• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of, and finding treatments for, complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Balooning Waist size Help

xploit316

Senior Member
Messages
159
Hi forum members, sometime back I had posted on how its been increasingly difficult for me to loose weight being hypothyroid. Well I did manage to loose around 7-8 kgs since than. I was around 106kgs for my 189cms height, and I am currently 98-99kgs. The one main change I made was cutting off Potatoes entirely from my diet. I don't know why but with this change alone I was loosing weight slowly but steadily, and now the 97-98kgs has remained constant irrespective if I eat more calories or less. During this time until now my diet has remained more or less same(outlined below). I take no medications or supplements.

However 1 issue I absolutely can't manage is my waist size. Since last 3 years or so its stayed at 44inches. I have tried low carb, keto, no sugar etc but the waist size just doesn't want to come down. I don't do weight training anymore but walk 45 mins everyday. My body looks like those high adrenal body types, where upper and lower body seem fit, but with belly protruding out and large waist.

My current blood tests reveal no diabetes, slightly elevated cholesterol(due to hypothyroidism), vitd/Iron in range. I did have measles, chickenpox and Jaundice as a kid so I believe I still carry big herpes infection inside me.

My diet since last 2 years:
Breakfast
2 eggs scrambled or omlet with 2 slices white bread.

Lunch:
150gms parboiled rice with some boiled veggies that agree with me (Okra, Cabbage, Breadfruit) sauted with onions, tomatoes in canola oil. I used to have potatoes for lunch before which I cut out completely.

Dinner:
150gms parboiled rice with 100gms chicken thigh curry or deep fried.

Does anyone deal with the same big waist issue? Has anything helped reduce your waist size? Appreciate any tips or tricks.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,863
Location
Alberta
Weight homeostasis is a pretty complex issue. It's not simply "calories exceeding x -> growing waistline". As I understand it, fat cells in different parts of the body respond to the same hormones differently. I vaguely remember reading something about feedback from fat cells to the brain, but I forget the details; you might search that topic. Many of us get wider waistlines as we age, so it might be the fat cell responsiveness to the "build" or "deplete" hormones, or the fat cell - brain connection. I expect there are many researchers searching for the magic "waistline reduction pill" ... and they haven't found one yet.

I had a 32" waistline until around my 40's, then it crept up to 34 even though my body weight had dropped 5-10 lbs. Now my 34" pants are quite tight, and 36's a bit loose, and I'm still below my old 32" waist bodyweight.

I'd be delighted to find a posting of an effective technique for waistline reduction, but my guess is that the only real advice will be "get used to it".
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,863
Location
Alberta
Smaller meal sizes are my way forward.
That's what worked for me too. I abruptly started gaining weight just before my ME started (was that the first sign of ME?) . I reduced the size of each meal, and that solved the problem. Totally eliminating fats is counterproductive, since your body switches to "conserve fat" mode. For some people, certain starches or other carbs might convert more easily into fat, so carb reduction might work for them.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,863
Location
Alberta
Do you think your weigh loss while having expanding waistline be due to muscle loss? That is what I have attributed mine to.
No, I keep fit, and my muscles aren't noticeably shrunken. I still walk a lot, and dig/move 100-200 wheelbarrows of soil each year (filling driveway ruts), and saw and split firewood. I don't feel noticeably weaker or having less endurance.

I think our waist fat cells are the first white fat cells to fill when we get extra calories, and maybe the first to desensitize to the "deplete" hormones as we age. For females, that might apply to buttocks too.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,863
Location
Alberta
How many meals per day
Breakfast and mid-day meal, plus hot chocolate and something small to munch to end my day.

No other hacks I can think of offhand. I don't bother with combining or avoiding fats with carbs. I usually add some fat with carbs, since we do need fats.

On the waist size issue, I wonder how much the typical extra inch of waistline actually weighs. It probably doesn't take much fat. I just wrapped a tape around my waist and inhaled enough to add an inch, and that wasn't much. Filling that space with fat might be be much less than a pound. So, waistline size isn't highly correlated with overall weight; it's more a matter of the systems that control how much fat is stored where.
 

maddietod

Senior Member
Messages
2,889
I can only tell you what works for me. Breakfast is 2 tablespoons of chia seed soaked overnight + 1/2 cup frozen raspberries or blueberries + 30 grams of protein in a vegan protein powder. Then I eat when I'm hungry, but I eat in an 8 hour window. I very rarely eat grains or potatoes. I eat all meats and a lot of fish, and all non-starchy vegetables. I eat sweet potato or winter squash as starches a few times a week, and small amounts of a dried fruit and nuts I mix together. I sometimes eat whole fruit. I cook almost everything in a little bit of water, except for onions which I fry. I don't remove fat from meats.

This is my template, and I'm not perfect with it, which is fine. As long as I mostly do this, my weight slowly comes down. I've tightened my belt one notch.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,863
Location
Alberta
I did recall one "hack", if you want to call it that: don't reduce your food intake too drastically, since that signals the body to retain fat. Skipping meals might fall into that category. Reduce amounts at a reasonable rate.

While walking this morning, I thought about all those localized weight reduction gadgets throughout history. Thighmasters, vibrating belts to "melt that spare tire away", disks to let you swivel your hips to melt away fat there. I can't offhand recall any for reducing chin fat or butt fat, but I'm sure there have been some.

I recall seeing some people who looked skinny, except for a potbelly or what looked like a bicycle inner tube wrapped around their waist. Differential responses of fat cells to hormones. Human breast size depends on the responses of those fat cells to female hormones, so why should fat cells elsewhere in the body have a uniform response?
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,993
I think @Wishful and @maddietod came closest to what is happening. I'm going on 77 yrs. of age, female, and I have in my closet sizes ranging from a size 2 to size 12-14. Right now, the latter ones fit me, but I spend time being bedridden. Oddly enough, my face hasn't changed.

My husband is the exact same weight as the day we married (going on 56 years ago). He's also highly active, is either moving or, if he's in bed to watch a film, he'll fall asleep as early as 6:00 p.m. A teensy belly as his weight has shifted.

I did some research into this problem (for me) and hormones and age play a huge part in what's happening. For most of my life, I was 5'6" and skinny. Now, once again, I'm not. I have high cholesterol, am pre-diabetic (and I've been there before), and then for no reason lost a considerable amount of weight. Why? Well, I fractured my pelvis and was bedridden for about a year. Just light walking as I healed. Changes in meds is all I can come up with for the loss of weight (before being bedridden). I wasn't healthy though....a lot of problems had to be overcome and still do.

I'm now 5'3" (thanks, osteoporosis) and of course my body has changed. After menopause we can expect almost anything to happen to our bodies.

I eat a healthy diet, always have....but have also cut out things like potatoes and portions. Over the years, I've noticed that older women do gain weight in their middle, but tend to lose it between illnesses. In many respects, this helps protects us.

So then we end up with everything sagging.....you know, that old age look. I'm not fat, but I'm heavier and my waist has spread. Don't forget to take into account childbearing, although many women without children have the same problem.

It's disconcerting, I agree, and I swore that I would never gain again....but it has happened. I've never been on HRT therapy or anything even close....too many illnesses.

I read something that left me laughing about this predicament. "When did our perky breasts become a definite bosom?" It doesn't matter what type of bra we wear (ugh!) we still have that bosom. If you're fairly health (not in the hospital), then you're fine! Just be careful to eat a good diet. I miss walking, but do go outside as often as possible to sit on our porch. Also, even though my portions are much less, I always feel full. Another question, why is that? Yours, Lenora
 

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,589
Location
Texas Hill Country
@xploit316 - you might try cutting out the white bread and rice and also have protein at lunch with your vegies. My meal "plan" is almost no grains or "white" food (potatoes, flour, rice), and I do have protein with each meal, and generally vegies to go with it, or refried beans. I also make a very good chili with lots of spices and pinto beans and hamburger and onions and bell peppers. I'd love to have flour or corn tortillas with this but I don't!

One other thing - high cortisol and stress are linked to increasing belly fat. I know someone who was fairly active (doesn't have ME/CFS) and eats fairly well, but her abdomen is too large, and she has had a lot of stress for several years. I'm sure there's a connection. Google cortisol and belly fat - there's a ton of info out there.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,863
Location
Alberta
you might try cutting out the white bread and rice
I think that's one of those "works for some people but not others" techniques. Some people have a faster carbs -> white fat storage mechanism, and others don't. We all need to experiment to see what works for us individually. For some people, the satiation of starches or sugars might be more important in controlling meal size than the form of calories in them.

BTW, I'm disappointed at the research sector for not yet developing a tasty, satisfying, and not unhealthy snack without calories. Why can't they turn cellulose into crunchy chips or juicy burgers?
 

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,589
Location
Texas Hill Country
I think that's one of those "works for some people but not others" techniques. Some people have a faster carbs -> white fat storage mechanism, and others don't. We all need to experiment to see what works for us individually.

I agree - we're all different. This is what works for me, so it might work for @xploit316 , especially I think since cutting out white potatoes made such a big difference for them, but one way to find out!

A lot of people do well with keto, but I can't do keto - it made me crash too easily and take too long to recover (I think it depleted BCAAs)

I can't exercise at all, am still astonished at how easily I crash, so I'm almost entirely dependent on watching what I eat to maintain my weight, or lose a little. It's not easy - I have to watch every bite that goes in my mouth every day. I never eat dessert, etc. It's a pain but it works.
 

Judee

Psalm 46:1-3
Messages
4,545
Location
Great Lakes
So about 2.5 years before my Mom's appendix burst and caused an abscessed blockage, her abdomen extended and even her hips widened. It was kinda sudden, not really like weight gain and I noticed it right away but she didn't think anything had changed and didn't like me bringing it up.

However, after the surgery for the appendix I brought that up with our GP, how I had noticed a change way back. He said chronic appendicitis can be a thing but it's hard to determine.

The other thing that makes me think something was going on is every time she would get a sinus infection and go on doxycycline, her abdomen and bowel movements improved a bit like the doxy was toning down a possible stewing infection.

Anyway, just thought I'd mention it as a possibility and again, it affected her "belly fat" area so if it hadn't been so sudden, I would have just believed she was gaining weight.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/chronic-appendicitis-5223562
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,993
Interesting to read about chronic appendicitis. Thanks, Judee.

I had forgotten about having intestinal surgery. It seems that I really started changing body shape after that. No choice, though, and not really exercising doesn't help. I'm not fat, but do have to give up the idea of an ideal body. For one thing, I've lost 3", so that doesn't help, either.

Really, my husband is just glad that I still hold onto what I have and I'm so glad to have him. As a friend (who's thin) said, "We just take what comes and live with it....and leave our zippers lower." That osteo makes a huge difference and it's dangerous to live with. It would be hard to live alone, unless you had a signal that you had fallen or other things. Yours, Lenora
 
Back