Help needed please! Does anyone know a... - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support

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Help needed please! Does anyone know a sustainable way to reduce a stubborn 34" waist measurement?

With a diagnosis of high blood pressure recently I determined to sort some lifestyle factors out, losing weight, walking regularly, cuting out salt and fat. All a complete waste of time actually as my blood pressure has risen from 160/90 to 200/96! Since early January I've lost over a stone and inches have disappeared from my body except around my waist. I am now a reasonably healthy 10 stone 6lbs but would prefer to lose a little more and am 5' 7"high, having lost 1" over the years. My BMI is 22.33 which is fine BUT - waist to hip ratio is 0.87 [high] and my waist measurement own its own is an enormous 34". I realise this makes me an apple which is a shock as until recently I would have considered myself a pear.But worse of course I realise that this large measurement means I have viseral fat around the middle which I think is bad.

32 Replies

Wow, wish I had a 34" waist! Dieting and exercise are the only ways.

in reply to

Perhaps you are a man? If you are a woman all the waist measurement charts tell you that if your waist is 35" you are obese, and an apple shape and 34"makes you severely overweight. If you don't consider yourself either of these in other ways it's sickening to have this large waistline. The only exercise I do is walking and gardening andI do plenty of those things.

it looks like you are very health conscious and you are doing your utmost to keep healthy. I can help if you are seriously looking for outside help. I am a wellness coach from a reputable company, and I do help people to lose weight healthily, please inbox me if you want to get more information.

Let me put forward a point of view, then see if it has merit for you.

It’s commonly held that fat accumulation is due to eating too many calories and not exercising enough. Faced with many people’s acceptance of this, it doesn’t explain ‘why’ there has been such a rise in people with weight problems over the last fifty years. If it was as easy as eating one or two less biscuits per day, why aren’t people doing it?

Your body tries to keep a constant internal environment. With blood glucose for instance, you body keeps about a teaspoon in the bloodstream. Glycogen is then stored in the muscles, and in the liver, which can be used to keep this level in the bloodstream topped up. When these sources are full, any extra is stored as triglycerides – body fat. In excess, these fats build-up in the liver contributing to fatty liver disease (like foie-gras) and because they emanate from the liver, contribute to visceral fat accumulation around the midsection.

A study was done that found about 94% of carbohydrate is converted to glucose for energy, whereas only 58% of protein and 10% of fat are. A calorie is not just a calorie then? Now consider that insulin is used to allow the glucose from the blood to enter the body’s cells. Again, carbohydrate is the primary stimulant for insulin release, with protein less so, and fat almost negligible in comparison. Ordinarily this is a wonderful system, keeping the blood glucose at that optimal level, storing the extra. Insulin therefore contributes to fat deposition too. This is not a bad thing, because when things have normalised, the insulin subsided, the fat can be used for energy. However, if insulin remains raised, fat can’t be used.

Hi I'm 5' 2'' and when I started getting fit I was 11st 7lb with 38'' waist. A year on I'm 9st 4lb with a waist of 32''. My experience has been that my waist measurement only really reduced after a lot of weight had come off the rest of me. Exercise has really helped, particularly working on my stomach and other core muscles. Good luck and well done for what you've achieved. I think that it is worth persevering as the last article I read about health gave much more credibility to waist measurement than BMI. I lost the bulk of my weight using low carbs and two days a week on 500 cals a day - it worked for me.


When people talk about low carbs and 500 cals per day, I get confused. NHS are saying cabs are important compared to protein. Prodige for brakefast or scramled eggs on tost?

Could you please help me to understand this. I would like to reduce my wasit by three inches! Would you be able to offer list of exercise and food?


Can I suggest you read Michael Moseley's book "The Fast Diet" and as others have said exercise is the only way to tone and lose weight. I would recommend cycling and swimming in particular since both are non-impact unless you fall of the bike(LOL), but cycling does burn calories speeding up your metabolism and you can ride as easy or as hard as you want. Good luck it's great to have a target to spur you on.

in reply to Mike262

My daughter has a copy of this book so I have put in a request to borrow it and see what it's all about. I remember being surprised on one of Michael Mosely's tv programmes when he said that he had visceral fat - in his case it was invisible to my eyes. In fact he was so slim it was hard to understand that he had this dangerous stuff around his major organs. I can't see myself taking up cycling or jogging but I do walk and garden most days.

Penel profile image
Penel in reply to

It's an interesting read. If you can cope with 'fasting' days it could be a good idea, I need to keep my blood sugar as level as possible so I don't think I would try it. But basically the author is saying "cut your carbohydrates".

Just keep going and ignore the fanciful. I had to lose 20% of my body weight in order to shift 2" off my waist. It's really hard graft!

Concerned profile image
Concerned in reply to

You follow a relatively high carbohydrate diet don't you?

I had a BMI of 26 (5ft8ins and twelve and a half stone) twelve months ago. I went on a very low carb diet of my own design and lost 35lbs very easily in two months. I still eat low carb and have maintained my weight at a constant 9 stone 13 since quite effortlessly. It seems to me it is the calories from the carbs in particular which cause much of the overweight problems. In addition I find a low carb diet removes the constant feeling of hunger experienced when eating a carbohydrate diet.In reply to those who say that low carb equals high fat which increases blood cholesterol, my total cholesterol before dieting was 4.5. it is now constant at 3.4.

There has now been a suggested "new" way of adjusting your weight, height ratio. Your waist measurement should be half your height. You are 67" in height, therefore your waist measurement should be 33.5"!!!!!!!!! You are nearly that so I wouldn't worry. I also agree that the low carb way is the way to go. Just keep an eye on the bread, pasta, rice and spuds and up the protein, vegetables and fresh fruit and you should be OK. All the best you seem to be doing all the right things!!

Bigleg, Concerned and patch 14 are right on the money! The only emphasis I would add is to lose the fear of saturated fat and get back to the diet that our ancestors both enjoyed and thrived on. How anyone thinks that Flora Pro Activ et al is an improvement on grass fed butter is utterly beyond me!

Hi. try and do what I do , get on your bike everyday for at least an hour or so, I go off road don't have to worry about traffic, also I use the rowing machine great for your stomach and waist. I eat brown pasta, baked potato with beans etc before biking , I also eat organic steak with salads or veg, bit dearer but worth it.

Regards. Allyg

Concerned profile image
Concerned in reply to allyg

Baked potato is fast sugar to your body; I wouldn't recommend that.

Your obviously of the female gender cos as a man i would not be complaining at your weight.afraid its all down to GYM 4 hrs a week with most of it on cardio with a bit of Ab crunching.

allyg profile image
allyg in reply to stopgo

Hi stopgo.yes I agree with you. its all down to pushing oneself a bit, itl soon get the waist down a little, now weather getting better its good to be out in fresh air.


I agree with the low carb approach to reducing weight. I do not count calories as I eat full fat products and like dayffid my cholesterol level is good.

If you look on a site like PubMed, which records scientific research findings, you will find examples of research supporting the low carb diet.

I can't do impact exercises or 'push' myself but I do regular Pilates exercises which have increased my core strength and toned my waist. I recommend them hugely.

I have not got my hands on Michael Moseley's book yet but will soon. Meanwhile I have read some of the interesting stuff by Zoe Harcombe. I recently binned the first [and last] tub of Flora pro activ that I bought and the Benecol which I subsequently bought went the same way, they were so disgusting! Now back on proper unsalted butter, I prefer this to sallted variety, personal choice. I have stopped eating cereal for breakfast and now start the day with an egg like I used to do years ago. I will certainly go the low carb way but it will be a learning curve.

I think part of my problem is that I've been a Weight Watcher for more years than I know and am brainwashed into thinking their way works. In a way it does, but it most certainly isn't low carbs.I recently fell out with them because these days WW is all about selling their chocolate bars and crisps and to attend a meeting is like going to a mini supermarket there is so much on sale to make you fat - and this is a weight loss meeting !! Add to that the information that they don't advertise which is that they are owned by Heinz and you have the answer.

Since my high blood pressure was diagnosed I tried to sort myself out by losing weight and am now more or less at goal. I was never very overweight and would have been happy with just half a stone off but in fact have lost well over a stone but none around my waist. I have pounded the footpaths and fields around this lovely part of Yorkshire and have thoroughly enjoyed it. However I've stopped because it had no effect, in fact the bp rose appreciably, I can't see myself doing exercises so will have to live with my vast girth! It is pretty sickening to have a bust of 36" and a wiast of 34" after all my hard work. With hips of 38" i feel like a tree trunk!

Good luck gardengnome. I hope a low carb diet works out fot you, hopefully you will loose some of the visceral fat from your waist. I have gone back to eating butter and full fat yoghurts along with low carbs, it has worked well for me, and I do have a waist again.

There are a lot of low carb recipes on the Internet, if you need any inspiration.

If you found Zoe Harcombe interesting you could also try Dr Briffa

I had the same problem for years until I tried the 5.2 diet and its worked wonders for me, mainly because its not a fad diet but more of a lifestyle change and is backed up by scientific evidence as presented by Dr Michael Mosley

I hope that helps.)

in reply to cyclist3

Yes it does help thanks, I'm on to it and actually my waist is going down nicely. I'd lost the weight but not the flab but now it's disappearing.

Good for you! its not easy but well worth it. I don't know if you saw the Horizon documentary 'The truth about exercise' presented by Michael Mosley. He took part in a trial which indicated that depending on our genetic make up some of us will always struggle to loose weight despite copious amounts of exercise ( not discounting the many other benefits of course) I cycle up to 100 miles per week and eat healthily but struggle to maintain my weight and my cholesterol is still too high although its controlled by statins. Thank-you 5.2 diet!!

in reply to cyclist3

yes I saw that programme and I remember how he said he had visceral fat round his middle despite looking so trim. So when I was diagnosed in March with hypertension I resolved even harder to lose a stone and a half and alter lifestyle but in reality apart from the weight all I could realistically do was cut out salt and take up walking. After a further month it didn't seem to make much difference to the bp in fact in the surgery it was 200/100 :( and I had no option but to obey dr and was put Ramopril 1.25 not really expecting much to change after a month but in fact it did though not enough and dr raised dose to 2.5 and it seems to be working.:)

in reply to

Also my cholesterol was 5.9 which is borderline I understand and the Qrisk thing said the 10yr risk was 15%. I didn't want statins but dr said if Qrisk is 20% or over you have little choice but to go on them. I assume that's right?

It looks like things are working for you which is good. As you see from this forum there's a lot of debate about choice and whether you should take statins and lots of extreme opinions but at the end of the day the doctors are advising patients whether to take them or not based on scientific evidence and an agreed protocol. My cholesterol was 7.2 and I had no other risk factors apart from heart decease in my family which killed my brother aged 40. My choice was to take statins as I had tried everything else and I didn't want the risk of dying early to put it bluntly, your choice might be different, its up to you.

Thanks for your reply. The whole business since I had the NHS health check in Feb and a 24hr monitor in March actually shook me to the core having always had the best of health [I am 70 and female btw]. Reading about hbp as 'the silent killer' was a shock to the system and I resolved to do what I could myself. I hated the idea of becoming a pill popper and resisted going on medication until there was really no option.I have no siblings and my father died when I was very young [in the war] but my mother smoked heavily all her life and probably drank too much too but still lived to 82, I don't think she had heart problems, sure I'd have known but 20 years ago there wasn't the awareness of cholesterol like today. So no known hereditary factor, and I don't smoke or drink except the odd glass of wine and have always been very active, not a cyclist though ! When my cholesterol test was done [before the health check as it happens] the surgery doctors wanted me on statins [I think]as it was 5.9 but my own dr said that the ratio was 2.7 and the hdl 2.2 ,so I have escaped at least for now.

It looks like things are working for you which is good. As you see from this forum there's a lot of debate about choice and whether you should take statins and lots of extreme opinions but at the end of the day the doctors are advising patients whether to take them or not based on scientific evidence and an agreed protocol. My cholesterol was 7.2 and I had no other risk factors apart from heart decease in my family which killed my brother aged 40. My choice was to take statins as I had tried everything else and I didn't want the risk of dying early to put it bluntly, your choice might be different, its up to you.

hi gardengnome dont put yourself down about how you look ,i have found that intermittent fasting has helped me loose a little of the fat around my waist just eat for no more than 8 hours a day i eat between 11am breakfast ,half 11 dinner ,2pm a snack yoghurt or snack ,6pm tea and 7pm toast or fruit the rest of the day i have water or sugar free brews this helps with the hunger to drink ,it really works just try it for 2 months

watch you tube dr bryan p walsh

statins can inhibit muscle repair it is amazing how it shows what statins do to make us ill

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