There is a very strong chance you will develop type II diabetes. Your pancreas will throw up it’s arms and surrender. You’ll need medication. Your insurance will go up. You’ll also be at an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. Not to mention, you could lose a toe or two.

Sounds pretty bleak and almost unbelievable, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, you can stop this disease from happening if you’re willing to put up some firm lifestyle boundaries. When I wrote The Belly Burn Plan, I wanted to reach people who were living with too much belly fat (AKA visceral fat). It’s a menace on our internal organs, placing unneeded stress on our body and generally wreaking havoc on our entire fragile system.  Beyond the fact that most people don’t like the way they look with a little extra jiggle through the middle, it’s downright dangerous.

First, the facts
According to the CDC, 9.3% of the US population already has type 2 diabetes. Another 37% of the adult population (this doesn’t include children) are pre-diabetic. Unless pre-diabetes is reversed, type 2 diabetes takes over within five years. Given that type 2 diabetes is on an aggressive upward swing and so many people are pre-diabetic, it’s reasonable to say that close to half the population, or one in two people, will be affected.

What you do that INCREASES your risk
Every time you drink a can of soda or glass of juice; every time you reach for an extra cookie or one more slice of bread; every time you hit the drive through or convenience store for a snack – you inch closer.

A lack of activity, not getting enough sleep and not coping with stress also increase the risk factors.

What you can do to DECREASE your risk
Cut back on sugar.
Not just the obvious stuff, like candy, ice cream and soda, but unsuspecting foods, too. Here’s a short list of foods and the amount of sugar you might not know they contain:

  • Cascadian Farms Organic Granola = about 4 teaspoons of sugar (per 3/4 cup)
  • Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oats = about 4 teaspoons of sugar (per container)
  • CLIF Bars = about 5 teaspoons of sugar (per bar)
  • Chocolate Milk = about 5 teaspoons of sugar (per cup)
  • Vitamin Water = about 8 teaspoons of sugar (per bottle)
  • Yoplait Original Fat Free Yogurt = about 8 teaspoons of sugar (per container)
  • Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino = about 8 teaspoons of sugar (per bottle)
  • Blueberry Muffins = about 9 teaspoons of sugar (per 5 ounce muffin)

Wow! The best thing you can do is read the nutrition facts and ingredients on every label. There are about 4 grams of sugar in every teaspoon. Don’t forget to look at the servings per container. A bottle of soda you might buy at the checkout in a grocery store usually contains 2.5 servings. If you drink the whole bottle, you’re overdosing on sugar.

Need help kicking your sugar addiction? Here’s a tip sheet.

Eat a reasonable amount of fat and protein with every meal. If you’re feeling hungry within an hour or two after you eat, you could need a little more fat or protein in your meals to help stabilize energy levels. You’re also more likely to feel fuller longer! Good sources of protein and fat include:

  • Coconut Oil (fat)
  • Eggs (protein + fat)
  • Nuts (protein + fat)
  • Avocado (fat)
  • Cheese (protein + fat)
  • Cottage Cheese (protein + fat)
  • Plain low or whole fat yogurt (protein + fat)

Stay Active. You certainly don’t need to workout everyday. Instead, just move!

  • Go for a long walk.
  • Jog/walk for 30 minutes.
  • Swim
  • Dance
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot at the grocery store.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Get up from your desk and move every hour.

Looking for a good workout? Here are 11 (including a downloadable PDF).

Sleep. I’m a mom. I have three kids – one of whom is just about 10 months old. I know sleep is a hot commodity and not always the easiest to get, but don’t burn the midnight oil when you don’t need to. Think of sleep as food!

  • Sleep regulates our metabolism
  • People who sleep less are more likely to deal with unsteady blood sugar levels the next day
  • During sleep, our body releases lots of human growth hormone, which helps our body develop muscle and burn fat

You can, in fact, sleep your way to a leaner body!

Another tip! Buy The Belly Burn Plan. Yes, I wrote the book, but the results I’ve seen in the people who have been dealing with belly fat is pretty incredible. The book combines a 6 week meal plan with a workout schedule and offers lots of very doable lifestyle tips. Join my group on Facebook for extra motivation.


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