There’s no doubt that one of the greatest health challenges of our time is obesity and all the associated medical problems that flow on from being over one’s ideal weight. But it’s not just the obese that need to worry.
Are you TOFI?
Studies are showing that a significant percentage of the population that are ‘skinny’ are actually carrying dangerous amounts of visceral fat inside their abdomen – that is, Thin Outside, Fat Inside (TOFI), or Skinny-Fat. Medically, it is known as Metabolically Obese But Normal Weight (MONW), and it is thought to affect anywhere from 10 to 25 per cent of people with a normal, healthy weight.
These hidden fat stores, typically inside your tummy and around your organs, can contribute to a range of health problems including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, elevated liver fat, heart disease, dementia, cancer and more. Furthermore, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there was actually a higher mortality rate in adults who were a normal weight at the time of becoming diabetic than adults who were overweight or obese.
What causes TOFI?
Being TOFI is primarily a symptom of being physically inactive and as all ways genetics plays a part. The typical TOFI is always being told how ‘lucky’ they are to be able to eat whatever they like, not exercise and remain slim. But the regular indulgence in heavily processed foods and sugary drinks, combined with a sedentary lifestyle is having an impact, even if it’s not visible. This particularly becomes apparent when the ageing process kicks in and hormone changes cause muscle mass to decrease, the metabolism slows and the so-called middle age spread starts make those jeans a bit harder to do up.
How to tell if you are a TOFI
First of all, you need to take stock of your lifestyle. If you don’t exercise as regularly as you should, chances are you probably have unhealthy fat deposits hiding beneath the surface. Being physically inactive is one of the biggest causes of visceral fat build up. Other factors such as poor diet and stress can also cause visceral fat to be deposited. Measures such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference are crude metrics at best and are not a good indicator of the visceral fat, nor the quantity of this bad fat, that you may be storing.
Measurements such as skin-fold testing are also inadequate, as they measure subcutaneous fat, and cannot measure the hidden fat in your tummy, around your organs. Subcutaneous fat does not carry the same health risks as fat on your insides. The best way to find out what’s going on inside your tum is with a DEXA scan which will reveal your body composition. This quick and painless technique can show your hidden fat within 5 minutes.
OK, so I’m TOFI – What should I do?
Your Dexa Scan will reveal if you are TOFI. Once you know your true body composition, you can then take steps to get leaner, lose fat and build muscle mass. The best way to do this is through increasing activity, particularly weight bearing exercise, interval training and by reducing processed foods in the diet. Maintaining not just your ideal weight, but also your ideal body composition with a low body fat percentage is one of the best things you can do to prevent lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes that are placing such a burden on our medical system.
The Experts at Body Measure have the only type of Dexa scanner in the world that actually shows your fat that is on the inside of your body. If this bad fat is found they can advise you on the best, safest and fastest way to get rid of it.
Regular, ongoing Dexa scans to assess your body composition and to track your fat loss can play an important role in keeping you motivated and on-track. You can actually see the fat around your organs disappear! One of the biggest causes of people not sticking to new healthier lifestyles is the lack of visible results and this is especially the case for hidden visceral fat.
You can’t always see the changes from the outside, so let us show you what’s going on inside your abdomen and keep you committed to maintaining your lean tissue and muscle mass.