By now, you know how I feel about the term “fat but fit.” It’s a misnomer at best… and a lethal lie at worst.
Still, it’s not hard to see what makes the concept so appealing. Body acceptance is difficult. But change is even harder. And when you don’t believe that meeting your weight goal is possible, it’s only a matter of time before you start shoving square pegs into round holes in an effort to minimize the problem.
The “fat but fit” myth was tailor-made to put a Band-Aid on our country’s obesity crisis. And the scientific community practically handed it to us on a silver platter.
But… I’m happy to report that this particular myth appears to be approaching its expiration date almost as quickly as it came onto the scene.
Extra weight raises heart risk by 40 percent
This latest analysis looked at data spanning nearly 25 years from more than 90,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study. Results found that being “metabolically healthy” lowered risk of heart disease, regardless of BMI.
But… even in this population, being overweight or obese still raised risk of heart disease. Significantly.
Researchers looked at risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and stroke, as well as total heart disease risk. They divided the women up into standard BMI categories:
- Normal weight (with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9)
- Overweight (with a BMI of 25 to 29)
- Obese (with a BMI over 30)
Subjects without diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol were deemed “metabolically healthy.”
Unsurprisingly, heart disease risk was sky high in women of any weight if they were metabolically unhealthy. (More than twice that of normal weight women without any metabolic issues.)
But the “fat but fit” women still faced a nearly 40 percent higher risk of heart disease.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound particularly “fit” to me at all.
The slope is slippery at any weight
These researchers walked away with more than one eye-opening finding.
They also noted that more than 80 percent of the obese women who started off metabolically healthy didn’t end up that way 20 years down the line. And to be fair, neither did 68 percent of the metabolically healthy women with normal weight.
In fact, a mere 15 percent of the normal weight women were still metabolically healthy by 2010. Along with roughly eight percent of the overweight women, and just six percent of the obese women.
And this is where my frequent advice about consistency should really hit home. Because obviously, most people are going to become metabolically unhealthy if they don’t make a concerted effort to prevent it.
The question to ask yourself is: “What can I do to make myself healthier today?” And the time to ask it is right now.
It’s exactly what I talk about in my online Metabolic Repair Protocol. The key is consistency — with your diet, with your exercise habits, with your sleep hygiene, and with your stress management. To learn more about how you can implement these methods to become a happier, healthier, and leaner you, just click here.
In the end, reaching that “magic number” on the scale isn’t even the most important part. The important part is that you keep aiming for it, every single day of your life.
P.S. In the upcoming August issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives, I talk at length about the “fat but fit” myth, and the relationship between weight and heart disease risk. Subscribers get total access to this issue — and my entire archives. Click here to learn more, or sign up today!