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Instant KnockOut Blog : Get Shredded

The Dangers of Belly Fat

When you’re lean, everything just seems better. You’re more comfortable sitting down, feel active in a morning and you look a hell of a lot better in the mirror. Nothing beats the look of a sizzling six-pack.

But attaining it is easier said than done, with the first problem standing in your way being your belly fat – everybody has it, but not everybody likes it. So we’ve done the research and found the dangers of having too much of it, and what you can do to reduce it – and it all comes down to changing the way you view these 4 food groups.

This article will help you:

  • Identity ‘central obesity’
  • Understand the health issues related to belly fat
  • Know the foods that cause the most weight gain

The Warning Signs – How much is too much?

Internal belly fat is extremely harmful because it surrounds all of the major organs in your body. This is sometimes referred to as ‘central obesity’. A very general rule is seeing if you fit into these categories (note: there are exceptions for taller individuals):

  1. Men= a waist circumference of 40+ inches
  2. Women= a waist circumference of 35+ inches. 

If you do, you could potentially have ‘central obesity’ combined with a normal body mass index!  This can be confusing, as body mass index is not very accurate! Look at this research below and see for yourself

  • If you have a normal range BMI but higher abdominal fat – you have a 3 times higher risk of heart related deaths.

Wow this is scary! The tale of the tape is that you need to keep a real eye on your mid-section, as this is a far more important measurement to you than body mass index (2).

dangers of belly fat

Dangerous Fat isn’t always Visible

A top tip is not to be lulled into a false of security because your body mass index falls into the normal range. If you don’t have a protruding stomach, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have any belly at all. You may be classed as ‘skinny fat‘, with high levels of mass around your organs but it does not show on your belly. This is hard to classify- it normally happens if you are inactive, with a low muscle mass.

Be warned it does have the same health risks attached to it as ‘central obesity’.

The 3 Main Dangers

Below are the 3 main health risks linked to belly fat: 

  1. Increases your risk of type II diabetes – secretes harmful hormones (adipokines) that play havoc with your fat burning hormones and insulin levels.
  2. It surrounds your liver – which increases your blood cholesterol and increases your blood insulin levels (this boosts the fat storage in your body)
  3. Increases your blood pressure – this is a recipe for disaster because as  it puts added pressure onto your heart and circulation system.

The main foods and ingredients that are causing belly fat

Here are the top 4 food groups that are adding to your problem; if you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the packet – it’s probably a bad choice.

1. Soda

These are number one on the list because they are full of poor nutritional ingredients, sugars, chemicals and artificial sweeteners (aspartame). Many of the manufacturers add around 10 teaspoons of sugar into each can. This has the following negative impacts on your health:

  1. Sugar is as addictive – Affects reward hormones in the brain and leaves you wanting more
  2. Increases your insulin levels  this is linked to high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity and heart disease
  3. Aspartame – is highly acidic and is linked to brain tumors, diabetes, skin disorders, epilepsy and cancers 
  4. Phosphoric acid- is linked to weaker bone health

2. Breakfast cereals

Some breakfast cereals are full of refined sugars – this is not a bad nutritional beginning to your day! If you read any of the following ingredients on the cereal box, then it is time to switch to a healthier alternative e.g. boiled eggs:

  • White or brown sugar
  • Raw or cane sugar
  • Honey
  • Corn or Malts
  • Fructose, Glucose and anything else that ends in –‘ose’!

Again the main issue is sugar, craving within your body and this a platform for ill health. Sugar also stops the absorption of important vitamins and minerals within the body – this is a major cause of belly!

3.  Trans-Fats

Some fats are essential for the body to function properly. Stay away from Trans-fatty acids- the body can’t break them down properly and they are stored as body fat pretty quickly. These are artery blocking fats that are made when vegetable fats are hardened into margarine. Margarine is as a primary ingredient within:

  • Cheap commercial pastries
  • Cookies
  • Chocolate
  • Fried foods

4. Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Monosodium Glutamate or MSG is a highly acidic flavor enhancer that can increase your risk of belly fat.  MSG is found in a huge amount of take out foods, crackers, chips, microwave meals and canned foods. It is hidden in lots of foods, check the label as it can be found in the following ingredients:

  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Sodium Casseinate
  • Textured Protein
  • Yeast Extract


Belly fat is hiding your abs and central obesity is linked to type 2 diabetes, a fatty liver and increased blood pressure. By measuring your waist is a more accurate assessment of your body mass index.

You need to throw out foods/drinks such as colas, breakfast cereals and any processed junk that contains trans-fat and MSG. These foods are adding to your problem and they are stopping you from looking a whole lot leaner.

Always make sure you read the label on foods, or a better alternative is to switch to fresh organic produce.