Metabolic health

Have you ever wondered how to know how healthy you are? How to assess your risk of chronic disease or how effective your health habits are in keeping ailments away? Just because you have a normal weight on the scale does not mean that you are metabolically healthy.

Metabolic health is defined as having ideal levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, high levels of HDL, optimal BP and a normal waist circumference without needing medications to achieve any of these.

Unfortunately, overweight, and obese individuals are known to have the worst metabolic health. Nowadays it has become ever more important to get your health ducks in a row. It has unfortunately been proven numerous times that those with worse metabolic parameters have the worst outcomes if and when they get sick.

Waist circumference is one of the very important markers of metabolic health, which if it is larger than optimal, implies visceral fat. This is fat around the organs; it can be a driver of inflammation and chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

An ideal waist circumference in females is less than 80cm and less than 92cm in males. Anything above that has been shown to highly increase your risk for developing chronic diseases.

How do we achieve optimal metabolic health?
• Eliminate processed food.
• Get consistent good sleep.
• Regular exercise.
• Minimize toxin exposure.
• Optimize stress management.
• Spend time outside.
• Healthy relationships.

Remember that some of the most effective tools you have to better your health is your fork, your clock and your running shoes.

Most of us are trapped in an obesogenic environment with too much food available, and we eat it over too long a period of time each day. By this we cause too much growth and too little repair in our bodies.

We live in a time where most of us are overfed but undernourished.
I do not want you to feel discouraged or trapped. Optimal health is within your reach with persistent health habits practiced daily.

There is no way to tell if you are metabolically healthy without having certain measurements done. Nowadays we have many non-invasive measuring tools available to accurately measure a person’s metabolic health. By knowing your numbers, you can mitigate your risk of disease and have a concrete measure to compare the effectiveness of your wellness efforts.

How to measure your waist circumference at home – video?
Two other measures you can do at home is your blood glucose and blood pressure.
Your blood markers will have to be measured by your doctor or at a lab.

At RevitaHealth we have the option available to measure all of your metabolic markers in one go.

We recently went into partnership with the Brandmed group and are using their KardioPro system to effortlessly measure the state of your health with clinically validated point of care measuring tools which consists of:
• Lipid profile (including LDL, HDL and triglycerides)
• Blood glucose
• HbA1C (a measure of your blood glucose control over 3 months)
• Blood pressure
• Pulse oximetry (oxygen saturation)
• Spirometry (lung capacity)
• InBody (body composition)

I always tell my patients to test and not just guess… you only have one body and one shot at life. Make it your best one!

Men's Health

According to research, men generally lead less healthy lifestyles and the chronic lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension are higher in men than in women. When it comes to prevention and early detection of disease, men’s health often takes a back seat to women’s health. By making healthy lifestyle choices, you have the ability to keep yourself feeling strong and vital well into old age.

Let’s look at a few research proven ways to improve health in males:
1) Live with purpose
A literature review study that followed 135 000 people over 7 years found that those who believed to have a higher sense of purpose in life, lowered their risk of death during the study period by almost 20 years and they had a decreased rate of heart disease.

2) Nutrition
Many epigenetic studies have shown how what you eat can significantly reduce your risk of developing certain diseases, even in the presence of a family history. Focus on a balanced diet high in whole foods and avoid refined sugar as far as possible as it increases inflammation.

3) Connection
A 2018 study showed that loneliness can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It can also increase your risk of depression, cognitive decline and heart disease. As difficult as it may seem, try to make time for your friends and loved ones. You may increase your lifespan in the process.

4) Movement
Inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms than those who are active regularly. The current recommendation is at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on most days of the week. Endurance and resistance training (weightlifting) both boost testosterone. Research has shown that lifting heavier weights is one of the best ways to boost testosterone naturally.

5) Sleep
Sleeping too little causes disruptions in normal biological processes like glucose control, blood pressure, digestion and inflammation. Men who get 7-9 hours of quality sleep a night have a 60% reduced risk of a fatal heart attack than men who sleep less than 5 hours. Being mindful of your caffeine intake and avoiding screen time well before bedtime may assist in having a more restful night.

6) Stress management
75% - 90% of human disease is related to stress and inflammation. Chronic stress weakens the immune system and can lead to chronic disease, weight gain and heart disease. Yoga, meditation and breathing exercises have all been scientifically proven to lower stress levels.

7) Boost your brain
More and more studies are now finding that your brain never loses its ability to change and heal itself. This neuroplasticity needs to be maintained by keeping the brain busy and regularly challenging it with games to keep the memory and mental agility strengthened. Instead of spending your lunch break scrolling mindlessly through social media, rather spend a few minutes doing some brain training with a game or a crossword puzzle.

Visceral fat

Why you should be concerned about the size of your waist.

Body fat is not inherently bad. Some types of fat play an important role in the human body by helping us absorb vitamins, keeping us warm, fending off chronic illness and producing certain hormones. The human body has different types of body fat.

The visible fat just under the skin is called subcutaneous fat, while the fat around the organs is called visceral fat.

Visceral fat is what gives some guys that rounded belly that doesn’t always fit the rest of their relatively thin body. Even though we often joke about that beer belly or “boep”, visceral is actually no laughing matter.

This visceral fat, also called belly fat, is one of the more dangerous types of fat people carry around their waist. Research shows that this type of abdominal fat contains more inflammatory and immune cells than subcutaneous fat and has an increased prediction of mortality. It has been linked to various serious conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, decreased insulin sensitivity and type 2 diabetes.

To be healthy and stay healthy, it is of utmost importance to get rid of inflammatory belly fat and keep it off for good.

Fortunately, losing unwanted belly fat is quite doable with the right mindset and tools.
You need to give yourself time to cultivate new habits and make changes in your diet.

Here are a few tips and strategies for losing visceral fat and becoming healthier:

1) Eat a healthy, balanced diet with minimal to no processed food or refined carbohydrates. Choose foods that won’t spike your blood glucose.

2) Do High intensity based exercise. HIIT (high intensity interval training) has been shown to be one of the best ways to get rid of visceral fat. Weight training, even simply using body weight has also been proven very helpful.

3) Get enough, quality sleep. Apart from many other benefits of sleep, it helps to control hormone levels such as cortisol and insulin that aid in blood glucose control.

4) Stop drinking so many calories. It is amazing to see the change is waist circumference when people stop consuming sugar containing drinks such as soft drinks and fruit juice.

5) Quit smoking. Apart from all the other dangers caused by smoking, it has been shown to be associated with increased abdominal obesity.

Getting rid of visceral fat may seem daunting, but it is far from impossible. Once you start seeing results, you will be more likely to maintain healthy habits for life.

You do not have to eat less

You don’t have to eat less, just learn to eat right.

Food is not just calories for energy, food gives instruction to our cells and DNA. The abundance of micronutrients found in the right food, trigger thousands of biochemical reactions that regulate the expression of your genes and also feed the bacteria in your gut. Food is nourishing and healing.

Not all food is created equal… There is food found in nature, the way it was intended to be and then there is the ultra-processed food-like substances made in factories.

Your body has the ability to create enough energy for you to feel vibrant, but what are you fuelling it with? Food-like substances, imitation meat, refined sugar, inflammatory oils and food additives deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to function. This can trigger imbalances and chronic inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases.

Instead of fixating on and constantly calculating the quantity of food you are eating, start to be mindful about the quality of food you put in your body.

The food you eat creates the foundation for life. By choosing whole, nutrient dense, unadulterated foods, you can make a profound impact on your health and vitality.


Growing up on a farm in the Northern Cape, I was always intensely aware of how important water is to sustain life. I knew that without it, life just would not be possible. I will never forget how my dad’s face would light up with even the smallest amount of rain. We knew that water did not come from a tap but from above…

Then later, studying the physiology of the human body at university, the lifegiving properties of water became even more evident.

Have you ever thought of the saying “I am dying of thirst”? Well, this might just ring true. It has been estimated that the average human being would not be able to survive without water for longer than three days.

The human body is made up of more than two thirds water. As little as a 2 % decrease in your total body water can trigger signs of dehydration like brain fog, difficulty concentrating, mild blurred vision or daytime fatigue.

Every cell in the human body depends on water for normal functioning.

• Water is a vital nutrient to the life of each cell It acts as building material. Drinking water contains several electrolytes which include calcium, chloride, fluoride, magnesium, potassium and sodium. They all play key roles in different cellular processes.

• Water regulates the internal body temperature We are protected against over-heating through sweating from the sweat glands in our skin and then evaporation for a cooling down effect.

• Water aids in the removal of harmful toxins from the body Through urination and sweating, toxic substances are being excreted from our bodies. Water is important to aid in normal bowel movements to prevent toxic build-up in the gut.

• Water acts as a lubricant in the body Water in saliva facilitates the digestive process. It also lubricates the joints and cartilages and ensures ease of movement.

• Water transports life giving nutrients Nutrients and oxygen are carried throughout the body by blood that is made up of 92% water. When food is broken down in the digestive system, these nutrients become water-soluble and this ensures that they can pass through the intestinal wall to the blood.

• Water is important for immune function It plays a role in the prevention of disease. Blood plasma (made up of 92% water) is responsible for circulating antibodies from the immune system, regulating the body’s pH and maintaining osmotic balance for cellular transport.

It should be evident that to survive, you need to consume a certain amount of water each day. In adult males the estimated amount is about 3 litres and in adult females it is about 2 litres. The good news is that all the water need not come from water alone… your tea, coffee and food also contain water. Since water plays such an enormous role in the homeostasis and maintenance of your body, the quality of the water you drink is very important. Ensure that it is free of contaminants and avoid drinking water from plastic bottles that have been exposed to heat as the toxins can leach into the water.

Staying hydrated with good quality water is merely one of the building blocks in achieving optimal heath. The human body is extremely resilient, if you treat it well, you will be surprised by its ability to heal itself.

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