By Amanda Mittleman M.S.
In the 1990s an endocrinologist, scientist, and professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Gerald Reavan realized that the same collection of symptoms was found in people who had metabolic diseases like diabetes and eventually heart disease. He named this group of metabolic conditions, Syndrome X, which eventually was renamed metabolic syndrome.
Today, metabolic syndrome is defined as having 3 or more of the following 5 conditions being out of range. When 3, 4 or 5 of these symptoms are “out of range” you have metabolic syndrome putting you at VERY high risk of the metabolic diseases that are accountable for 80% of deaths today.
- Waist circumference. This is a way to describe truncal adiposity. In a man a waist circumference exceeding 40 inches put him at higher risk of metabolic disease In a woman a waist circumference higher than 35 inches is a huge predictor of metabolic disease.
- Triglyceride level in your blood. These are the storage form of fat. And the higher they are the more it tells us our body is inefficient at storing fat, and very inefficient at utilizing fat. If you’re triglyceride level exceeds more than 150 mg/dL on a standard blood test, this would be the second flag.
- Fasting Glucose. If your Fasting glucose level exceeds 100 mg/dL that is the third flag.
- One type of cholesterol. HDL lipoprotein carries cholesterol. The lower we see this cholesterol The higher we see an increase in metabolic dysfunction. In men, a level lower than 40 mg/dL and in women a level below 50 mg/dL would be considered another flag for metabolic syndrome (A predictor of poor outcome)
- Blood pressure. If a person’s pressure blood pressure exceeds 130/over 85 mL per Mercury that would be the 5th and final sign of metabolic dysregulation.
If you have one of the conditions listed above, you are still at a higher risk of developing metabolic disease. But the good news is these conditions can serve as a thermostat warning you that it’s time to make serious changes in your lifestyle. We are the bosses of our health.
You can measure three of the five of these factors on your own, blood glucose, blood pressure, and waist circumference on your own. In fact, we would be better off measuring our waist circumference than our body weight on the scale.
With simple blood draws, you can have your triglycerides and HDL measured yearly or a few times a year. We should all be aware of our numbers in each of these categories as they are ALL indicators that our lifestyle is NOT supporting our healthspan (the amount of time we live with health and free of chronic disease.)
I can ask most women or men if they know how much they weigh on the scale. Most people know their body weight, but most of us don’t know the important numbers above which are much more indicative of our overall health status. Bodyweight, from standing on a scale is NOT one of the best measurements of metabolic dysregulation. At Mo-Mentum, we use InBody to measure body composition, including fat mass, lean mass, and lean muscle mass. Lean mass includes the mass of your organs, bones, and lean muscle mass.
Flipped around, to be healthy, to thrive, to lose fat easier, to live vibrantly, to live without feeling or being sick, we can focus on creating a lifestyle that supports and creates optimal health in the five areas above.
Don’t get me wrong, how much fat you have, especially abdominal /visceral fat (fat surrounding your organs in your midsection) matters. But it’s not the only thing that matters.
By keeping your triglycerides within a healthy range, your HDL high, your fasting glucose low, your blood pressure low, your waist circumference will naturally come down. All these factors are either made worse or better by what we put into our mouths, by the amount we move throughout the day and by our lean muscle mass.
Tons of research support that only 10% of our health outcomes are influenced by our genetics. Think about your genetics like a garden. You can water the weeds, or you can water the flowers. If you don’t pull the weeds when they start growing, they’ll eventually take over!
What we do here at Mo-Mentum Fitness is far beyond simply exercising to losing weight.
Instead, losing fat and gaining healthy muscle are both consequences of creating a consistent, personal fitness routine, which is a keystone habit affecting all parts of your life positively.
Fitness professionals, who are serious about helping people transform their lifestyles to live vibrantly are focused on empowering people, educating them how their metabolism and body really work, and helping them upgrade their mindset, movement, and confidence so they can make lifelong changes.
Creating long-term, effective exercise and nutrition regimes that fit your personality, needs, and goals is something you’ll need guidance with, especially if your numbers from any of the areas listed above are out of whack.
We’re here to help! If you are ready to transform your lifestyle, give us a call today! (714)756-1501