We know the numbers of people classified as obese is rising in the UK, as a population we are all getting fatter. There are serious health conditions associated with being overweight.
But if your body shape is thinner, you may think the health risks associated with obesity don’t concern you.
Perhaps you’re one of those people who is a normal weight, with a bit of a rounder tummy?
Then you could be thin on the outside, but fat on the inside. Especially if you don’t exercise and have low muscle tone. Some studies have shown people of a normal weight with an ‘apple’ shape or beer belly have worse long term survival rates than those with raised BMIs.
Where you carry fat on your body is an important indicator of health.
Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside (TOFI)
If you eat a high fat, high carbohydrate diet with lots of processed foods and you’re thin you may think you’re one of the lucky ones who can eat whatever they like.
You may boast about your fast metabolism keeping you thin.
However in people with a poor diet there is nearly always fat around the organs which you cannot see, especially if you don’t exercise. If you’re an ‘apple shape’ you’re more susceptible to this.
You can look thin, or have a normal BMI and yet be fat on the inside. This is why people who are active but overweight may be healthier and live longer sedentary thinner people.
Abdominal fat is associated with fat around organs such as your kidneys or liver, and also chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
We need fat in our diet
A common myth is we need to remove all dietary fat to lose weight. Of course at a basic level burning off more energy than you eat will lose you weight.
And fat has more calories than carbs or protein per gram. But we need some fat in our diet to maintain key bodily functions.
Some vitamins are fat soluble. This means if you don’t have any fats in your diet you may not digest vitamin A, E, D or K. This could affect our immune health, metabolism, hormones and skin health if you don’t have enough.
Including plant based fats every day like nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil, avocados as well as oily fish brings lots of health benefits to your body.
Cut down on saturated fats like red meat, and processed foods high in fat and carbs combinations like cakes, biscuits and chips.
I would recommend looking at your diet, and thinking about your gut health, are the bugs happy? The balance of bugs in our gut control much of our health, so we need to feed them as much as feeding our body.
Gut microbes interact with our immune system, metabolism, and hormones so we need to get the right mix, and whilst everyone has a unique mix of bugs we can all benefit from more fibre, vegetables, water, healthy fats.
How to reduce internal fat
Reducing fat around your tummy or internally is much the same as weight loss general advice.
- Increasing your fibre
- including intermittent fasting
- drinking water
- lots of fresh vegetables
- sufficient protein.
- Also important is some strength training to build more muscle.
Contact me for your nutrition consultation in Bristol or by Skype or call me on 07812010412 to find out how nutritional therapy can help you.
Hi I'm Anna Mapson, registered Nutritionist (mBANT, CNHC). I specialise in all things ‘digestive health’ and I help people with their IBS symptoms.
I can help you to:
- track your symptoms in a really simple but meaningful way to understand them better
- rebalance your digestive system
- access group support to make long lasting changes to your digestive health
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To find more about out how I work and how I’ve helped people just like you, see my IBS Diet support page