Your waist measurement - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Your waist measurement

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Are you struggling with the scale, trying to get off even just a few pounds? Well, stop looking at that read out. Instead, weight loss officials say there's another number you need to be concerned with.

The scale can be scary, and depressing. And actually even a little in accurate when it comes to measuring fat and your health. That's because muscle weighs more than fat. "Don't always look at the number on the scale, it's more important to look at how your clothes are feeling and to do your waist measurement," said Jennifer Black.

How do you do that? Take a tape measure, find your hip bone, and wrap the tape around you right above it. That's your waist circumference. Women should be 35 or below. Men no more than 40. "Once that waist circumference increases, you're at higher risk for Type II Diabetes, and for cardiovascular disease and heart disease. What happens as you accumulate body fat in the abdominal region, you get what we call visceral fat, which is fat around the abdominal organs and that's when the health conditions start to occur," said Black.

So how do you get rid of it? Start with the basics. A little exercise. "Exercise does not mean joining a gym, allow though some people need that accountability, but just getting out and doing some form of exercise every day. Walking is the best form, it's cheap, it's easy and you can do it all year round whether it's inside or outside," said Black. But just exercise isn't enough. You also have to eat healthy. "Watch their portion size, increase their fruits and vegetables, and make sure you're getting at least 64 ounces of a non-caloric fluid in every single day," said Black. That non-caloric fluid is water, by the way. Also, watch your sugar and saturated fat intake. Those can also add inches to your waist. And keep this in mind, you don't have to weigh yourself or measure your waist line every day. Black recommends only checking it once a week, at most.

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