Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Banishing Belly FAT Forever and the Diseases That It Creates: heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes…just to name a few!
Medical technology and services have exploded in the last 40 years causing Medical Health care spending to consume an increasing share of economic activity. In 1970, total health care spending was about $75 billion, or only about $356 per person. In less than 40 years these costs have grown to $2 trillion, or $6,697 per person. As a result, the share of economic activity devoted to health care has grown from 7.2 percent in1970 to 16.0 percent in 2005. By the year 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) projects that health spending will be nearly one-fifth of GDP (19.6 percent), a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country in the world.
And yet according to the New England Journal of Medicine 2010, our health care system is ranked 37th out of 191 countries in performance, with more Americans suffering from chronic illnesses today than ever before. In fact, it is common for American people to be burdened by more than three chronic illnesses simultaneously, and there is a syndrome that explains why. Metabolic Syndrome is an underlying cause of obesity, heart disease, (including high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure) arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. It is a syndrome caused by poor lifestyle choices and a syndrome you seldom hear about on the evening news.
The chronic disease escalation has contributed to a significant increase in out-of-pocket medical expenditures for many Americans because prescription drugs are often not completely covered by health insurance policies. The average annual out-of-pocket expense increased from $427 per American in 1996 to $741 in 2005. After adjusting for inflation, this is a 39% increase in this type of spending per person over that period of time.
Unfortunately, these expenditures are significantly higher for the elderly. An elderly person insured through Medicare with three or more chronic illnesses pays an average of $2,588 in out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Avoid Becoming a Statistic
The truth is we live in a time of accelerated aging. Our cells are aging faster than our years and our bodies are creating diseases of aging at much higher levels and much lower ages. Diseases that used to be equated with the age once we were actually old, are occurring even our children especially obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteopenia.
By now we’ve all heard the importance of making healthy food choices but having knowledge and applying knowledge can be different. So let’s look at the consequences of making unhealthy food choices or regularly skipping meals? At the very least, we make ourselves vulnerable to metabolic syndrome, also referred to as syndrome X or insulin resistance.
Metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States; an estimated 80 million Americans have it. This syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors that occur in a person. They include:
Abdominal obesity (excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen)
High blood fats, high triglycerides and high LDL cholesterol
Low HDL cholesterol
Elevated blood pressure
Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can’t properly use insulin or blood sugar)
Pro-inflammatory state (for example, chronic pain or elevated C-reactive protein in the blood) which stresses the immune response.
Waist measuring 40 inches or more for men, and 35 inches or more for women
The dominant underlying risk factors for this syndrome appear to be abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a generalized metabolic disorder in which the body can’t use insulin efficiently as the cell wall becomes resistant to insulin released by the pancreas. (This is why metabolic syndrome is also called Insulin Resistance Syndrome.)
Fat is not inert tissue, it is a source of silent pain and inflammation. It is filled with arachidonic acid and environmental toxins. As you metabolize fat, organochlorides are released and interfere with your thyroid gland often times causing a stall in weight loss. This creates the plateau that so many people struggle with that sends them back to their old ways of eating. It is also why the use of Medical Foods can be important for removing these organochlorides and environmental toxins.
Remember, when starting a weight loss program it is important to monitor the type of tissue you are losing to ensure you are losing fat and not lean muscle mass. There are many seemingly skinny-fat people – meaning they have a high percentage of body composition that is inflammatory fat. Remember all degenerative diseases involve and are contributed to by inflammation.
You Are Not a Victim
This inflammation begins with a high insulin lifestyle habits:
Initially, symptoms may include common things such as feeling sluggish after eating, experiencing dull headaches related to certain foods and excess weight gain, especially around the abdomen. These symptoms are created by the dysregulation of blood sugar levels from:
Poorly balanced high carbohydrate meals
Lack of proper exercise
Overuse of stimulants
Lack of stress management
Micronutrient/Vitamin mineral imbalance
and can ultimately lead to obesity, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) fluctuations, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high blood fats and, worst of all, Type 2 diabetes.
America has the fastest growing adolescent population of Type 2 diabetics, which is largely driven by obesity. Clearly, obesity is on the increase with our children; an estimated 16 to 33 percent of children in the United States are obese, and 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese—totaling 108 million people. It’s not difficult to figure out why childhood obesity has become a national epidemic.
Youngsters spend sedentary hours each day in front of TVs, video games and computers. Schools either no longer require or have greatly reduced physical education classes, and potentially dangerous streets keep our kids inside rather than outdoors playing sports and exercising. Coupled with the proliferation of fast food and sugar-laden snacks, our children’s bodies are facing even greater challenges.
One major obstacle to children’s health is the easy availability of zero-nutrient beverages such as carbonated sodas, sweetened juices and caffeine-laden “sports” drinks. According to a recent study published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal in the United Kingdom, children (and adults) who consume these beverages are at a greater risk for developing obesity. If you are a parent of young children, it’s important to know that a recent Harvard University study concluded that the odds of becoming obese increases 1.6 times for every can, bottle or glass of sugary beverage consumed daily.
Remember it has been determined that one-third of our children born since the year 2000 will become diabetic. What is shocking about this statistic is over 90% of type2 diabetes is attributed to habits and forms of behavior that are knowingly high risk and therefore preventable through low risk behavior and healthy lifestyle habits as discussed in this brochure.
Also remember that diabetes is a horrible disease accounting for nearly 73,000 deaths in America alone and with the potential and probable long-term ramifications being loss of sensation, eyesight, stroke, heart disease and at times amputation of limbs and kidney failure. They have even discovered a connection between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. This is not a disease that we, as good parents, intentionally inflict upon our children. When we don’t take control of the dietary habits within our own households, we leave not only ourselves but our children vulnerable to this disease and other hazards of accelerated aging. The difference between our generation and younger generations is that their aging process will be so severely accelerated that they are estimated to be the first generation that will not live as long as their parents. Is this really the legacy that we wish to leave for our children—an inheritance of disease and early death?
Choose Health And Lose That Belly Fat Forever!
Start by making simple changes one or 2 changes per week will create a new you in just a few months. If you need help, simply call us and work with one of our certified coaches. Avoid falling prey to these daunting statistics by taking some simple actions. First, remember that in your own home you determine the quality of food and drinks that are available to everyone to consume. Instead of having sugary beverages in the kitchen, offer filtered water to your family. When your children are thirsty, they will drink what is available, and if only water is available, that is what they will reach for.
Have some bowls of chopped carrots, celery, broccoli or whole fruit on the counter and you will be amazed at the little fingers that will grab it each time they walk by, so will you! Try it . . . it really does work, and soon yours and your child’s taste buds will be programmed to enjoy healthy food.
I find it interesting when I hear parents say that their child will not eat vegetables or will only drink soda. It amazes me because I have yet to see a three-year-old jump in the car and go to the store to buy his or her groceries! As adults, it is our job to set an example for our children. They may be little people, but just like all other humans, children’s bodies are designed to eat when they are hungry and drink when they are thirsty. Our job is to ensure that they have healthy foods within easy reach whenever they are hungry or thirsty.
When it comes to fluids, aim for a daily formula of two-thirds of an ounce of water for every pound of body weight; in other words, take .66 times your current body weight and you will know the exact amount of water (in ounces) that your body requires. If you live in a dry environment or exercise intensely, you may require more. If you are on a fluid-restricted diet, I suggest that you speak to your doctor about this.
It is important to make sure the quality of the water you drink is clean and pure. Recently while traveling with my mother, I was purchasing high-quality filtered water when she said to me, “You know, Kath, we live in America. You can drink the water.” I laughed because I begged to differ. In fact, several times a year I give presentations about the devastating effects of environmental toxins on our health. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), perchlorate (a solid rocket fuel chemical that interferes with thyroid and brain development in children) has been found in our water. Pharmaceuticals that we flush or eliminate through our urine also end up in our drinking water, not to mention fluoride and a host of other pollutants. Trust me; America’s water supply is not as safe as you may like to believe.
You can, in moderation, mix things up with limited amounts of fruit juice, preferable who and with the pulp. Here’s the deal, sugar feeds the bad bacteria, yeast and candida in your intestines. Fiber feeds the good bacteria in your intestines. Over 70% of your immune response comes from your intestines so the healthier your gut, the healthier your body.
Keep in mind that it takes approximately five apples to make a glass of apple juice. How long would it take you to eat five apples? Quite a long time, and you would be getting all of the natural fiber that the Creator put in there to slow down that blood sugar absorption. On the other hand, it takes only minutes to drink the glass of juice. We no longer have the fiber present, and it will spike our blood sugar and feed the bad guys in your intestinal tract. (Remember, spiking blood sugar is what begins the downward spiral of insulin resistance.) My suggestion is that you dilute your fruit juices that are not whole, with an equal amount of water and have it as a treat.
Unfortunately, even healthy drinks such as green tea do not substitute for our necessary water intake. They are good and have health benefits, but only water is water, so enjoy it abundantly. I always tell my patients, “If you wouldn’t shower in it to clean your body on the outside, don’t expect it to clean your body on the inside.” Adding lemon or slices of fruit to your water can enhance its flavor, and it looks so refreshing. Lemon has an extra cleansing benefit, as well.
Jim, age 55 is a perfect example of unchecked metabolic syndrome. When Jim entered our office, he was a broken man—depressed, anxious, moody and unable to sleep. He was overweight, constantly fatigued and suffered from pain in his chest, muscles and joints. Jim had all of signs of metabolic syndrome: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy waist-to-hip ratio. He had already had a heart attack and two stents, and was taking multiple medications—from Neurotin to Lipitor to Vicodin. If we didn’t get Jim’s metabolic syndrome under control, his future health picture would be grim.
Jim began the Fit, Fun and Fabulous program weighing 238 pounds; his body fat percentage was 25.7, or 65.8 pounds of fat, which is essentially inflammatory tissue. Less than a month into the program, Jim had 18 pounds of weight loss, some of which was water weight due to the toxicity load on his body, but nine pounds of which was fat. Within nine months, he had lost 47 pounds—nearly 20 pounds of it was fat tissue—and was down to 23 percent body fat. Jim’s intracellular water now exceeded his extracellular water, indicating a great decrease in toxicity. But most importantly, Jim was feeling young again. He was able to begin exercising regularly with very little discomfort. Now, Jim has much more energy and vitality than he ever thought possible. Looking back, he clearly sees how metabolic syndrome was stealing his good health.
To recap the perils of metabolic syndrome, it is characterized by the following indicators, which accelerate the aging process:
High blood pressure
Abnormal cholesterol metabolism
High insulin levels
Increased body fat
Increased waist-to-hip ratio
Decreased muscle mass
You can begin today to make better choices with your food, drinks and the frequency of your meals that will work towards balancing your blood sugar, thereby moving you away from metabolic syndrome . . . not just for yourself, but also for those you love.
If you would like to begin a program, would like to know more about medical foods or would like some coaching support, please visit https://drkathleenhartford.com/services/about-fit-fun-and-fabulous/