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|The tools and information on the this site are intended as an aid to weight loss and weight maintenance, and do not offer
medical advice. If you suffer from, or think you may suffer from, a medical condition you should consult your doctor before
starting a weight loss and/or exercise regime. If you decide to start exercising after a period of relative inactivity you
should start very slowly and consult your doctor if you experience any discomfort, distress or any other symptoms. If you
feel any discomfort or pain when you exercise, do not continue. The tools and information on the this site are not intended
for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, or for any person under the age of 18.
© 2012 to date Prothinspo LLC, Pro-Thinspo LLC.com, Prothinspo.com and Prothinsposhop.com All rights reserved.
“PROTHINSPO” is a trademark of Prothinspo Incorporated. All rights reserved.
All content on this website should be considered for entertainment purposes. Caffeine Supplements
Today’s urban warriors are much the same. Ginseng, caffeine and Eastern medicine are still being utilized.
Now as it was then, you are no where without the basics namely sleep, smart eating and exercise. First aim for at the
minimum 6hours of sleep a night, for some a brief nap may lead to greater alertness and productivity.
Pack in energy-promoting foods. The definition of energy is calories so make them count. Veggies provide fiber, vitamins
and nutrients. Nutrition bars are a great source as well …
Caffeine is America’s most popular drug some 85% of Americans drink coffee or some type of caffeinated product.
Americans usually are not the healthiest of the planets people there are better choices to make. South Central America
they use a product called Yerba Mate and Guarana. West Africa the caffeine choice is kola nut and leaf.
Caffeine works by stimulating the nervous system to speed up the heart rate, raise blood pressure and rev up the
metabolism (helping the body lose weight.) It also heightens alertness and concentration… The facts about “Carb” depleting You cannot completely delete “carbs” from your life. You need them to keep energy and
focused. Their are many diets and products on the market today that can confuse anyone. Even someone who actually
knows! MY SKINNY:
I measure myself everyday to see where I am at. I weigh myself everyday. I read all the diet information I can get my
hands on and I check my body fat .
I concentrate on my thinspiration and keep motivated. I stand on my head for ten minutes a day and do 50 push ups and
60 sit ups everyday without fail!!
This is something not proven but does seem to work for all who try it. I wear magnetic rings on different fingers for
different results. This is something that works for me. I wear to magnetic rings on both of my pinky fingers when I sleep
and I do have a magnetic mattress pad this is supposed to prevent all types of illness and eliminate swelling, not to
mention keep you looking younger.
I keep a food journal, this is a proven weight management tool everyone should try.
I exercise everyday.I have a part time job as a “floater” in a gym. A “floater” is someone who just comes in to teach and
leaves. It is great because I work out for free, and I have to because it is my job. I learned that if you gain muscle you lose
more weight because your body continues to burn more fat. I sleep at least 6 hours a night and drink plenty of water. To
keep my skin healthy at bedtime I massage pure almond oil into the areas I want firmer I also use some moisturizing
products to really enhance the skin, and I take one aloe vera capsule two times a day to avoid looking older or you can
drink it for quicker results… Aloe juice.
I take a Cayenne supplement to boost my metabolism.I take a multi-vitamin and I drink a pro-biotic to avoid any yeast.
Yeast can make you stop losing weight even in starvation mode.
When you don’t eat very much your metabolism can slow down and you stop losing weight. Because heavy spices bother
my stomach I take a supplement. It is preferable to actually eat the spices. I use apple cider vinager on my salads and in a
tincture to help better my digestion and quicken my weight loss.
I suggest that everyone who wants to lose weight and look great, do some of the same. Try some of the diets on my site
and recipes. Follow the tips. Stay focused!! Buy yourself all the tools you need to attain your goals.
With any lifestyle it takes investment. The good thing about this change in lifestyle is that you save money on food and
spend your money on a lifetime of self satisfaction.
Pick out a great measuring tape maybe an electric one and body fat counter. Always have an accurate Scale buy a diet
book that has foods in it that you like. I
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lifestyles now I have a section for Cellulite,
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HYDROX PRODUCTS AND WHY THEY WORK:
Body cleansers work because they clean the body of the toxins it is holding. If the body is holding to many toxins it does
not lose weight rapidly or work efficiently. I am sure you have heard about all the new teas and cleansers. They do work.
You need to find one that works for your needs.
Become a Prothinspo Member… get the products and the support with emails andvisualization techniques… click here..
MORE TIPS TO HOW THIN PEOPLE STAY THIN, CLICK HERE.
Answers to your diet supplement questions. Okay, if you are dieting and find yourself binging or purging .. try the
Prothinspo hoodia pop sample and see if it works for you. If you are dieting and every once in awhile you find yourself
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The #1 weight loss product in the world is Prothinspo Hydroxy it is the strongest weight loss supplement. If you are
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If you have cellulite and belly fat that will just not go away from diet and exercise than the Prothinspo Chadebugre is best
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If you have questions please contact me for further help… Click here.
ONLY ON PRO-THINSPO DOES THIS PRODUCT COME WITH DIET,
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SEE BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS AND READ TESTIMONIALS
Non-overweight women who are vulnerable to the effects of stress are more likely to
have excess abdominal fat, and have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, a
study conducted at Yale suggests.
While past studies have examined cortisol response in overweight women, this is the
first study to show that lean women with abdominal fat have exaggerated responses to
cortisol. Abdominal fat is related to worse health, including greater risk of heart
disease and diabetes.
“We also found that women with greater abdominal fat had more negative moods and
higher levels of life stress,” said Elissa S. Epel, Ph.D., lead investigator on the study
she conducted while at Yale’s psychology department. “Greater exposure to life stress
or psychological vulnerability to stress may explain their enhanced cortisol reactivity.
In turn, their cortisol exposure may have led them to accumulate greater abdominal
Published in the September/October issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, the study
looked at pre-menopausal, non-overweight women, and overweight women who stored
fat either centrally—at the waist vs. peripherally—at the hips, and examined their
stress responses over three consecutive days.
Cortisol affects fat distribution by causing fat to be stored centrally—around the
organs. Cortisol exposure can increase visceral fat—the fat surrounding the organs—
in animals. People with diseases associated with extreme exposure to cortisol, such as
severe recurrent depression and Cushing’s disease also have excessive amounts of
“Everyone is exposed to stress, but some people may secrete more cortisol than
others, and may secrete cortisol each time they face the same stressor,” Epel adds.
“We predicted that reacting to the same stressors consistently by secreting cortisol
would be related to greater visceral fat.”
After the first exposure to stress, women with greater abdominal fat felt more
threatened by the study’s stressful tasks, performed more poorly on them, and
secreted more cortisol. They also reported more life stress. By the third exposure to
stress, the lean women with abdominal fat still consistently secreted more cortisol in
response to stressful lab tasks, compared to women with peripheral fat.
“It is possible that greater exposure to stressful conditions or psychological
vulnerability to stress has led them to overreact to stressors in their daily lives, so
they have had greater lifetime exposure to cortisol,” Epel said. “Cortisol, in turn may
have caused them to accumulate abdominal fat. Genetics, however, also play a role in
shaping reactivity to stress, as well as body shape.”
Lifestyle and age may also influence levels of abdominal fat. Smoking, alcohol and lack
of exercise all contribute to greater abdominal fat. Postmenopausal women tend to
carry fat at their abdomen, due to changes in sex hormones. Epel said a healthy
lifestyle, including getting enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, may reduce cortisol
“These relationships likely apply to men as well,” Epel said. “However, excess weight
on men is almost always stored at the abdomen. On the contrary, in pre-menopausal
women, excess weight is more often stored at the hips. Therefore, for women, it is
possible that stress may influence body shape more than for men, leading to abdominal
fat instead of lower body fat accumulation.”
Elissa Epel’s research team at Yale included Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., Jeannette R.
Ickovics, Ph.D., Jennifer Bell, and Grace Castellazzo. Other researchers included Bruce
McEwen, Ph.D. of the Rockefeller University; Teresa Seeman, Ph.D., of the University of
California, Los Angeles; and Karen Mathews, Ph.D. of the University of Pittsburgh.
The study was funded by the MaCarthur Foundation Research Network on
Socioeconomic Status and Health.
In a study by UCSF researchers published online in the Journal of Obesity, mastering
simple mindful eating and stress-reduction techniques helped prevent weight gain
even without dieting.
Women in the study who experienced the greatest reduction in stress tended to have
the most loss of deep belly fat. To a greater degree than fat that lies just under the
skin, this deep abdominal fat is associated with an elevated risk for developing heart
disease or diabetes.
“You’re training the mind to notice, but to not automatically react based on habitual
patterns — to not reach for a candy bar in response to feeling anger, for example,” said
UCSF researcher Jennifer Daubenmier, PhD, from the Osher Center for Integrative
Medicine. “If you can first recognize what you are feeling before you act, you have a
greater chance of making a wiser decision.”
Daubenmier led the current study with UCSF psychologist Elissa Epel, PhD. The study,
published online in October, is part of ongoing UCSF research into how stress and the
stress hormone cortisol are linked to eating behavior, fat and health.
Recognizing Sensations of Hunger, Fullness and Taste Satisfaction
The women who participated were not on calorie-counting diets. Instead, 24 of the 47
chronically stressed, overweight and obese women were randomly assigned to
mindfulness training and practice, and the other 23 served as a control group.
Although no diets were prescribed, all participants attended one session about the
basics of healthy eating and exercise.
The training included nine weekly sessions, each lasting 2 1/2 hours, during which the
women learned stress reduction techniques and how to be more aware of their eating
by recognizing bodily sensations — including hunger, fullness and taste satisfaction. At
week six they attended an intensive seven-hour, silent meditation retreat.
They were asked to set aside 30 minutes daily for meditation exercises and to practice
mindful eating during meals. Researchers used a scientifically tested survey to gauge
psychological stress before and after the four-month study, and recorded the women’s
fat and cortisol levels.
The UCSF researchers looked for changes in the amount of deep abdominal fat and
overall weight. They also measured secretion of cortisol shortly after awakening, a time
when cortisol peaks in those under chronic stress.
Cortisol secretion runs in a daily cycle and normally ramps up when we awaken. But
secretion also is triggered by both real and perceived threats. If we wake up,
anticipate the day’s events, and experience these thoughts as stressful, cortisol
secretion may spike even higher, Daubenmier said.
On Average, Mindful, Obese Women Did not Gain Weight in Study
Among women in the treatment group, changes in body awareness, chronic stress,
cortisol secretion and abdominal fat were clearly linked. Those who had greater
improvements in listening to their bodies’ cues, or greater reductions in stress or
cortisol, experienced the greatest reductions in abdominal fat.
Among the subset of obese women in the study, those who received the mindfulness
training had significant reductions in cortisol after awakening and also maintained their
total body weight, compared to women in the waitlist group, who had stable cortisol
levels and continued to gain weight.
The stress-reduction and mindful-eating techniques used in the study were adapted
from methods developed three decades ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, the first director
of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a
founding member of the Cambridge Zen Center. The mindful-eating techniques used in
the UCSF study are part of a larger program of mindful eating developed by Jean
Kristeller, PhD, of Indiana State University.
Ongoing Study of Pregnant Women
“In this study we were trying to cultivate people’s ability to pay attention to their
sensations of hunger, fullness and taste satisfaction as a guide for limiting how much
they eat,” Daubenmiersaid. “We tried to reduce eating in response to emotions or
external cues that typically drive overeating behavior.”
Daubenmier said the small study is preliminary and must be confirmed in ongoing,
follow-up research. Furthermore, when the entire study group was included in the
analysis — overweight as well as obese women — the researchers found no significant
differences in weight change between women who practiced stress reduction and
mindful eating and those on the waiting list.
In a separate, ongoing study with lower-income, pregnant women who are overweight,
Epel,Daubenmier and colleagues are teaching similar mindful-eating techniques.
Pregnancy is a time when heavy women tend to gain an excessive amount of weight
and later find it very hard to lose it. Furthermore, excessive weight gain during
pregnancy can harm the baby’s health.
“We are intervening at a critical point, when the health of the next generation is being
shaped,”Epel said. “We hope to improve the health of both the mothers and their
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What to do…??
Most people agree that too much stress has a negative effect on the human body, but
many may be surprised that high cortisol levels can increase fat storage, cause insulin
resistance and even trigger the premature death of brain cells. Dr Robert Kapolsky,
author of the best-selling book on stress “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers,” explains how
the stress hormone interacts with a variety of different body systems. Some herbs can
attenuate the release of cortisol.
Phosphatidylserine stands out as one of many phospholipids present in the human
body. It has received particular attention due to its abilities to reduce cortisol levels.
Charles Poliquin, the Canadian strength coach who has trained 16 Olympic medal-
winning athletes, recommends the use of this supplement in the evenings to improve
sleep and lower cortisol levels, which creates a better environment for muscle growth.
Phosphatidylserine increases sensitivity to cortisol at the hypothalamus, a part of the
brain responsible for maintaining hormonal balance. This effect results in a reduced
signal to the adrenal glands and less cortisol release.
One of many adaptogenic herbs, Siberian ginseng comes with a wealth of research to
support its use in a variety of conditions. Also known as eleuthero senticoccus,
traditional medicine in both Russia and China has employed this herb to improve
resistance to infection, enhance stress response and even sustain athletic
performance. Researchers from the University of Maryland Medical Center credit the
eleutherosides inside the herb as responsible for the adaptogenic effect, which
involves reducing any excessive production of cortisol at the adrenal glands.
Siberian Eleuthero Root has a guaranteed natural potency of .065% eleutherosides.
Siberian Eleuthero improves physical an mental vitality. It is an adaptogenic herb, which
helps the body to adapt to daily stress. It is an ideal supplement for those leading a
demanding and hectic lifestyle.Eleuthero is not from the same family as Panax, or Asian
ginseng, although it has long been used as a cheaper substitute for ginseng. Like Panax
ginseng, eleuthero is thought to be an adaptogen, or a substance that adapts itself to
correct whatever is out of balance in the body. However, it’s important to keep in mind
that all the research performed on Panax ginseng simply does not apply to eleuthero—
these plants do not have the same chemical makeup.
Siberian Eleuthero root is guaranteed to contain 0.06% eleutherosides.
Siberian Eleuthero is used to enhance physical and mental endurance and vitality.
It is an adaptogenic herb
CHECK OUT THESE REAL GIRL PHOTOS OF THEIR FLAT BELLIES… IF THEY CAN DO IT SO
CLICK IMAGES BELOW TO ENLARGE……
HAS TONS OF
Your adrenal glands release cortisol in response to stress. Cortisol mobilizes blood sugar, fat and
protein as needed, and suppresses non-essential organs and systems to allow the body to focus
on the immediate emergency. Deep abdominal, or visceral, fat has more cortisol receptors than
does subcutaneous fat, which may explain why stress promotes belly fat, according to an article
posted at the University of New Mexico’s Exercise Science website. A combination of diet, exercise
and supplements can help reduce stress and lower cortisol levels. Consult your doctor before
making changes in your diet or supplements.
Begin regular low intensity exercise. High intensity exercise increases cortisol levels while low
intensity exercise reduces them according to a 2008 study published in the “Journal of
Endocrinological Investigation.” Exercise also helps reduce stress through release of dopamine
Eliminate caffeine, which causes cortisol levels to increase. A 2006 study published in the journal
“Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior” evaluated the impact of mental and physical stress
plus caffeine consumption on cortisol levels. Caffeine and mental stress increased cortisol levels,
more so in men than in women. Caffeine taken before exercise increased cortisol in both sexes.
Repeated caffeine use throughout the day increased cortisol for men and women.
Supplement your diet with B vitamins. Stress depletes B vitamins, which are essential for proper
functioning of the nervous system. B vitamins also help reduce stress-related anxiety and
Supplement your diet with vitamin C, which helps modulate stress and cortisol, according to a 2003
article in “Psychology Today.” The article cited a human study in which 120 people participated in
public speaking, half of whom took 1,000 units of vitamin C daily. Results showed the Vitamin C
group was significantly lower on measures of cortisol and hypertension. (See References 4)
Tips and Warnings
If you don’t exercise, begin gradually and work up to 30 minutes 5 times a week. If you are
accustomed to regular coffee phase into decaf by mixing regular and decaf grounds until you have
all decaf. Avoid coffee and tea that use chemicals to decaffeinate.
Use a B complex supplement rather than individual B vitamins. B vitamins work best together and
taking one or two without the others creates imbalance. Too much vitamin C causes diarrhea. If you
experience this symptom, cut back on the amount. Consult your doctor before beginning a new
exercise program or making changes in your diet or supplements.
Things You’ll Need
B Vitamin complex
The University of New Mexico; Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight; Christine
Maglione-Garves, et al.
“Journal of Endocrinological Investigation”; Exercise and Circulating Cortisol Levels: The Intensity
Threshold Effect; E.E. Hill, et al.; 2008
“Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior”; Cortisol Responses to Mental Stress, Exercise, and
Meals Following Caffeine Intake in Men and Women; William R. Lovallo, et al.; 2006
“Psychology Today”; Vitamin C: Stress Buster; 2003
– I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.
– Nothing changes if nothing changes.
– You got up this morning with determination and you are going to bed with satisfaction.
– I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.
– You can’t change the past but you can change the future.
– Don’t let todays moment forsake tomorrows dream.
– Be the girl who turned her cant’s into cans, and her dreams into plans.
– The difficulties and struggles of today are but the price we must pay for the accomplishments and
victories of tomorrow.
– Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!
– Even if you lose it little by little, it will still add up to a big result in the end.
– Fridge pickers wear big knickers.
– If you keep going you WILL see results, if you quit you won’t.
– Sacrifice is giving up something good for something better.
– You’ve come too far in life to take orders from a cookie!
– The question isn’t who’s going to let me, the question is who’s going to stop me.
– Success is the sum of small efforts.
– If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.
– I’d rather skinny dip than chunky dunk!
– If you eat what you’ve always eaten, you’ll weigh what you’ve always weighed.
– Not eating light makes your clothes tight.
– Success won’t just come to you – it has to be met at least half way.
– Hard work is a two way street. You get back exactly what you put in.
– Don’t give up what you want most for something you want in the moment.
– The secret of success is the consistency to pursue.
– When it comes to losing weight, those who can, do; those that can’t make excuses.
– Everyday is a new chance to change your life.
– Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
|HOW TO GET RID OF LOWER BELLY FAT AND GET YOUR CORTISOL UNDER CONTROL…
Super Cortisol Support w/Relora
Super Cortisol Support w/Relora
Size: 90 caps
Adrenal Support with Relora®
Enhances Energy Levels
Supports Weight Management*
Do not take if pregnant or lactating. Do not take if currently taking any prescription medication or
receiving medical treatment without consulting your physician. Keep out of the reach of children. Do Not
Eat Freshness Packet. Keep in Bottle.
Vitamin C (from Calcium Ascorbate), Pantothenic Acid (from Calcium Pantothenate), Calcium (from Calcium
Carbonate and Ascorbate), Magnesium (from Magnesium Oxide), Chromium (from Chromium Chelavite®
AAC), Relora® (a proprietary blend of a patented** extract from Magnolia officinalis bark and a proprietary
extract from Phellodendron amurense bark), Green Tea Extract (Camelia sinensis) (Leaf) (min. 95% Total
Polyphenols and 50% EGCg), Soy Lecithin, Ashwagandha Extract (Withania somnifera) (Root) (min. 4.5%
Withanolides), Holy Basil Extract (Ocimum tenulflorum) (Leaf) (min. 2% Ursolic Acid), Reishi Mushroom
(Ganoderma lucidum) (Whole Fruiting Body), Rhodiola Extract (Rhodiola rosea) (Root) (min. 3% Rosavins),
Banaba Extract (Lagerstroemia speciosa) (Leaf) (min. 1% Corosolic Acid), Other Ingredients: Cellulose
(capsule), Modified Food and Corn Starch, Silica, Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source), Magnesium
Carbonate, Dextrin and Maltodextrin. Contains no sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, milk, egg, shellfish or
preservatives. Vegetarian/Vegan Product.
Super Cortisol Support is an herbal and nutritional formula designed to support healthy adrenal function
and maintain healthy cortisol levels already within the normal range. The adrenal glands help the body
respond and adjust to stress generated from both internal and external forces. Under chronic stress,
cortisol can be overproduced, resulting in weight gain and difficulty in managing healthy blood sugar
levels. Super Cortisol Support combines adaptogenic herbs with Chromium, Corosolic Acid and Relora®
to help the body manage the negative effects of stress such as excess abdominal fat deposition,
overeating, and low energy levels. *
EXERCISE… HOW TO GET RID OF LOWER BELLY FAT ONCE YOU GET YOUR CORTISOL IN CONTROL …
The fat in the lower abdomen region of our body is quite prominent. Fats deposits in the lower abdomen are basically due to the
high calorie content of the food and the saturated deposits of the fats like oil. Lower abdomen fats are the toughest most to get rid
of. If you want to cut down this extra layer of fats deposit few workouts mentioned below will be of great help.
Cardio vascular exercises are those exercises that involve the movement of body in such a way that the body sweats and the
extra fat layer melt down. These kinds of exercises may not necessarily involve those stereo type exercises but can also include
fun activities like dancing and skipping. Through these movements body becomes flexible and the rate of metabolism of fats
increases several folds.
Walking and jogging are the two exercises that could be carried out irrespective of gender and age. However the persons with
heart problems should do it under the supervision of medical expert’s advice. Walking on the treadmill for 30min daily will give you
results within a week.
Yoga another kind of stress relieving exercise is also found showing a remarkable improvement in the results. There are various
kinds of postures that one needs to maintain while performing yoga. These postures not only stretch the body parts but also help
in the smooth functioning of various organs of the body.
These above mentioned exercises do not involve expensive equipments but can also be modified as per ones convenience.
Generally speaking, abdominal fat is either visceral (surrounding the abdominal organs) or subcutaneous (lying between the skin
and the abdominal wall). Fat located behind the abdominal cavity, called retroperitoneal fat, is generally counted as visceral fat.
Several studies indicate that visceral fat is most strongly correlated with risk factors such as insulin resistance, which sets the
stage for type 2 diabetes. Some research suggests that the deeper layers of subcutaneous fat may also be involved in insulin
resistance (in men but not in women).
Where’s the fat?
Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely
visceral. Where a woman’s fat ends up is influenced by several factors. Heredity is one: Scientists have identified a number of
genes that help determine how many fat cells an individual develops and where these cells are stored (Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences, April 25, 2006). Hormones are also involved. At menopause, estrogen production decreases and the ratio of
androgen (male hormones present in small amounts in women) to estrogen increases — a shift that’s been linked in some studies
to increased abdominal fat after menopause. Some researchers suspect that the drop in estrogen levels at menopause is also
linked to increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that promotes the accumulation of abdominal fat.
As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks,
and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss. The most accurate measurement techniques, magnetic
resonance imaging and computed tomography, are expensive and not available for routine use. However, research using these
imaging methods has shown that waist circumference reflects abdominal fat. It has largely superseded waist-to-hip ratio (waist
size divided by hip size) as an indicator of fat distribution, because it is easier to measure and about as accurate. There’s also
evidence that waist circumference is a better predictor of health problems than body mass index (BMI), which indicates only total
body fat (see “Measuring up”).
Researchers have tried several ways of measuring the links between health risks and body weight or fat distribution:
Body mass index (BMI). A ratio of weight in kilograms to the square of height in meters, BMI helps identify people whose weight
increases their risk for several conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. People with BMIs of 25–29.9 are
considered overweight, and those with BMIs of 30 or over, obese. However, some researchers think BMI isn’t always a valid
indication of obesity, because it gives misleading results in people who are very muscular or very tall. To calculate your BMI, go to
www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi or use this formula: Weight in pounds × 703 ÷ (height in inches)2.
Waist-to-hip ratio. To find your waist-to-hip ratio, divide your waist measurement at its narrowest point by your hip measurement
at its widest point. As a marker of a person’s abdominal fat, this measure outperforms BMI. For women, the risk for heart disease
and stroke begins to rise at a ratio of about 0.8.
Waist circumference. The simplest way to check for abdominal fat is to measure your waist. Run a tape measure around your
torso at about the level of your navel. (Official guidelines determine the level at which waist circumference is measured by locating
a bony landmark: the top of the right hipbone, or right iliac crest, where it intersects a line dropped vertically from the middle of the
right armpit.) Breathe minimally, and make sure not to pull the tape measure so tight that it depresses the skin. In women with a
BMI of 25–34.9, a waist circumference greater than 35 inches is considered high risk, although research suggests there is some
extra health risk at any size greater than 33 inches. A study in the September 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found
that in women, a large waist was correlated with diabetes risk — even when BMI was in the normal range (18.5–24.9). Since
abdominal fat can be a problem despite a normal BMI, health assessments should include both BMI and waist circumference. The
relationship between waist circumference and health risk varies by ethnic group. For example, in Asian women, a waist
circumference above 31.5 inches is considered a health risk.
The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more
favorable cholesterol levels. Subcutaneous fat located at the waist — the pinchable stuff — can be frustratingly difficult to budge,
but in normal-weight people, it’s generally not considered as much of a health threat as visceral fat is. In fact, a study published in
the New England Journal of Medicine in 2004 found that liposuction removal of subcutaneous fat (up to 23 pounds of it) in 15 obese
women had no effect after three months on their measures of blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, or response to insulin.
Weight loss through diet and exercise, on the other hand, triggers many changes that have positive health effects.
What’s wrong with abdominal fat?
Body fat, or adipose tissue, was once regarded as little more than a storage depot for fat blobs waiting passively to be used for
energy. But research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It’s more accurate to think
of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. One such
hormone is leptin, which is normally released after a meal and dampens appetite. Fat cells also produce the hormone adiponectin,
which is thought to influence the response of cells to insulin. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual
hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these
Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor
necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by promoting insulin resistance and low-
level chronic inflammation. These and other biochemicals, some not yet identified, are thought to have deleterious effects on cells’
sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.
One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area
to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they
can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol,
lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the
pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes.
Together, insulin resistance, high blood glucose, excess abdominal fat, unfavorable cholesterol levels (including high
triglycerides), and high blood pressure constitute the metabolic syndrome, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Excess fat at the waist has been linked to several other disorders as well. A European study of nearly 500,000 women and men
found that, for women, a waist-to-hip ratio above 0.85 was associated with a 52% increase in colorectal cancer risk. A long-
running community study on atherosclerosis conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University found that even among normal-
weight people, those with higher waist-to-hip ratios had just as much difficulty as those with higher BMIs in carrying out various
activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed and performing household chores.
A larger waist measurement also predicts the development of high blood pressure, regardless of total body fat, according to a 10-
year study of Chinese adults published in the August 2006 American Journal of Hypertension. Finally, a study presented at the 2005
annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience found that older people with bigger bellies had worse memory and less verbal
fluency, even after taking diabetes into account.
Now for the good news
So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and
combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps
up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight. In a study comparing sedentary adults with those exercising at different intensities,
researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that the non-exercisers experienced a nearly 9% gain in visceral fat after six
months. Subjects who exercised the equivalent of walking or jogging 12 miles per week put on no visceral fat, and those who
exercised the equivalent of jogging 20 miles per week lost both visceral and subcutaneous fat.
Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. A University of Pennsylvania study followed
overweight or obese women, ages 24–44, for two years. Compared to participants who received only advice about exercise, those
given an hour of weight training twice a week reduced their proportion of body fat by nearly 4% — and were more successful in
keeping off visceral fat.
Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.
Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains)
and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats
and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help. But drastically cutting calories is not a good diet strategy, because it can
force the body into starvation mode, slowing metabolism and paradoxically causing it to store fat more efficiently later on.
Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For example, studies of the weight-loss medication
sibutramine (Meridia), which was approved in 1997, have shown that the drug’s greatest effects are on visceral fat. Rimonabant
(Acomplia) — not yet FDA-approved — is the first of a new class of drugs that block a receptor in the brain that increases appetite.
Acomplia has been shown to modestly reduce the accumulation of fat at the waist.
Because levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone, better known as DHEA, decline with age, many people believe that DHEA
supplementation can reverse age-related changes, including increased abdominal fat. DHEA is converted in the body to
testosterone and estrogen and regulates various functions. Some studies have linked DHEA to longevity in animals and people,
and others have linked it to modest health benefits. But the results of a two-year randomized trial published in the Oct. 19, 2006,
New England Journal of Medicine showed that DHEA had no effect on aging markers, including body-composition measurements,
in women and men ages 60 and over.
For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.
(This article was first printed in the December 2006 issue of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch. For more information or to order,
please go to http://www.health.harvard.edu/womens.)
NOW SPECIFICLY FOR YOU
Friend, we need to talk about
that gut of yours. We know
you’re not proud of it. You may
crack jokes about how you’re
aiming for a gold medal in the
splash-diving competition in
2008. But other than the
impressive column of water you
spew with each cannonball, you
know that belly fat isn’t doing
you any good. You don’t like
looking at it in the mirror,
women are turned off by it,
children ask if you have a baby
You have more trouble
sleeping than you used to, your
lower back hurts, and exercise
makes your knees ache.
But the problem is actually worse than that. Much worse.
You see, your belly fat is different from fat elsewhere in your body. It’s metabolically active tissue that
actually functions like a separate organ, releasing substances into the rest of your body that, in
excess, can increase your risk of disease.
Yeah, you got it: Your own belly could be poisoning you.
The notion that abdominal obesity is the most dangerous kind isn’t new. Back in the 1940s, the
French physician Jean Vague observed that some obese patients had normal blood chemistry, while
some moderately overweight patients showed serious abnormalities that predisposed them to heart
disease or diabetes. Almost always, the latter patients carried their fat around their middles. And,
almost always, they were men.
Multiple studies since then have shown that belly fat — the cause of the classic apple-shaped body —
is more than nature’s way of telling you that you’ll never become a soap-opera star, news anchor,
rock legend, or Men’s Health cover model. It’s a sign that your body chemistry is seriously out of
whack. There are a number of substances your bloated belly secretes to your heart, liver, and other
vital organs. Among them:
• Free fatty acids. Released directly to the liver, they impair your ability to break down insulin, which
over time can lead to diabetes.
• Cortisone. High levels of this hormone are associated with diabetes and heart disease.
• PAI-1. This blood-clotting agent increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
• CRP. This protein inflames blood vessels, making them more susceptible to artery-clogging plaque.
READ MORE BELOW….
The upshot of all these chemicals floating around is big trouble for big-bellied guys. In a study at the
University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers took 137 men of all ages and sizes and used seven
different measurements to determine their risks of cardiovascular disease. The single best sign of
multiple heart-disease risks? No, it wasn’t the guys’ family histories or their cholesterol profiles. It was
the amount of abdominal fat they carried.
By the way, heart disease and diabetes are only two of the ways belly fat can ruin your health. If you
count them all up, you’ll find at least 39 different diseases associated with abdominal obesity (40, if you
include looking lousy with your shirt off).
This Way Out
When we set out to create the Men’s Health Belly-Off Program, our mission was simple. We weren’t
looking for fancy dieting gimmicks. We weren’t looking for amazing weight-loss theories. We weren’t
looking to invent electronic gizmos or miracle pills. We just wanted to create a simple, instinctive, and
satisfying eating and exercise plan that would attack the fat around any man’s middle.
You and your gut will be the judges of how well we did, but if you ask us, we think we hit it out of the
park. The diet portion of the Belly-Off Program not only attacks belly fat specifically, but lets you eat
regular food while you’re at it. And our 8-week workout plan relies on the radical notion that you
should do the kind of exercise you like to do.
So keep reading. Following our plan may kill your chances in the Olympic cannonball competition. But
your odds of a gold-medal body just skyrocketed.
The Food Plan
Diets generally fail for one of two reasons: Either they’re too restrictive about the kind of food you put
in your belly, or they too frequently leave you feeling as if you haven’t put any food in your belly. In
either case, it’s usually not long before you have chocolate cruller crumbs on the corners of your
You won’t be sabotaged by either of those problems with the Belly-Off Program Diet, which was
created for us by the trainer and nutritionist Thomas Incledon, Ph.D., R.D. Incledon built our program
around three simple weight-loss principles:
If you want to shrink your gut, get enough protein in your diet. In this case, about 25 percent of
calories. Why? For starters, protein makes you feel full and helps you build muscle (which increases
metabolism, thereby making it easier to lose weight). Just as important, high-protein diets have been
shown to be the best way of attacking belly fat. Consider a 1999 study published in the International
Journal of Obesity. Danish researchers put 65 people on either a 12 percent protein diet or a 25
percent protein diet. The low-protein dieters lost an average of 11 pounds, which isn’t bad. But the
high-protein subjects lost an average of 20 pounds–including twice as much abdominal fat as the
Get enough fat. About 30 percent of your calories. First, fat helps you feel fuller longer between meals,
slowing your appetite. Second, it provides essential fatty acids needed for optimal health. Above all,
fat makes you feel that you’re eating real food, not starving in the land of plenty. Deprivation? Hey,
man, you don’t need no stinkin’ deprivation.
If you get enough protein and fat, your total calorie intake should take care of itself. Because you feel
full, you won’t binge on a can of Pringles and blow your calorie count for the day. The remaining 45
percent of calories in our plan comes from carbohydrates–enough to give your palate a full range of
tastes and your body a combination of fast- and slow-burning fuel.
How To Use The Diet
The meals shown here are “templates” that you can vary any number of ways to please your tastebuds
and avoid eating the same old thing every day. Follow them and you’ll get between 2,400 and 2,800
calories per day. That should provide plenty of calories for all but the most severely obese, while
allowing most guys to lose fat around their middles at a steady pace. (Don’t worry about hitting the
numbers on the nose every time. If you exceed your fat quota during lunch, for instance, just cut back
a little during dinner.)
Whole grain cereal or oatmeal (1 1/4 c)
Fat-free milk (2 c)
Almonds or other nuts (4 Tbsp)
Raisins (2 Tbsp)
Total: 591 calories, 29 grams (g) protein, 78 g carbohydrates, 18 g fat
Sandwich made with whole grain bread (2 slices)
Lunchmeat or canned tuna (5 oz)
Reduced-fat cheese (1 slice)
Tomato (2 slices)
Mayonnaise (1 Tbsp)
Orange juice (1 cup)
Total: 666 calories, 41 g protein, 71 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat
Meat (pork, chicken, or turkey breast, lean beef, seafood) (5 oz)
Salad (1 c)
Dressing (2 Tbsp)
Dark green vegetable (1 c)
Starch (bread, potato, pasta, rice) (1 slice or 1 c)
Fruit (3/4 c)
Total: 379-953 calories, 23-53 g protein, 33-109 g carbohydrates, 12-43 g fat
Floater Meal (may be split into two snacks)
Whole grain bread (2 slices)
Peanut butter (2 Tbsp)
Fat free milk (2 c)
Apple (1 medium)
Total: 629 calories, 31 g protein, 83 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat
The Exercise Plan
Can diet alone help you lose belly fat? Probably. In a 2000 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a
group who only dieted dropped just as much weight (16 pounds) and just as much belly fat (about 2
pounds) as the group who simply exercised.
That said, the combination of diet and exercise is still the best ticket to permanent gut reduction. The
diet-only group in the above study lost less total fat and more muscle than the exercise-only group.
What’s more, another, very scary study in Obesity Research looked at people who had each lost 14
pounds on a 28-day crash diet. Five years later, they had regained all the weight, with a twist: All the
new weight was fat, whereas they’d originally lost a combination of fat and muscle. And their health had
deteriorated in multiple ways, including increased insulin resistance and higher LDL cholesterol.
So what’s the best kind of exercise for losing your gut? The short answer is any kind that you’ll actually
do. But intriguing new research suggests that for many guys, particularly big guys with big bellies,
weight lifting may be the best way to lose weight.
In a study published in Preventive Medicine, researchers separated a group of people by overall
build–thinner or thicker–then put them on a 12-week weight-training program. More slender guys
didn’t get much benefit from weight lifting, but the guys who were big to begin with gained pounds of
muscle. The implication: Bigger guys benefit most from weight training.
If you’re a weights guy, this is the plan for you. The goal of the program, designed by the Canadian
strength-and-conditioning coach Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., is to increase energy expenditure while
building muscle. Successful gut reduction through weight training combines these two elements. You
need to burn calories to lose weight now, and you need to build muscle to increase metabolism and
prevent future weight gain.
How To Use This Program
Every week, do three workouts that each use different exercises and different systems of sets and
repetitions. Working three different ways each week ensures that your body takes longer to get used
to the workouts and works harder to make adaptations. Hard work elevates metabolism, making you
burn more calories between workouts.
Weight. If you’ve never lifted before, trial and error can determine the amount of weight you’ll lift in
each exercise. Try to increase the amount by about 10 percent each week.
Cardiovascular work. This program relies on what Ballantyne calls “the new cardio.” Rather than long,
slow, steady aerobic exercise, it calls for you to go hard for short periods, then easy for a minute or
two. Do the cardiovascular workout one to three times a week.
Results. While muscle growth occurs after only one training session, it probably won’t be visible for
about 4 weeks. Fat loss, on the other hand, will be apparent much sooner. As soon as you start
expending more calories than you take in, you’ll start burning stored fat for energy. With the diet
changes and this exercise program, you could lose a pound or two of fat each week for 8 weeks.
Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/lose-belly-fat/page/4#ixzz1yvxa3lSO
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