Noticing a little extra fat around your waist? That’s a clear warning sign — belly fat, or visceral fat means that your body is sounding an alarm you shouldn’t ignore. Doing so will increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even more weight gain.
Arm yourself with the knowledge to understand the problem with belly fat, and what you can do to get rid of it as quickly as possible.
It’s What You Can’t See That is So Deadly
Your body is programmed to store fat under the skin where you can pinch it. That’s the safest place for it, far away from your organs.
But that programming can get totally messed up.
When that happens, your body has no choice but to quickly grab up extra fat and tuck it away between your organs.
Like a boa constrictor, it wraps itself around your intestines, liver, pancreas, and even your heart. This is called “visceral fat,” and it is very dangerous.1
Each of the cross-sections in the image below shows what belly fat looks like in seven men with the exact same waist girth. The dark areas are organs and muscle. The white areas are fat:
The “very marbled steak” in the lower right hand corner is packed so full of killer visceral fat that you can’t even see the organs.
Skinny On the Outside, Obese On the Inside
Chrumaine is a lovely lady, busy school teacher, and totally devoted to her family.
In the photo to the right, you can see that she’s not morbidly obese. In fact, at 5’3″ and 157 pounds, she doesn’t have a BMI that would concern her doctor too much.
She seems healthy enough, right?
Wrong. That red shirt is hiding deadly visceral fat.
Chrumaine is actually skinny-fat, or TOFI (Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside) and has been all her life.
…and that may be more dangerous to her than obesity alone.
No Matter How Much You Weigh…
You might think that slim people have a genetic gift that you weren’t blessed with. They can eat anything, never exercise and not gain weight.
But we have news for you.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “While they may not be technically overweight and may even look skinny on the outside, TOFIs [skinny fat people] have the metabolic features of a pre-diabetic obese person: Low muscle mass, inflammation, high triglycerides, low good cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.”2
Chrumaine is a classic example. When she was younger, she might have been wearing a size 2 on the outside, but on the inside she was functioning like an obese size 22.
…and sure enough, at just 27 years old, Chrumaine was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
With her diagnosis, she resigned herself to living with the disease. And over the years, her belly fat kept piling on.
How Belly Fat Makes You Fatter
Whether you are overweight or not, weight gain around your waistline isn’t like gaining weight elsewhere.
Belly fat creates an open loop for weight gain: the fatter your belly gets, the fatter you get.
That’s because unlike fat elsewhere on your body, visceral fat sends hormonal signals directly to your organs, directing your body to behave as if it is obese– no matter how much or how little you weigh to begin with.3
To add insult to injury, belly fat only gets more stubborn as you age. No matter how much you restrict your calories or try to exercise it off, it just won’t budge.
But it is possible to reverse the trend. You just have to know how to unlock the fat from your body.
One day, about two weeks after starting Personal Trainer Food, Chrumaine sat down to take her blood sugar reading. She was shocked.
So she took another reading.
Her blood sugar tests showed that she in the normal range— without medication for the first time in 20 years.
She broke down crying.
It’s crazy. Here’s a woman who has spent the last 20 years worrying about her blood sugars and weight gain. And let’s not mention the cost of her diabetes medications, supplies, and doctor’s visits– which works out to around $120,000!4
…when all along she could have stabilized her sugars and reduced her need for medication naturally with every meal she ate.
Now this is important: everyone is different. Chrumaine’s results are her own. Her story here is not intended to be taken as medical advice. That is for you and your doctor to discuss. The thing is, many don’t. Take this article to your doctor and talk to them about how you can take to better control your diabetes by eating healthier and reducing visceral fat.
How Do You Get Rid of Visceral Fat?
Let’s just cut to the chase. Visceral fat storage means you are consuming more starchy carbs, processed foods, alcohol, and sugars than is correct for your metabolism.
Every time you eat these foods and drinks, you spike your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar spikes drive fat right into your belly.5
The #1 thing you can do right now (your very next meal even) is to decrease the simple carbs in your diet. In doing so, your blood sugar levels will remain stable, decreasing the storage of dangerous visceral fat. Avoiding simple carbs for a few short weeks can literally re-map your metabolism at the hormonal and cellular level.
Once re-mapped, the food you eat can’t go directly to your belly. Now it has to go through the correct metabolic pathway– making nutrients available to create lean muscle, build organs and tissues, and release energy that will keep you alert and feeling great all day.
Here’s How Chrumaine Did It:
Chrumaine lost a total of 6 inches from her belly without going to extremes or driving herself crazy.
For breakfast, she ate eggs and breakfast meat. For lunches and dinners, she ate non-starchy veggies and meats. She did not have to count calories, points, or weigh anything. She credits her success to using the Personal Trainer Food meal plan because having the foods delivered to her home and ready to eat in her freezer eliminated all the guesswork.
Here are some of the things Chrumaine did:
- Follow these Guidelines to ditch processed carbs, bread, pasta, and sugars.
- Learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods for her waistline.
- Start a regular walking program, a minimum of 20 minutes a day, every day.
- Eat more fibrous, non-starchy vegetables.
- Include more protein in your meals.
We’ve tested these principles out in several studies. Time and again, people from all walks of life lose weight from their belly and all over the rest of their body too.
Here are some examples…
Men Can Lose the Beer Gut Too!
Avelino lost his belly in 8 weeks and reversed his pre-diabetes risk factors. You can read his story, and see results we couldn’t post on Facebook here.
Kevin & Anna Reverse Diabetes Risk Together
Kevin and Anna are totally cute, and totally inspiring. They tackled their diabetes risk factors together as a couple– and won!
P.S. Diabetes is the Worst for Women
Women with diabetes have more than a 40% greater risk of heart disease compared with men with diabetes.6
The death rate for men with diabetes fell between 1971 and 2000, but in the same time period the death rate for women with diabetes has shown no sign of improvement.7
Furthermore, studies have shown that gender bias is a factor in women not getting diabetes treatment or heart disease screenings and treatment as aggressively as men.8 Especially if you are skinny fat like Chrumaine was– doctors are simply not trained to be alarmed about your health status. The scary thing is you are more likely to die if you are a normal-weight person with type 2 diabetes than if you were obese!9
In fact, it’s vexing that her doctors failed10 to tell her early on (or at any point in the last 20 years) the simple things she could to do to live a healthy life.
The lesson here is: if you are a woman, no matter what your age or body weight is, it’s up to you to watch out for your own health.
That said, whether you are young, old, male, or female, you should be proactive about preventing pre-diabetes, and complications from diabetes by keeping your belly fat under control.
*Full Disclosure: Chrumaine was given free food and prizes for her participation in our Altered Challenge in exchange for her success story.
**None of this advice is intended to replace the advice of your doctor.
- Visceral fat is dangerous fat.
- Why skinny fat can be worse than being obese.
- Visceral fat is a metabolically active tissue that makes you even fatter.
- Diabetes patients spend an average of $6000 per year.
- Over consumption of sugar and its connection to belly fat accumulation, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Women with diabetes have a 40% greater risk of heart disease than men.
- The death rate for women with diabetes has not improved.
- Gender bias in the treatment of women with diabetes puts them at risk.
- Normal weight adults with diabetes have a higher incidence of mortality than obese or overweight adults.
- But what should we expect when 40% of our doctors are overweight?
You don’t have to live with belly fat, diabetes, and the health risks that come with a high-sugar diet. If you don’t want to waste any more time guessing what to eat, Personal Trainer Food can make your life easier.
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About the Writer: 100 pounds ago, Jan knew what it is like to be obese, unhappy, and stuck. She has spent the last 17 years as a fitness writer, trainer, yoga teacher, and Weight Loss Coach. Today, she’s proud to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team so she can continue her goal to help others live their fullest lives possible. Email Jan@PersonalTrainerFood.com if you have any questions!
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Weight loss results not guaranteed and are based on various factors. Copyright © 2018 Personal Trainer Food, All rights reserved.