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Nutrition & Fitness Tips

Can You Be Both Fit and Fat?

Can You Be Both Fit and Fat?

This discussion has been going on for years. Can you be fit and fat at the same time?

The “yes” argument focuses on people who are overweight, yet do not have common risk factors for major illness, like heart disease. Some people carry excess weight but have normal blood pressure, healthy cholesterol levels, and normal blood glucose. They say, “Sure, we have some belly fat. But that doesn’t mean we’re unhealthy. Skinny people with risk-factors for chronic illnesses are worse off than us.”

Then you have the “no” argument. This group claims being overweight is in and of itself a major risk factor for common chronic conditions - including heart disease. Even with the other risk factors at normal levels, being overweight is enough to be worried about.

But what does the science say? Can you really be fit and fat?

Recent Research into Health Risks and BMI

In August 2017, the European Heart Journal published an analysis called “Separate and combined associations of obesity and metabolic health with coronary heart disease”. A mouthful, yes. But what were the findings?

Researchers tracked more than 500,000 participants over the course of 12 years. To get specific information on heart disease, obesity, and their relationship to one another, the research team focused on 7,637 participants who had already experienced coronary heart disease. This group was compared against a control group mirroring the general population.

These groups were broken down into healthy and unhealthy groups using these parameters: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated waist circumference
  • High blood sugar
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High triglycerides

People who exhibited 3 or more of these risk factors were added to the “unhealthy” group. In the end, regardless of BMI, all unhealthy adults were more than twice as much at risk for developing heart disease.

Being Overweight or Obese Is a Major Risk Factor

For further analysis, the research team zeroed in on the “healthy” group of participants. Some were at normal weight, some overweight, and others obese. It turns out that the healthy but overweight individuals were 26% more at risk for heart disease. The healthy but obese group had a 28% increased risk.

While this study doesn’t flesh out all of the relationship details between being overweight and being at risk for heart disease, the correlation is clear. It may be that obese individuals have not yet felt the full effects of their extra weight. With time, they are more likely to develop the same metabolic problems as those in the “unhealthy” group from this study.

It also could be that belly fat itself is a risk factor for heart disease. Some researchers believe that belly fat may affect blood coagulation, increase inflammation, and be a risk factor for arterial plaque buildup.

Improve Your Heart Health Now

Clearly, maintaining a healthy weight is critical to preventing your risk of heart disease and other serious healthy problems. Start now by improving your diet and getting active.

You should also use the best weight loss supplements to support your efforts. Losing weight is hard work and requires both physical effort and strong willpower. Using a fat burner supplement can help enhance your results and keep you on the path to successful weight loss. Green tea for weight loss is also good - it helps you get out of the habit of drinking sugary beverages by replacing them with a healthier option. And as a bonus, green tea also contributes to appetite control and better metabolism.

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Don’t give up in your efforts to lose weight and get healthy. If you’re feeling frustrated or have reached a plateau, get help from a doctor or coach. Soon you’ll see the results you’ve been working hard for - and you’ll enjoy the health benefits for many years to come.

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