The World Health Organization has stated that obesity and being overweight are amongst the leading causes of premature death in developed countries. Obesity statistics are rising despite the fact that we have better access to healthy foods and more time for exercise. Despite the health warnings, many developed populations are getting fatter and the number of overweight people is increasing.
We can blame some of these increasing statistics on the fact that most of us do less activity than in previous generations - most of us earn our money sitting down whereas a few decades ago, more people made their living doing manual labor and other physically active jobs.
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Also, when it comes to our leisure time, many of us enjoy passive activities such as watching TV or surfing the internet whereas in the past, we spent our leisure time doing activities that were more demanding such as gardening and walking.
So we're less active on a daily basis but we continue to eat a similar volume of food - it's no wonder we're getting fatter!
Food choices have changed too. Not so long ago, our diets consisted of meat, vegetables and whole grains and relatively small amounts of fat and sugar. This has all changed and more and more people eat a diet rich in man-made foods that do nothing for health but are easily converted to fat around your waist.
Fat stored around your waist has serious health implications... !
Abdominal fat and YOUR health
Abdominal fat is closely linked to a number of medical problems including:
• Type 2 diabetes
• High blood pressure
• Increased LDL or "bad" cholesterol
• Liver disease
• Colorectal cancer
It's pretty clear that fat around your waist is more than just unsightly - it can severely reduce your life expectancy! If your waist measurement is greater than your hip measurement you should take steps to lose those unwanted and unhealthy inches around your abdomen and sooner rather than later.
Extreme diets - usually extremely ineffective!
People attempt to lose weight in a number of ways - everything from extreme diets to super-tough exercise programs to risky surgeries and even riskier medications. It seems like the fatter people become, the more desperate they are to lose weight fast.
While extreme diets and workouts can help you lose weight, they only work for as long as you can stick with them. The best diet in the world is no good at all if you can't follow it for weeks or even months on end. The same is true of exercise. One intense workout that leaves you so exhausted and sore that you never return to the gym is nothing but a painful waste if your time.
Surgery and medicine are not the answer!
Surgery may seem like a good option but you should consider the risks associated with going under the knife. Hospitals can harbor antibiotic resistant viruses and there are risks to being placed under anesthetic to consider.
Also, the recovery period after your procedure can be very long and require you to take time off work. And if you are very overweight or suffering from the health implications that plague overweight people, death during the operation is a very real concern.
Medication can help in the battle for fat loss but no medication is free of side effects. Some weight loss medications are nothing more than low grade "speed" and can leave you feeling energetic one minute and exhausted the next. They can also disrupt your natural sleep leaving you more tired than normal and also more likely to grab a sugary snack to get some much needed energy! It's a viscous circle.
So if extreme diets, ultra-tough exercise, drugs and surgery are not the answer, what is? That's a good question and I'm glad you asked!
Long term changes and not short term fixes.
The key to long term weight loss, especially of that oh-so dangerous abdominal fat, is moderation. Follow a healthy, balanced diet that includes lots of raw vegetables, plant-based foods and healthy fats such as the Raw Food Diet. Exercise little and often - walking is a great place to start.
Make these changes part of your life forever - not just for a few weeks. Once you have lost your abdominal fat, you need to keep it off so whatever changes you make need to be sustainable.
Once you have got your moderate diet and exercise plan in place, you might also want to consider adding these three miraculous raw foods to your daily diet which have been proven to help you lose abdominal body fat!
3 Raw Foods that Fight Abdominal Fat
Popeye knew the value of spinach and now you do too! In addition to being very high in iron and vitamin C, spinach is virtually calorie free and contains no fat or sugar. This makes it the ideal food to help you lose abdominal fat. One cup of spinach contains only seven calories so you can eat almost unlimited amounts of this tasty leafy green vegetable without having any worries about gaining weight.
To drastically reduce the number of calories in your meals while still eating a substantial quantity of food, try switching pasta, rice and other starchy foods with a big plate of spinach.
Eggs served with spinach makes for a great high protein but low carb breakfast while a grilled fillet of fish or chicken breast tastes great served on a bed of Popeye's favorite vegetable.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable which means cross-shaped. Other cruciferous vegetables include Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Broccoli is packed full of vitamins and minerals and is also low in calories but what a lot of people don't know is that this green bushy vegetable is also a powerful estrogen blocker.
Estrogen is an essential hormone, especially for women, but modern diets often contain too much and this can be a problem. This hormone is closely linked to excess fat accumulation, especially around the abdomen and chest.
Broccoli, especially in its raw state, can help stop excess estrogen and subsequently reduce your ability to store fat. In addition, broccoli is considered a powerful cancer-fighting food so it really pays to add raw broccoli to your diet.
Cucumber is another virtually calorie-free food which means you can eat lots of it without having to worry about gaining fat. As well as lacking in calories, this watery and refreshing vegetable also has another hidden talent: it is a great liver detoxifier.
Your liver is a vital organ in how your body uses and stores fat. If your liver is unhealthy, your body is much less able to burn fat for energy and is much more likely to put dietary fat into storage and that means abdominal fat. Eating cucumber can help keep your liver in tip-top condition so it is better able to use fat for fuel.
This means that when you restrict your food intake by following a sensible diet, your body will be much more able to tap into your abdominal fat and use it to make up the calories missing from your diet. In short - a health liver makes burning fat a much easier and efficient process so you lose fat faster.
5 DIABETIC FRIENDLY SALADS Some Tasty
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Stop thinking and start doing!
Now you know how dangerous abdominal fat is and how to lose it, it's time to take action. Every day that passes is another day where your risks of suffering ill health are higher than they should be. Change your diet, get more active and eat more fat-fighting raw vegetables. The only thing you have to lose is fat and in return, you can win back your health!
To learn about raw food recipes that fight abdominal fat: download my FREE Report [http://www.rawfoodfactor.com/freereport/4.htm] "25 Delicious And Simple Raw Food Recipes That Fight Abdominal Fight." Click Here [http://www.rawfoodfactor.com/freereport/4.htm]
Michael Laurenzi is the founder of RawFoodFactor.com
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