BMI isn't everything! Keep an eye on your waist, too.

BMI Jersey shore fitness NJ blog

Location, location, location! That maxim of real estate applies to your health, too. In a new study that underscores the significance of where fat accumulates on the body, researchers found that adults who had a normal weight and body-mass index but a high waist circumference may be at increased risk of early death.

The visible, pinch-an-inch type of body fat is called subcutaneous fat, but it's the hidden kind that accumulates around internal organs that's particularly unhealthy. This stealthy fat, called visceral fat, produces hormones and chemicals that cause inflammation, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer. Regardless of your BMI, if you have an apple-shaped body with a large waist (more than 35 inches for a woman, more than 40 inches for a man), talk with your doctor about your risks and your lifestyle.

There's no magic bullet for losing visceral fat—it's a matter of changing your daily habits. Getting regular exercise, both cardio and resistance, is essential, as is eating a diet that has whole, fiber-rich plant foods as a foundation, includes nutritious sources of fat like salmon and nuts, and is low in sugar and other processed, refined foods.

When you eat—try to eat meals when the sun is out, for starters—can help with weight loss and decrease inflammation, too. Take things one step at a time and one day at a time, and know that whittling your middle isn't about vanity—it's about good health.

- Cleveland Clinic Wellness


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