Why losing inches around your waist is better than losing pounds

Having a small waist — or smaller than the hips, at least — is not only aesthetically pleasing but can also be a sign of good health. It means you have less subcutaneous fat, which is actually the deepest layer of the skin that you can pitch, or what Pinoys call bilbil.

Maybe you even have less visceral fat that surrounds important organs, including stomach, liver and intestines.

Having not much of these two types of belly fat may actually help you avoid developing serious health issues. To achieve having a small waist, according to many online resources, you only need to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

For some people, though, they feel the need for technology-based interventions for weight management.

They go to slimming centers, such as Marie France, whose holistic methodology include the machine-assisted but non-invasive treatments TESLA Body Former, Thermo Magnetic Pulse and FMS Elite.

“Our clients are mostly working moms who don’t have time to go to the gym,” Dr. Regie Layug told DAILY TRIBUNE in an interview at the recent celebration of Marie France’s 38th anniversary.

“They can sneak a treatment in their busy schedule and do it over lunch. Mga one hour, okay na. Then, they go back to work or do their afternoon activities.”

The medical doctor, who works at Marie France while also practicing family medicine in a hospital, made it clear that all their clients have to first undergo a series of assessment before starting the treatments.

They have consultations with, aside from Layug, registered nutritionist-dietician Rachel Ann Benedicto and behavioral specialist Dr. Ann Gelvezon.

Kapag walang (If there are no) medical problems,” Layug said, “basta may (as long as there’s) consistency and motivation, there is really no reason you can’t lose weight.”

He added that they monitor their clients’ progress not just by how much pounds or kilos they lose. They also measure how many inches they slim down around the waist and hips, as well as through fat analysis.

“Inches kasi is the indirect measure of your fat loss,” he pointed out. “You can be losing weight, pero ang fat mo marami pa. Ang fat kasi denser. Hindi makikita sa weight. Hindi komo pumapayat ka, ang fat mo numinipis. So for others, inch loss ang importante. Kapag numinipis ka, ibig sabihin, numinipis ang fat (But you still have a lot of fat. That’s because fat is denser. It can’t be detected through weight. If you lose weight, it doesn’t mean your fat is trimmed down. If you slim down, it means your fat also trimmed down).

“Especially the waist. The waist’s circumference is a good measure of your health. Not the weight. May basehan ang (There’s basis for the vital statistics)
36-26-36. For females, dapat .8 ’yung ratio mo with your hips. Anything above is unhealthy. For males, 1 and below.”

Mindful eating

Marie France’s resident nutritionist-dietician, Benedicto, does the meal planning for their clients and gives advice on how they can improve their diet.

She explained to us in the same event, “We follow kung ano ba ang (what’s their) eating pattern nila.

If a client really wakes up late in the morning, for instance, hindi ko s’ya mapipilit na kumain ng (I can’t force them to eat) breakfast ng 7 a.m. Hindi n’ya ’yun magagawa (They won’t be able to do it) consistently.

We pattern the meal plan according to their lifestyle. Hindi lahat ng (Not all) diet fits everyone. It should be highly individualized.”

She added, “Walang kliyenteng pare-pareho (Not all clients are the same), even when it comes to their calorie intake. We compute that one depending on their physical activity, age, height, gender.”

Benedicto shared some of the challenges Marie France’s clients face: “What I notice, those with young kids, sinasabayan nila ng kain ang bata, telling her, ‘Eto kasi lagi ang gusto ng anak ko, e.’ Anong puwede nating gawin? Puwede i-involve natin si family sa diet. Or the kids will have fried chicken. Ikaw, roasted chicken. Or air-fried na lang. So we have to do adjustments din.”(Those with young kids eat what their kids like. What can they do? They can involve their family in following a diet. Or the kids can have fried chicken and you, roasted chicken. Or you can air fry the chicken.)

She also helps them to be cautious with what they eat by learning how to read the nutrition facts on food labels. Case in point: nutribars: “Ang dami nila kakainin kasi akala nila nutritious. You have to check the calorie content. Minsan kasing laki na ’yan ng meal. Hindi mo alam ’yun na pala ang nagpapataas ng calorie intake mo kasi may sugar din ’yan. Hindi naman huwag kang kumain, but be mindful.” (They eat a lot, thinking those are nutritious food. Sometimes the calorie content is as big as a full meal. It can increase the calorie intake because of sugar content. I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat, but be mindful.)

A few more reminders from the registered nutritionist-dietician: “You are what you eat. It’s very important that you know what you put inside your body. You need it. Your body needs it. You can eat whatever you want, even carbohydrates. Hindi s’ya (It’s not an) enemy. But excessively eating is really. Remember: moderation, balance and variety.”