I used to be a TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside)… Sure, I looked good in photos, but I was skinny, I under-ate and I didn’t exercise. To put it simply, I wasn’t healthy. Some of you might prefer my skinny, unhealthy looks and that’s fine… However, I feel so much better today, eating heaps of healthy food and training regularly.
Since 2009, I have gained 10 kilos, and although the scale would normally freak me out, it doesn’t. I know that the weight I have put on is healthy weight… it is muscle. My legs are stronger, shapelier and I have finally a booty hahaha
The reason why I bringing this topic up is that I am so passionate about promoting a F.I.T. and healthy lifestyle. If you are skinny, you might think you are lucky that you can ‘get away with’ eating junk food and not exercising as long as you are not putting on weight. However, your lifestyle does not only affect your looks and appearance, it affects your health and well-being too… Remember, healthy and wellbeing is not defined by your body weight but your body composition…
How do you know you are a TOFI?
Lifestyle factors are normally a telling sign if you are at risk of being a TOFI. If you don’t exercise and have an unhealthy diet you are at greater risk. But, you can’t really tell if you are TOFI just by looking at you or by taking a look at the numbers on the scale. You really need to have a scan (MRI or CT) done, as you want to know how fat you have on the ‘inside’.
So, what’s the issue?
You might think that just because you look ‘fine’ without much fat on the outside that you are safe. This is not the case. Although, fat carried on the outside (normally on hips and thighs) is considered ‘unsightly’, it is the fat on the inside that is dangerous. Just take a look at sumo wrestlers; they are fat on the outside but thin on the inside. The may look unhealthy, but all their risk factors are low or normal.
If you are a TOFI, you store your fat on the inside, around your organs. This type of fat is called visceral fat and it puts you at greater risk of diabetes, insulin resistance, reduced insulin sensitivity, and fatty liver, as well as some forms of cancer and dementia.
What can you do?
The good news is that the fat around your inner organs quite easily goes away by implementing a healthy lifestyle.
My top tips to stop being a TOFI
There are a few simple solutions to stop being a TOFI and to get fit and healthy.
1. Start exercising
Regular physical activity is really good to help fight visceral fat. Do a combination of weight training and cardio for the best effect. Make sure you make your health priority. Even if you just start with walking, any type of physical exercise is better than none.
2. Get back to basics eating
The foods I recommend in my programs are made up of the basics – healthy carbs, healthy fats, vegetables, leans cuts of meat, fruit/berries, nuts/seeds, herbs/spices and healthy condiments. These foods will not only provide you with a boost of nutrients, they will also help you reduce your levels of visceral fat.
You will just need to ensure you don’t overeat, even if it is healthy foods.
3. Avoid processed foods
Processed foods are normally high in trans fats and saturated fats. Focusing in unsaturated fats is far more beneficial for your health, so ensure you include olive oil, nuts/seeds and avocado in your diet.
4. Stop the soft drink
Sugary drinks will provide you with calories that won’t give you any of the nutrients you need to be healthy. Also, there is a slight chance that soft drinks promote the storage of fat around your organs and in your liver. It’s time to stop the soft drink!
However, although my transformation is very visual, it wasn’t just my physical appearance that improved… over the last 6 years I have also gained strength and confidence, making me feel so much better than I could ever have hoped for.
I am just hoping that I will be able to inspire you to make the same change!