the dangers of abdominal fatDid you know?

  • You don’t have to be overweight  to have fat around your middle
  • A thick waist is a sign of a build-up of a dangerous type of fat around the internal organs.
  • Fat around your middle is an indication of a disturbed metabolism
  • Most people are not aware of the dangers of carrying extra fat around their waistline.
  • Missing meals and eating on the go can increase your risk of fat around the middle,
  • Fat accumulation around your  middle is linked to the  action of stress hormones in your body, particularly the stress hormone cortisol. Abdominal fat cells have many receptors for cortisol. If you’re constantly stressed and have high levels of cortisol, your abdominal fat cells will attract it, encouraging your body to store more fat there.
  • In women the hormone oestrogen instructs the body to store fat on the hips and thighs; but as levels decline with age, the target for storage shifts to the abdomen.
  • Fat that accumulates around your middle , and deep in the body around the organs, is more metabolically active. It tends to secrete hormones and other chemical messengers that can disturb the body’s energy and biochemical balance.
  • Fat around the middle has been called “toxic fat” because it increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
  • Research shows that between 1951 and 2005, women’s waists have increased by more than six inches! Between 1993 and 2004, that increase was about  1.6 inches for women and 1.5 inches for men.
  • Fat around your middle is not just bad for your image but is positively dangerous for your health.

What to do about it

To get rid of fat around the middle you need to take action on both Diet and Nutrition, and Lifestyle change.


You need to eat sensibly but do not follow a restrictive diet.

If you restrict calories your body thinks you are in a famine situation and that causes stress to the body. Your metabolism will slow down in order to hold on to your valuable fat stores. Also, if your blood sugar levels fluctuate then your body will release adrenaline to help control the levels and this will also encourages your body to store fat. The solution is to find a way of eating that reassures your body.

So take the following actions:

  • Eat small frequent meals – 3 meals a day, don’t skip breakfast and eat a snack mid-morning and during the afternoon.
    Avoid starchy carbohydrates in the evening.
    Eat Low GL foods
    Include some protein in every meal
    Avoid all sugars and refined carbohydrates
    Eliminate all food and drink containing caffeine and other stimulants.
    Avoid saturated and damaged fats but make sure you get plenty of essential omega 3 fats
    Take time to eat slowly and enjoy your food


Prolonged stress robs the body of vital nutrients. Supplementing helps to replace these and also encourages the body to function efficiently once again. Nutrients which calm the adrenals and manage the symptoms of stress, which help with blood sugar control and fat handling, and which boost the metabolic processes can all help.  Individuals will have different needs but in general useful supplements include:

Magnesium – Known as ‘nature’s tranquilliser, magnesium calms the adrenal glands and helps balance blood sugar by contributing to the production and action of insulin.

Chromium – vital in process of blood sugar balance

Zinc – needed for the production of stress hormones, insulin and sex hormones. Supplementing with zinc helps control cortisol.

B vitamins – The B vitamins are known as the ‘stress’ vitamins and are important to take when working on nourishing and calming the adrenal function.  B vitamins also have an effect on blood sugar balance because they are needed for glucose metabolism.

Vitamin C – required for many body processes including glucose metabolism and adrenal function

CoQ10 – Important for energy production and normal carbohydrate metabolism. Co-enzyme Q10 helps shift fat around the middle because it releases energy by burning that fat.

Essential fatty acids (Fish oil). – They boost your metabolism, make you less insulin resistant and reduce inflammation


Take time for self care. Make sure you find time for some form of regular exercise. Examine the amount of stress in your life and take steps to manage it.


  1. I started storing fat around my mid-section when I worked shifts for a year – it completely messed up my body. While it has improved a little it is still a problem for me, but I’m working on it!

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Martha recently posted..A despicable little home makeoverMy Profile

  2. These facts are indeed frightening!

    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    Damyanti recently posted..Favour and Loss of it Both Disturb UsMy Profile

  3. Thanks for such an informative post. I agree that eating lots of smaller meals during the day is the best way to go. I’ve been eating that way for a while & feel a lot healthier.

    I don’t agree with cutting all sugar and refined carbohydrates out of my diet, because that’s restrictive & makes me a bit nuts about food. I eat whatever I want, just not lots of it. 🙂

    Glad we met via UBC. Have a great weekend!
    Shelli Johnson recently posted..One Wild Life ~ Learn PhotoshopMy Profile

  4. If that fat is so harmful (and I believe that it is) wouldn’t it be fairly important to lose it as quickly as possible? I understant that changing your diet, exercising, etc., could do that eventually, but it seems like losing that fat relatively quickly would be important, too.
    Amy recently posted..Make a tiny cloud in a pickle jar and capture a heartMy Profile

    • Yes best to lose it as quickly as possible but have to lose weight in a sustained way. If you diet too severely you do not lose only fat but water and muscle. Also your metabolism will slow down making it harder to shift the extra fat. Steady but sure is the key

  5. Important information and advice. Though I don’t think I could completely give up caffeine! I’ll just have to increase the yoga to compensate.
    Paris Franz recently posted..Memories of Fiji – cruises, snorkels and swordsMy Profile

  6. Great article! I’ve had children and been through a very stressful life and I noticed once I hit my late 30’s that weight just gathered in my middle and didn’t want to leave no matter what I did!. I’m hoping to shift that now as I eliminated dairy, processed foods, and wheat from my diet. Exercising more and taking supplements for adrenals! Thanks for the great advice.

  7. And there I went and posted on FUDGE RECIPES today. 😉

    Your Buddha picture is immediately reinforcing my personal willpower. Thank you!

    Happy A-Z! Visiting from the Ultimate Blog Challenge FB group.
    Linda Ann – Practically at Home recently posted..F is for Fantastic Fudge and Fine Recipes from FriendsMy Profile

  8. At the age of 71, I suddenly started to have fat around my middle. I do all the correct things you list. The only thing I put it down to is advancing age. I’ve always been slim, but now I’m disabled and can’t take as much excercise. Not only that, but with the meagre pension, I can’t afford to pay for any health supliments that you reccommend. Not that I need them–my diet is superb. Oh well. We weren’t meant to live forever.
    Francene Stanley recently posted..A – Z Challenge – FMy Profile

  9. These are important points to consider, Dot. I am continually amazed at the plethora of young people who carry extra fat at their waist and hips…scary if you ask me! Happy A to Z!

    Jarm Del Boccio recently posted..Les Misérables: F is for FantineMy Profile

  10. I am so glad I stopped on your blog. What a well written educational piece. Thank you very much.

  11. Yes, need to work on the middle, as I get older, so does it! Good post!

  12. I have a fair share on weight around my middle, but I’m happy to say almost all of it is subcutaneous, not internal. My widest part is still up top.

  13. Great Article! Thankfully I learned a long time ago how important good nutrition, exercise, plenty of rest and pure water, supplementation, and destressing when necessary are to being healthy for the long haul. So glad you are informing people with sound advice. It is so much easier to maintain good health than try to create it once the damage is done.
    Bestselling author, speaker, engineer, mystic
    D. Takara Shelor recently posted..Staying Calm and at Peace in the Face of Uncertainty and ChaosMy Profile

  14. Great article! Wish I didn’t need to know about this! 🙂

  15. Great article, Dot. Very comprehensive summary of very important information.

    One additional piece of related information is the importance of eating your first meal of the day within 30 minutes of the time you get up. This kicks your metabolism into gear and gets you started right for the day. There is a reason that breakfast if viewed as the most important meal of the day.

    Peggy Lusk
    Financial Coach – The Geek with a CPA

  16. Agreed, weight around the middle is the most dangerous kind. I’m horrified at the number of young people that are showing the muffin top these days. Thank you for your wise words, they are much needed to turn this cycle around!
    Jen Jones recently posted..The Greenless Green Smoothie RecipeMy Profile

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