If you have been struggling to burn belly fat without success, the SANE setpoint diet can help. More than 13,000 clinical research studies prove that following the setpoint diet can heal your hormones and lower your setpoint weight. This will automatically burn belly fat. No more crunches or starvation diets. Promise.
This is good news because having excess belly fat is a big problem for millions of people. Some of them are so embarrassed by this fat that they won’t go swimming in public or wear tight clothing. Some women won’t even undress in front of their husbands because they are ashamed of their tummies. It is a sad fact that stubborn belly fat inhibits and even curtails the freedom of so many people.
SANE is committed to helping you free yourself from this problem with the setpoint diet — for a couple of reasons. Not only is belly fat distressing for so many people, but it can also endanger their health.
Bad belly fat
The belly fat that usually causes you so much grief — the type you can pinch between your fingers — is called subcutaneous fat. This type of fat lies directly beneath the skin of your entire body. Research shows an accumulation of subcutaneous fat is not that dangerous to health and can actually be beneficial.
Visceral belly fat, located only in the stomach area, cannot be seen or felt. Everyone has visceral fat, but an excess amount of it is dangerous to health. Stored deep in the abdominal cavity, visceral fat is located near and even wraps around several vital organs. Why is this important? Many years ago, researchers believed fat cells were simply storage lockers for fat. Now we know fat is metabolically active. It produces and secretes cortisol and inflammatory substances that affect how the body produces and uses insulin, as well as other functions.
Research indicates these substances enter the liver through the portal vein. The liver performs many essential functions. One of its most important functions is to help regulate blood glucose levels.
After eating a meal, your blood glucose levels rise. This signals the pancreas to release insulin to transport the excess glucose to your cells for energy. The release of insulin also affects the liver. If levels of glucose and insulin are high, the liver starts absorbing glucose. It converts the glucose into glycogen and stores it in your liver cells.
When glucose levels fall, so does insulin. This signals the liver to release some of its stores of glucose back into the blood. In this way, the liver keeps your blood sugar levels stable between meals and while you’re sleeping. Insulin in your blood controls the glucose release and storage mechanism of your liver. And this is just its role in glucose storage.
Health risks of visceral fat
Although blood glucose control is an important function, it is only one of the hundreds of key functions the liver is responsible for. It makes sense, then, that the liver could be the vehicle that visceral fat uses to cause so many health problems.
Some of the known health risks of carrying excess visceral fat include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- Heart disease
- Some cancers
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep disorders
- Loss of cognitive function
Bad belly fat and BMI
For the past couple of decades, the medical establishment considered those who looked overweight to be at high risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions linked to having excess weight. This was particularly true for anyone who had a body mass index (BMI) within a certain number range.
What is BMI?
The body mass index is a calculation of weight for adult men and women based on their height and weight. Though it does not measure the actual amount of body fat, the medical community considers BMI to be a reliable way to screen for obesity-related health conditions. But it is not that reliable.
For instance, if you are thin with no belly fat but a lot of muscle, you may have a BMI of 30 or more, which is considered obese. If you have a lot of body fat — particularly visceral fat — but not much muscle, you may have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. This is considered a “healthy weight,” and your actual weight on the scale confirms it. The doctor will probably pat you on the back and send you on your way, assuring you that you do not have to worry about any obesity-related diseases. That doctor couldn’t be more wrong.
Skinny fat: the invisible risk factor
“Skinny fat” is defined as having a high percentage of body fat and a low level of muscle. The medical term for the condition is “metabolically obese normal weight.”
Skinny fat is becoming a public health concern, maybe even a crisis. Children and adolescents are developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other obesity-related diseases at an alarming rate — even those who are of “normal weight.” Because of the muscle loss associated with aging, senior citizens are also suffering from skinny fat — and its related health effects — in record numbers.
It is no longer possible to identify someone’s health risks based on their level of obesity or on how much obvious belly fat they have. We must dig deeper. The real risk is invisible. It is visceral belly fat.
Diagnosing visceral fat
The only way to diagnose visceral fat is with a CT or MRI scan, a hugely expensive diagnostic tool. Fortunately, there are other ways to tell whether you have dangerous levels of visceral fat that won’t cost you a dime.
One of the best ways to estimate whether your health is at risk from visceral fat is to measure your waist size. Research shows if your waist size measures 35 inches or larger, for a woman or 40 inches or larger, for a man, your level of visceral fat increases your risk for health problems.
Your total level of body fat is also a good indicator of the level of visceral fat you may be carrying. Harvard University estimates that 10% of your total fat is visceral fat. Therefore, if you are carrying an unhealthy amount of body fat, it is likely you also have an unhealthy amount of visceral fat.
If you’re skinny fat, neither of these methods will work. Therefore, you’ll need to have a CT, MRI, or other clinical scans performed to measure your visceral fat level. You can also purchase a body composition device that can give you a pretty good idea of your level of visceral body fat. Of course, most people of normal weight don’t even think about belly fat, so your best bet at reducing it (just in case) or preventing it is to follow the setpoint diet.
Before detailing the setpoint diet, let’s discuss some of the main causes of belly fat.
Causes of excess belly fat
Here are the most common causes of belly fat.
Many clinical research studies show a link between excess sugar consumption and belly fat. The culprit appears to be fructose. Granulated sugar (sucrose) contains 50% fructose, and high fructose corn syrup contains 55% fructose. These studies show that increased intake of beverages containing fructose decreases insulin sensitivity and increases belly fat, even when consumed as part of a calorie-restricted diet.
Though consuming sugar-sweetened beverages is particularly damaging to health, eating too many sugar-sweetened foods has also been linked to decreased fat-burning and insulin resistance. Studies show more than 80% of foods in grocery stores contain added sugar, so it’s probably not a surprise that weight gain and increased belly fat have become such a problem.
Refined (processed) carb consumption
Refined carbs are those that contain no fiber. They are white foods, such as white bread, white rice, and white flour. (The latter is the most commonly used and consumed refined carb. ) Because there is no fiber in refined carbs to slow glucose absorption, consuming these foods causes spikes in blood sugar levels. This can lead to many health problems, including type 2 diabetes.
Over-consumption of refined carbs also leads to weight gain and increased belly fat, according to several studies.
Many studies show excess alcohol consumption may lead to weight gain, especially in the stomach region. Alcohol is thought not only to suppress fat burning but also to send much of its calories to your belly. (Yes, “belly fat” is a real thing.)
Women in menopause typically complain about an increase in stubborn belly fat that they can’t seem to lose, no matter what they do. They aren’t exaggerating the problem.
Menopause is a time of huge hormonal fluctuations, especially in estrogen. Research shows menopause typically triggers a redistribution of body fat. Instead of being stored on the hips and thighs, as it was during her childbearing years, fat is now stored in her abdomen. Following the setpoint diet will regulate your hormones, helping you lose that stubborn belly fat.
Stress causes an increase in blood cortisol levels. Prolonged stress leads to chronically elevated blood cortisol levels.
Cortisol, secreted by the adrenal glands, is a hormone that not only triggers sugar and carb cravings — potentially leading to over-consumption of the very foods that cause belly fat — but it also causes an accumulation of belly fat.
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep has also been linked to weight gain and belly fat. Many studies indicate one of the reasons sleep deprivation may cause an accumulation of belly fat is because of cortisol.
Those who do not get enough sleep have higher blood cortisol levels, studies show. Other studies show sleep-deprived individuals eat more food than their well-rested counterparts — much of it sugary, fatty carbs.
Setpoint Diet foods that burn or prevent belly fat
Setpoint diet foods have been clinically proven to burn belly fat and promote weight loss. On the setpoint diet, you’ll eat delicious real foods that will help melt your tummy fat. Here are the setpoint diet food groups:
Eat (or drink in a green smoothie) at least 10 servings per day.
Besides containing high amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, the biggest reason non-starchy vegetables help burn belly fat is because of their fiber content. Fiber creates bulk in your stomach, filling you up fast and keeping you full longer. Increasing your intake of non-starchy vegetables will naturally stop you from overeating. Plus, studies show increasing soluble fiber intake can reduce visceral fat.
Here are examples of great non-starchy veggies to add to your grocery list:
3-5 servings per day, 30-55 grams per meal
Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, so it keeps you full longer. Plus, research shows when you eat protein, it triggers short- and long-term satiety hormones. This is the reason why protein fills you up quickly and keeps you full much longer than carbohydrates! Studies also show those who increase their consumption of protein lose more belly fat than those who eat the minimum recommended amount of protein.
Here are examples of delicious nutrient-dense proteins to try:
- Cottage Cheese
- Egg Whites
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- Grass-Fed Beef
3-6 servings per day
Studies show that rather than causing weight gain, consuming whole-food fats promotes weight loss. (This includes belly fat.) In fact, research is clear that if you replace sugar and refined carbs with whole-food fats, your body will start to prefer burning fat for fuel rather than carbs. The next time it needs energy and you haven’t eaten in a while, it will simply take it from the fat stores in your belly and the rest of your body.
Here are examples of yummy whole-food fats:
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
Non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, and whole-food fats are the core food groups of the SANE setpoint diet. But there is one more food group you’ll want to enjoy occasionally, low-fructose fruits.
0-3 servings per day
Keeping sugar consumption to a minimum is important to reduce fat, and that includes the sugar found in fruit. (The type of sugar in fruit, after all, is fructose.) Having an occasional serving of low-fructose fruits is the best way to keep your sugar consumption low while also enjoying fruit.
Here are some tasty low-fructose fruits to enjoy today:
- Acai Berries
The setpoint diet is the best way to melt belly fat, lose weight, and feel great. Try it and see for yourself!
Next step: Use the Setpoint Diet to burn belly fat!
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