British study concludes that you can’t be fat AND fit

There’s no such thing as healthy fat. This was the conclusion University of Glasgow’s Dr. Stamatina Iliodromiti and his team arrived at after they studied 296,535 adults of white European descent. Dr. Iliodromiti and his team found that adults whose body mass index (BMI) was around 22 to 23 have lower risk of developing or dying from heart disease.

The study also revealed that the risk of developing heart disease rose by 16 percent in women and 10 percent in men each time they gained 12.6 cm and 11.4 cm respectively around the waist. The risk for developing heart disease rose as well when researchers looked at waist-to-hip and waist-to-height ratios and body fat percentage.

Study co-author Professor Naveed Sattar added that losing a few kilos improves health, and that there are no downsides in purposely losing weight. The findings come on the heels of reports from experts that junk food like pizza, ready meals, cakes and crisps (chips) raise the risk of cancer, which kills 162,000 Britons a year. Danger also lurks in sugary snacks, cereals, and reconstituted meat products with high sugar levels, fat and salt without vitamins and fiber, pre-packaged bread, store-bought desserts, meatballs, chicken nuggets and artificially sweetened drinks.

Studies also show that a 10 percent rise in “ultra-processed foods” is linked to a 12 percent increase in cancer risk. Cancer Research UK warned that next to smoking, excess weight is the biggest preventable cause of the disease.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, further said, “The findings from this study contribute to the overwhelming evidence (that) there is no such thing as healthy obesity. Being obese increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease, even if they are otherwise healthy.”

A little on the chubby side? Despair not! Here are ways to lose weight naturally, and enhance your health.

  • Snack wisely. Be prepared when hunger strikes. Surround yourself with nutrient-packed, low-calorie snacks at work and when traveling. The best snacks include fat-fighting nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, and dairy or calcium.
  • Sleep well. Too little sleep adds to your weight. It gets in the way of appetite-regulating hormones like leptin and ghrelin. Lack of sleep also makes you fight to stay awake during daytime and forces you to turn to “energy-giving” food like fries, burgers, cookies and other unhealthy snacks. Dieters who slept eight-and-a-half hours nightly lost 56 percent more body fat than they did when taking the same meals  after sleeping for only five-and-a-half hours. Sleeping seven to eight hours a night also gives you more energy and lowers food cravings.
  • Study your workout routine. Researchers think cardio exercise may lead to additional eating, because it drains glycogen in the liver and muscle to make glucose available. Shift to a weight-control plan and aerobic interval training (short bursts of high-intensity, heart-pounding work) or strength training (push-ups, squats and muscle-building exercises) instead. You don’t need to stay in the gym for an hour each day. Research from the Department of Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University showed that a mere 11 minutes of intense strength training a week can burn fat more and raise your energy consumption daily.
  • Detox. Toxins, chemicals, and compounds in food and self-care products can raise fat levels. Studies show that organochlorine compounds in plastic, herbicides, pesticides and chlorine-based household products impair our ability to oxidize fat and contribute to fat tissue. So choose organic and shun toxins. Throw household cleaning products away and replace them with baking soda, lemon, olive oil, and vinegar. You can use them in the kitchen too.
  • Laugh daily. A study by Great Britain’s comedy channel GOLD (Go On Laugh Daily) showed that an hour of  intense laughter burns 120 calories. This is  equivalent to eight to 27 minutes of weight training, 15 to 20 minutes of walking and 40 minutes of  vacuuming.

So what are you waiting for? Burn that fat now! You’ll reap the rewards of good health and a longer life if you do.

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