I was counseling a woman who was concerned about being “skinny fat.” She was frustrated because she watched everything she ate and exercised. With her clothes on, she looked great, but with them off, she said it was a different story. It turned out, she ate sugar in the form of desserts, crackers, pasta and bread, and couldn’t do without her nightly glass of red. Her sugar load was high, and her body was essentially inflamed from the deluge. I highlighting where sugar was flooding in to her diet, and helped her find a way to slowly rid her body of the toxic mess clinging to her middle. I had a surefire plan for her, but she needed to be impeccable about her compliance, otherwise the cellulite and bloat would stay with her.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I train six days a week for two hours a day and I’m still fat. Why can’t I get rid of this fluffy middle?”
I’m not exaggerating; I have heard this complaint a thousand times. In long lineups at book expos, at the Arnold Fitness Expo, the Canfitpro, and even at the loo, women will whine about their unmanageable midsections. No joke: women have even reached over and hiked up my shirt to have a look at what is attached to my midsection.
Every woman – even many slim women – has some degree of puff, unless her body-fat levels are in the single digits. Would it interest you to learn that some of this excess may not be fat? Suspicious extra middle fluff may be the result of a chemical mixture about as complicated as Marshmallow Fluff.
While I was studying to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, it was fascinating what I learned on the topic at a seminar I attended. For example, bits of what we breathe, eat and are exposed to in this polluted environment unfortunately do end up in each of us, and, depending on the level of exposure, can potentially pose problems for our bodies. Fat is the safe storage compartment for toxic waste in the body. So, if you think you are doing a good job of staying clear of toxins, ask yourself what kind of water you drank today. Tap water can contain fluoride, chlorine and a host of chemicals that aren’t kind to your insides. You drove your car to pick up this magazine, didn’t you? Chances are, you breathed in toxic exhaust fumes on your trip down the highway. Did you drink water from a plastic bottle, microwave your food, walk through airport security or smoke a cigarette? Then you, too, may be full of toxins like the rest of us. Even the fillings in your teeth could be releasing mercury into your body every time you swallow, chew or talk. And this chemical soup is stored in your middle.
North Americans are eating about 150 pounds of sugar per person per year. This is a crisis of monstrous magnitude, creating bulging middles of aforesaid proportions. What sugar does to your insides is a lot like what a car wash does to the shiny new paint job on your BMW – scrapes the hell out of it. It can also cause inflammation in your body.
Inflammation is a necessary immune response by the body, but if you are inflamed 24 hours of every day of every week, you will soon put your body in a state of crisis. The end result: that puffy middle.
Out with the sugar and in with healthy fat. Yes, fat. It is something of a godsend to be able to feed your body delicious, saturated fat because it satisfies like sugar never can. My favorite is coconut oil. And don’t forget, with carbs comes sugar. For the last six months, I have eaten no bread, starchy carbs and very few grains other than quinoa, soaked oat groats and a few wheat berries. I have eaten three tablespoons of coconut oil every day (considered a therapeutic dose) and have discovered the flattest stomach this side of 50 years of age.
But the body needs a little help moving fluids around. That’s where lymph nodes come in – those nodules you can feel on either side of the neck right in the pain zone when you have a sore throat. They’re found throughout the body, and their job is to run toxins out of dodge. The lymph system is sometimes described as “the river by which all junk is eliminated from the body.” The lymph is squeezed through vessels in your body, collecting trash at every turn and getting it out via the liver and colon. Your big, beautiful muscles are the pump that squeezes lymph through the body. But if you are not exercising, you are not squeezing anything, except maybe into your jeans.
Skinny fat, puffy belly doesn’t have to be your reality. Do you have what it takes to vaporize it from your middle?
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