In 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) classified obesity as a complex, chronic disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t a cosmetic concern, it’s a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. It is generally measured by either BMI (Body Mass Index), a calculation between your height and weight, or by waist circumference.
Adult Body Mass Index
- If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
- If your BMI is 18.5 to <25, it falls within the healthy weight range.
- If your BMI is 25.0 to <30, it falls within the overweight range.
- If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obesity range.
Many doctors also measure a person’s waist circumference to help guide treatment decisions. Weight-related health problems are more common in men with a waist circumference over 40 inches (102 centimeters) and in women with a waist measurement over 35 inches (89 centimeters), because visceral fat, the “deadliest” fat, is highly inflammatory and sits around the midsection infiltrating visceral organs.
At Barley Wellness, if you are 100% compliant with our program, we can guarantee weight loss! Did we just say that? Yes! Why? Because weight gain or weight loss is not your fault. It’s all about your physiology. Neuro-hormonal reactions in your body cause weight gain and drive hunger and cravings. If you use food as medicine, you can change your physiology to your advantage. Come see for yourself.
Type 2 Diabetes
More than 34 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it. People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious health complications including premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and amputation of toes, feet, or legs due to neuropathy and circulatory issues.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreatic hormone, insulin, acts as a key and opens the door letting blood sugar into your cells to be used for energy. When you have T2D your cells become resistant to insulin, so the body must produce more of it (hyperinsulinemia) to get energy into the cells. When your cells are resistant and insulin can’t keep up with the high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), the stage is set for T2D.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes are typically prescribed one or more glucose-lowering medications, many of which have undesirable side effects like nausea, risk of cardiovascular complications, and weight gain. Besides these medications, diet plays a significant role in creating T2D and healing it. Recently, in a peer-reviewed publication, a clinical trial using our program showed how type 2 diabetics could be placed into remission and taken off their medications in 37% of the cases. Others were able to lower their medication dosage. Clinically we also see type 1 diabetics lowering the Hemoglobin A1c over time. As Hippocrates once said: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
Cholesterol is a fat (also called a lipid) that your body needs to work properly. Too much bad cholesterol (LDL, VLDL) can increase your chance of heart disease, stroke, and other problems. The medical terms for high blood cholesterol are lipid disorder, hyperlipidemia, or hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol can be the side effect of a poor diet. Dyslipidemia, including cholesterol and triglycerides, is a broader term which means the body’s fats in the blood stream are just too high.
While doing our program many patients have noticed their blood work show a reduction in total cholesterol (TC) and “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and an increase in “good cholesterol” (HDL).
Belly fat, or visceral fat, is body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity near several important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Visceral fat is sometimes referred to as ‘active fat’ because research shows that this type of fat plays a distinctive and potentially dangerous role in affecting how our hormones function. Storing higher amounts of visceral fat is associated with increased risks of several health problems including type 2 diabetes.
It is important to define the difference between visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that we store just under our skin. The fat we may be able to feel on our arms and legs is subcutaneous fat. A growing belly can be the result of both types of fat. There may be some subcutaneous fat we can feel just under the skin but we may also be storing significant extra fat within our abdomen where our organs reside. This intra-abdominal fat is our visceral fat and is highly inflammatory, releasing inflammation-promoting adipokines.
Carrying a high amount of visceral fat is known to be associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. Researchers have found that visceral fat secretes a protein called retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) which has been shown to increase resistance to insulin. This can lead us down the road of pre-diabetes and T2D. Harvard University states that diet and exercise are more effective at reducing visceral fat than the fat around our hips and thighs.
Losing inches in your arms, thighs, chest, neck, and waist are all a part of our program. The Barley Wellness difference is that while losing fat, you are holding onto your muscle mass and sometimes gaining muscle. This is a good thing because muscle is the “engine” that burns fat. Muscle is denser and heavier than fat, so it’s possible to get thinner without actually seeing a change in your weight. This happens when you lose body fat while gaining muscle. Your weight may stay the same, even as you lose inches, a sign that you’re moving in the right direction. Another reason scale weight isn’t so reliable is that it changes all the time.
At Barley Wellness we use a bio-impedance scale that measures your:
- Body fat %
- Fat mass
- Fat-free mass (muscle, bone, tissue, water)
- Muscle mass
- Total body water
- Total body water %
- Bone mass
- BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
- Visceral fat rating
- Chronological age
- Metabolic age
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
- Ideal body weight
- Degree of obesity
People always want to examine their chronological age (real age) vs. their metabolic age, or “healthy age”. You may be young as far as birthdays go, but your health says your older. One of the things our patient’s love to see is their metabolic age start to dip below their chronological age as they get healthier on our program. Losing inches is a great way to monitor your progress, you’ll be amazed at how many inches you can lose.