TOFI means Thin On The Outside, Fat On The Inside. It means that you may look athletic and lean at first glance but actually store a large amounts of hidden fat around your vital organs, streaked through your muscles and surrounding your heart.
This phenomenon occurs much more frequently in today’s society and puts millions of unaware people at the same risks that (more obviously) obese people struggle with as well.
The best way to find out how much body fat is stored in the different parts of your body is by using a high tech MRI machine. This demonstrates where fat is stored and whether there is too much of it, regardless of how you look or what your BMI is.
Slim people with problematic fat storage carry more visceral fat (fat stored in the abdominal cavity and therefore surrounds a number of vital organs) than subcutaneous fat (fat stored under the skin). Doctors claim the most worrisome group of people are the ones who seem slim but perform little to no physical exercise. This type of fat can lead to diabetes, heart disease and insulin resistance. This type of hidden excess fat storage is assumed to be even more dangerous than the obvious fat we all think of when we talk about obesity.
Thankfully, today’s technology can detect this issue. However you need to be proactive about it and catch it before it is too late. Often times, people are unaware and their first “symptom” can already be too late if it ends up being a heart attack or organ failure. Do not depend on BMI as it is horribly outdated and inaccurate (it was developed 150 years ago). Instead, use common sense, talk to your doctor and dig into your family history. Often times, your genetics will play a role in how you store fat and what you are prone to. However, don’t demonize fat either. Fat plays an extremely important role in our body’s functions and is necessary for proper health. That being said, today’s society offers such an abundance of calories, of which many are called “empty calories”, which presents a large problem and causes short and long term health disasters.
How to avoid being a TOFI? Simple, eat clean and natural, get outside and exercise! Reevaluate your routines, diet and goals. Eating healthy does not mean eating “less fat” or “Diet” products. It means tons of fruits and veggies, lean protein and plenty of water. That is the way nature intended us to eat. Don’t stuff your body with man made substances. According to research, people who are slim through diet instead of exercise tend to have more major deposits of internal fat. This shows again that diet and exercise are crucial, not just one or the other. Yes you can become slim by eating a certain way but being slim does not equate health. This can also being said for exercise only. You simply cannot out exercise a bad diet.
Try to find the balance. It’ll be different for everyone. If you need professional help, take a look at FitGuana’s Global Store and find the perfect trainer or program to accomplish those health and fitness goals.
By Sander Vanacker for FitGuana
Sander Vanacker is a personal trainer, CEO of Bring Back Nature, Inc. and founder of FitGuana. He believes in improving health and wellness by incorporating more nature into our lives, being active and spending more time outdoors.