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Metabolic Syndrome

Are you on apath to disaster-

Think that extra hole you punched in your belt is harmless? How about your blood pressure creeping up just a little? Was your cholesterol just a teensy bit high? Maybe your sugars?

On their own, each of these may not be too big a deal, but altogether these factors amount to Metabolic Syndrome. A cluster of risk factors that make you much more susceptible to developing Type 2 Diabetes or Cardiovascular Disease.

So what exactly are the factors to look out for, and how can you reduce your risks?

Central obesity

Meaning extra body fat deposits around your waist and upper body. In general, your central body fat is considered too high for men if your waist circumference is over 94cm, or for women if your waist circumference is over 80cm.

Reduce your risk:

Unfortunately, sit-ups aren’t your blanket solution here. There is no particular exercise that can spot reduce body fat, but physical activity in general can help lower overall body fat. Where you lose weight from is largely dependent on genetics.

In terms of diet, your best bet is a healthy diet tailored for weight loss, choosing low GI carbohydrates in moderate portions, and avoiding high GI or large portions of carbohydrate (and that accompanying insulin spike).

High blood pressure (hypertension)

A blood pressure over 140/90 mmHg is your warning sign. Taking measures to bring your blood pressure to under 130/80 mmHg is the goal.

Reduce your risk:

The great news is that there are a lot of measures you can take to drop your blood pressure. For a more comprehensive look into dropping your blood pressure read this, but the basics are- reduce the salt in your diet, work to reduce stress in your life, lose any extra weight (even 5kg makes a huge difference), and be more physically active.


The technical term for having high blood lipids (fats)- LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, or having low HDL cholesterol (the good, protective kind). Any of these mean there is a higher chance of having build up in your arteries, causing them to narrow or become blocked.

Reduce your risk:

Reduce the saturated fat in your diet which comes from animal products primarily, especially fatty processed meats, butter, and cream or other full fat dairy products. Increase the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in your diet to increase your HDL levels. Read here for more on this.

Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)/pre-diabetes

Having slightly high blood sugar levels may not cause big problems now, but once it progresses it becomes much more serious. Fasting blood sugars over 6.1mmol/L, or above 7.8mmol/L two hours after ingesting 75g of glucose indicate that your blood sugars are higher than normal.

Reduce your risk:

A healthy diet based on low GI carbohydrates in moderate portions, avoidance of high sugar foods, regular physical activity, weight loss, and good meal spacing are all important if your aim is to reverse your impaired glucose tolerance. You can read our article on impaired glucose tolerance for more info on these strategies.

Notice any similarities?

If you have put two and two together, and have noticed that a lot of these strategies work to manage multiple health risks, you’ll be one step ahead in planning for the big picture.

But beware of taking a blanket approach, where you are intellectually aware that moving more and eating a little less plus choosing healthier versions is the way to go, and then making some haphazard attempts to eat better or exercise more.

This kind of “good intentions” planning usually last maybe a week or two before life gets in the way and you are back to square one… and back to your old habits. Instead you need to get specific.

What exactly are you going to eat this week, what exercises are you going to fit into your week from now on and when, and how are you going to keep track of your progress? (You can read about effective goal setting here).

Lastly, don’t try to do it all on your own. There’s a massive amount of resources out there on diets, exercise programs, and goal setting- a lot of it conflicting.

Instead why not consider taking advantage of the expertise of people who have already weighed up all the options and found the most effective strategies for long term weight loss, health and fitness success.

If you’ve tried every diet, and still can’t lose your weight or hit your health goals, why not consider our expert Devon Weightloss & Fitness Retreat. Expert trainers and nutritionists, mindset seminars to learn how to overcome barriers, and tasty chef prepared meals in a 5 star resort setting.

If you are really serious this time, contact us to learn about why our program offers guaranteed results.

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