Belly fat is a common problem a lot of people have (especially in the United States). Is there perhaps a correlation between having a big belly and having let’s say, a big behind? The answer is… no, because body fat location seems to be a bigger factor in your overall health. As a matter of fact, a study conducted by researchers from Macmasters University in Hamilton, Ontario revealed that the location of your body fat (rather than the amount of fat one carries) is more indicative of one’s probability of suffering from a heart attack.
Moreover, Dr David Heber, Ph. D., of UCLA’s Centre for Human Nutrition had similar findings. According to Heber, the distribution of body fat is more accurate in predicting the risk of a heart attack rather than the more conventional Body Mass Index (BMI), the ratio calculated by your height and weight.
As you can see, it appears that one’s overall body shape is a more concise predictor of the effect body fat has on your health. This is consistent whether your body is shaped more like a pear, an apple, or even if you’re pretty symmetrical from head to toe. For example, someone with a big butt, thighs, or waist may be have lower chances of a heart attack than a person with chopstick legs but a huge belly.
It turns out that one’s waist-to-hip ratio is a more concise predictor of one’s risk of a heart attack.
So, how do you get your waist-to-hip ratio?
First, you divide the measurement of your waist by that of your hip. For instance, let’s say the measurement of your waist is 34 inches while your hips measurement is 40 inches 34/40 = .85. Now for a man this is a decent equation but for a woman this is pushing it, you’re leaning a bit more to the unhealthy side.
For men the ratio should not exceed 0.90
For women the ratio should not exceed 0.85
Now while the location of body fat may be a good indicator of your health, the actual shape of your body is just natural.
Apple shaped people will stay apple shaped just as pear shaped people will do the same, there’s no sense in fighting nature. One of the first steps in losing weight is merely accepting the shape of your body. In fact, in a study headed by psychologist Dorothy Hefferman, Ph.D. in Glasgow, Scotland, researchers found that women whose didn’t have the body they wanted were much less likely to follow and stick to a weight-loss program than those who did.
Now this may hit close to home but don’t forget that the first step is accepting your natural body shape, after that you want to focus on reducing the amount of fat on around your middle and belly areas. Focus on your circumference rather worrying so much about the discrepancy between your bust and bottom size.