So this week I thought I'd focus on something that we all have...
Good news though - Fat doesn't make you FAT!
In fact it is essential to our ongoing good health.
Not only does it help our body to absorb vitamins and minerals, it also produces and releases hormones that affect your organs.
But now don't get all complacent about your body fat.
There are 2 different types of fat.
And where they are found is critical.
Just like in real estate, it's a case of Location, Location, Location!
There is subcutaneous fat.
This is the fat that lies below your skin. It keeps you warm and cushions you from a fall or bump. It stores calories.
It is PINCHABLE.
The other type of fat is Visceral Fat.
It stores calories too.
It is found deep inside your abdominal cavity. It surrounds your organs. It is Firm to press.
It is not squishy and pinchable.
When you have too much visceral fat it can increase your LDL cholesterol. That is the bad kind.
It can also increase your blood pressure.
Visceral fat makes your body less sensitive to insulin which can increase your chances of Type 2 diabetes.
How do you know if you have too much visceral fat?
It is all about apples and pears!
What does fruit have to do with it, you ask...
Well think of the shapes of these 2 fruits.
And apple is round and a pear is triangular.
They give you a picture of where fat is stored on your body.
Pears store weight on their hips, thighs and bum.
And it is subcutaneous fat.
It is surface level fat.
Apples on the other hand, store fat around their bellys. Hence the name Belly Fat.
To get a more specific confirmation of whether you could be an apple or pear, there are 2 measurements to take.
The first is your waist measurement.
Feel where your hip bone is.
Feel the top of it and measure around from this point.
Take a couple of measurements
and Don't Hold Your Breath!
You want an accurate measurement!
It is best to have a waist circumference of less than 89cm (35in) if you are a woman.
If you are a man then your waist circumference should be less than 102cm (40in).
The second measurement is your hips.
Measure 20cm down from the top of your hips. That is the point at which to measure your hips.
Take the measurement with your feet together.
Now for a bit of maths!
Take your Waist Circumference and divide it by your Hip Circumference to get your waist to hip ratio.
WC/HC = WHR
e.g. 74cm/97cm = 0.77
Women should have a WHR of less than 0.8 and men should have a ratio of less than 1.
Having a greater ratio of visceral fat is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes and other chronic diseases like Alzheimers.
Belly fat also produces inflammatory molecules that go into your blooldstream.
Continuous long term inflammation puts your body under severe stress.
As a result we become one big hormonal imbalance.
And that is a topic for another day.
So since you can't spot reduce fat around your tummy what can you do?
1) Keep track of your measurements. They are far more telling than the scale ever will be.
I have been tracking my measurement for 19 years, off and on!!
When you lose cm you're losing FAT.
If you're losing Fat then your risk of Type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle diseases are decreased.
2) Sweat each day.
Belly fat responds well to endurance exercise that raises your heart rate. Running, biking, swimming, rowing are going to help.
3) Choose to eat foods that are whole i.e. they aren't packaged and processed - vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.
4) Sleep - get 7 - 9 hours of sleep per night. Your body needs time to repair itself. Lack of sleep affects your appetite.
And now I'd like to invite you to book a Free 20 minute strategy session so that we can work out some ways to help you move forward & start losing your belly fat.
Click the button below to book your session on my scheduler. It sounds fancy but it's not really!
An email landed in my inbox a few days ago - it was spurting statistics about obesity and diabetes.
Of course the stats were based on the population of the USA.
Here they are;
40% of adult Americans are obese
20% of children in the USA are obese
50% of Americans have diabetes or are pre-diabetic
and 2 out 3 people who are diabetic die from a heart attack...
So it got me thinking...
How bad is it here in South Africa?
It is BAD here in South Africa. Take a look -
40% of women are obese.
And a 2016 survey found that 14% of primary school children - 6 - 13 year olds - are already over weight!
This is a powerful predictor fo the chances that as these children grow up they will continue to be overweight or become obese.
And as we are living longer it stands to reason that a greater part of life as an overweight person is going to be spent suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia.
What can we do as parents?
In a nutshell we need to change the way we eat so that all our other efforts towards good health will not be wasted.
Exercise alone will not make the changes needed to undo FAT Gain.
Think about it - You're likely only going to exercise for about 3 - 5 hours per week.
What about the other 160+ hours?
The fact is that it is the decisions we make around what we choose to eat that contributes towards our body's transformation.
So if it all boils dow to food why dont we just all choose whole foods?
And then the reasons, excuses come flooding in....
Go on add your own and let me know what they are...
The reasons or excuses are affecting your health.
And of course it is scary to make changes.
Yes, there is going to be resistance. Your own and your family's.
But isn't it better to start making some changes now?
Get your health on track now?
Help your kids learn what is a good choice from a nutrition point of view.
Do you really want to end up having a heart attack?
Do you really want to have to take medication to control an illness that you can control through good nutrition?
And that is why baby steps are the best way to tackle this big issue.
Start with the next time you reach for something to eat or drink.
Ask yourself - Is this choice going to build me up and make me stronger or will it impact on my health?
I'd love to help you start making better choices for yourself and your family.
Please contact me for a complimentary call to discuss your needs and goals.
Feel free to pass this on to someone you think needs to find health & harmony.
To choosing health one baby step at a time,
Oh my word the days are running into each other and I don't seem to be touching sides...
The information while I was writing this article for you was overwhelming. There is just so much more to FATS.
But here's the low down - We all need a certain amount of fats daily.
And Fat has a role to play in delivering key nutrients to our bodies.
Vitamins A, D, E & K are known as fat-soluble vitamins because they need to bind to fat to be absorbed by our bodies...
…If we’re not eating fats then these vitamins cannot be utilised by our bodies which could lead to deficiencies.
Fat also provides energy to our body and it is an important part of every cell membrane. Fatty tissue protects our organs from trauma and temperature changes.
Have you noticed how some people just don’t seem to feel the cold? Could be their fat storage or it could be hormones.
But hormones for another day....
There are different types of fats that you need to eat.
There are Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA),
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) and
One fat to avoid is man-made trans-fats because they have been shown to increase bad cholesterol and reduce good cholesterol.
Trans-fats have been chemically altered through a process called hydrogenation….
…So when you see “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in an ingredient list on a product, avoid it!
Now, omega 3 & omega 6 oils are part of the PUFA group.
There has been a great deal of research done that clearly shows that the balance of omega 3 to omega 6 is very important to our health.
Studies show that the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 should ideally be 2:1 and no more than 4:1
The modern diet ratio is in favour of omega 6 at a ratio of 10:1 or even higher at 17:1
This high intake of omega 6 compared to omega 3 has shown in studies to be linked to;
Aim to reduce omega 6 oils in the foods that you eat. Omega 6 is found in
The 2 acids in omega 3 – EPA and DHA – (they have long Greeky sounding names!) have been shown in many studies to reduce triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
EPA & DHA have also shown to reduce the stickiness of blood so clotting is reduced and heart attacks lowered.
EPA & DHA also have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and this could help with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
The benefits of taking a supplement of fish oil are far reaching, from decreasing depression and Alzheimer’s to decreasing death from heart disease, to improving body composition.
Here are 10 benefits of eating a fish oil supplement –
Fish oil could help to improve lean body make up in a number of different ways. So if you are a guy with more than 15% body fat or a woman with more than 25% then fish oil could help you to lose fat. PLUS it will help to stabilise any blood sugar issues you may be dealing with. And it could help you to gain muscle faster which you NEED in order to burn fat.
To find suitable fish oil you need to look at a couple of factors.
EPA & DHA
To reduce body fat you need 2-3grams of total EPA & DHA per day. Most store brand fish oils have a combined total of 0.3g per capsule. So that would mean you’d need to swallow up to 10 capsules each day!!!
So an alternative that makes a lot of sense is to look for fish oil where the total EPA & DHA is at least 0.5g
You can find ones that have up to 0.75gg which means fewer capsules to swallow.
Currently my total EPA & DHA is only 0.3g per capsule.
I take 4 in total each day = 1.2g
I’m going to increase that! I don’t mind swallowing extra capsules.
And when these ones in my cupboard have run out then I’ll be looking for a greater EPA & DHA combo.
Studies have found that foods with healthy fats like avocado pears, almonds, olive oil take longer to digest and so they keep you fuller for longer.
Combining them with complex carbohydrates will keep your blood sugars stable and you’ll avoid hunger spikes and dips.
In short, FATS are your friends.