Balance Your Health Sheet

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Balance Your Health Sheet

Life is all about balance between the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the right and the wrong, the light and the dark. To appreciate the good, the happy, the right, and the light, you need to balance these with the bad, the sad, the wrong, and the dark. To be healthy, you also need to maintain balance. So grab your calculator, and your health statement, and let’s do some simple math to evaluate how balanced your health sheet really is!


Waist to hip ratio

Beauty today is summed up as follows: a svelte figure and a well-defined silhouette. To partly meet this, your waist to hip ratio needs to be well-balanced. So get off the couch, grab your measurement tape, and start wrapping it around your waist... roughly in line with your belly button and then around your hips. Do you feel like skipping this step till you’re done reading this article? Well you shouldn't, as your waist to hip ratio is an indicator of your cardiovascular health! It is that simple: divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference. If it is greater than 0.9 for men and 0.85 for women, then you are at higher risk of developing heart disease. Make sure to consult your physician for a more thorough assessment!


Calories in to calories out ratio

Wondering from where and how the extra kilos secretly sneaked into the scale? It’s no secret! Any extra calories that haven’t been burnt will sooner or later find their way into your belly, thighs, and hips. This is why you need to ensure your body is always well-balanced! How so? Engage in regular physical activity to ensure you burn the extra calories consumed. Better yet, keep a food diary and record everything you eat or drink during the day. Calculate the total calories eaten and divide it by the number of calories lost while  exercising. The ratio at the end of the day needs to be equal to 1. Are you feeling guilty about the burger you ate for lunch at one of those fast food restaurants? To roughly balance the 600 calories you just ingested, you need to walk for about 3 hours, go jogging for an hour, spend an hour swimming, or cycle for an hour and a half. Only then will your sins be forgiven!


Cholesterol ratio

You’ve probably heard of blood cholesterol level as an indicator of heart disease risk. Equally important to it is your cholesterol ratio. Now get your latest lab test and let’s get busy with some simple calculating! Divide your total cholesterol level by your HDL cholesterol. Ideally, you should get a ratio of 3.5 to 1 which is definitely hard to achieve when bombarded with meals soaked in fat! To be practical, the American Heart Association has labeled a ratio of 5 to 1 as acceptable. Anything higher is an indicator of a higher heart disease risk, especially if this ratio is paired with hypertension, large waist circumference, and diabetes. If this is the case, book an appointment the soonest with your doctor!


Veggies, starch to protein ratio

To ensure your meals are well-balanced, take a peek at your plate before devouring it and ask yourself some questions. No worries, your taste buds can always wait for a few minutes! Is half your plate filled with vegetables that will help to fill you up? Is the other half of the plate equally divided between starchy and protein choices? Starches include grains, beans, lentils, bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. Proteins include dairy products, meats, poultry, and fish. We are definitely referring to an average sized plate by the way! To prepare a well-balanced breakfast, fill half your plate with tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, and thyme leaves and divide the remaining half equally between 2 loaves of Arabic bread and low fat cheese or labneh. A typical lunch would constitute a plate half filled with green salad, a quarter of it with pureed potatoes, and the remaining quarter with chicken breast.