods helps weight loss and visceral fat reduction. Why? Because low-GI foods break down more slowly than high-GI foods, which means steadier rises in your blood glucose and insulin levels. Check out the University of Sydney's glycaemic index to find out which foods are high and low GI.
CUT BACK ON KILOJOULES
To effectively lose weight, including abdominal fat, Dr Alan Barclay says that "most people need to consume about 1/4 fewer kilojoules than they currently consume". Speak to your GP, diabetes educator or dietitian about safely reducing your kilojoule intake, while keeping your diabetes management on track.