Hello My Friends
Welcome To The Vitality Project!
As a professional health coach concerned with the health and well-being of my clients it is my intention to improve your well-being and longevity by using the principles of nutrition, fitness, diet, lifestyle dynamics, and anti-aging medicine.
I recently published an article regarding spot-reducing body fat and it received a great deal of interest.
Abdominal fat accumulation or visceral adipose tissue (VAT) as it is also known is very closely associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver disease, dementia, premature death and gout.
This type of obesity is the most common and deadly forms of the disease and can be assessed by simply taking the waist circumference measurement. If this measurement is over 40 inches in a male or 36 inches in a female….it’s quite necessary for you to decrease it ASAP.
The reason for this is really quite simple….the risk of chronic and acute disease greatly increases in a direct and linear proportion to the degree of increase in waist circumference. This is what the research has clearly indicated now for at least 10 years.
In my opinion, the weight scale is clearly a passing thought and should be not heavily relied upon in the assessment of risk in any obese patient.
Obviously the diet that you chose to eat will also greatly influence how you look. Most people want a flat abdomen and look great in and out of their clothes. Certainly exercise is also a big-player in the way you look and feel but let’s focus upon foods which will help produce and keep your flat tummy.
People do not have flat tummies for one primary reason; they have too much stored body fat around and in their abdomens. So the question then becomes, what caused this and how can we reverse this? Here are the two most important causes of excessive stored body fat around the waist.
1. Excessive Caloric Consumption
Foods that contain high amounts of calories per unit weight are considered calorically dense. These foods include, fast foods, snack foods, fried foods, full-fat dairy products like cream and cheese, luncheon-deli meats, ground beef/pork, sausages, and some deserts made with butter, cream or lard. Now if you look at this list, you may see a trend in the degree of weight-gain which is directly associated with the intake of these foods. Hence; the ever-increasing prevalence of obesity in our global population is no coincidence. There is a very good reason for this troubling trend!
Foods that are very calorically dense increase blood sugar levels quite dramatically after being eaten, which enhances insulin secretion. The high amount of calories consumed over such a short period of time encourages the majority of those calories ingested to be stored as body fat. Not only that but because insulin levels continue to rise as a response to the continual high caloric loads. The resultant insulin resistance causes a great deal of body fat accumulation to occur around the abdomen. Not good!
My recommendation is to eliminate these foods high in saturated fat and high in empty calories for foods like fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, poultry, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, legumes, non-fat yogurt, seeds and garlic. These foods are lower in calories but result in much less body fat accumulation. In point of fact, these foods actually encourage the oxidation of stored body fat for fuel because these foods improve blood sugar levels and enhance insulin sensitivity.
2. Consumption of High-Glycemic Foods
Foods that increase blood sugar levels the quickest and the highest after they are consumed are considered to be high on the glycemic index. These foods contain high amounts of refined grains like white flower and can raise blood sugar levels precipitously. Foods that contain high amounts of simple sugar molecules can also do the same thing. Examples would include, breads, muffins, dough, baked goods, pastas, white rice, candy, soda, cold cereals, fruit drinks, and syrups, sweeteners or added sugar to many prepared foods. These foods are very high in simple or refined carbohydrates and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. This is followed by an equally high degree of insulin secretion which eventually causes fat storage, insulin resistance and abdominal fat accumulation.
To get your tummy flat and keep it there, I recommend replacing these refined and simple carbohydrates with low-glycemic, complex carbohydrates. Foods that are high in complex carbohydrates include, whole grains, vegetables, some fruit, legumes, sweet potato and low-fat dairy products.
The secret to getting a flat tummy and keeping it is to consume low-calorie, low glycemic foods every 3-4 hours. This will keep your blood sugar regulated, insulin levels low, reduce abdominal fat accumulation and encourage fat loss.
Remember if your abdomen is large and you suffer from insulin resistance….you will be much more sensitive to the effects of calories and the glycemic index compared with those who have flat tummies!
Remember….your quality of life is the measurement of successful living regardless of your age.
Dr. Kevin. J. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project