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Visceral fat, anorexia connection, solution

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  • Visceral fat, anorexia connection, solution

    I'm a post-menopausal woman with a history of anorexia as a teen. Most of my adult life I've weighed in the 130's which for me at 5'7" is healthy; weighing less than 125 when I was younger caused amenorrhea for me. My low as a teen was 104. I have terrific genes - great blood #s for all the usual stuff people worry about and also no problem maintaining my adult weight until recently.

    Last year I gained weight and inches despite no change in diet or lifestyle. I think this is related to prediabetes as I had a fasting blood sugar of 99 at my last physical, up from 92 the previous year. Since going mostly Primal in June I've lost the excess weight. Self-measurements show a little improvement in fasting bloods but I'm still seeing a dawn effect.

    I read an academic paper citing a correlation between being a recovered anorexic and developing Type II Diabetes which seems to be related to the concept of being metabolically obese/normal weight. The theory is that in regaining weight anorexics add significant visceral fat, and the visceral fat is the connection with later-life diabetes.

    I'm not interested in loosing more weight. I want to target invisible visceral fat and build muscle. I am following primal fitness guidelines and I recently started intermittent fasting 1x per week (lunch/dinner/breakfast or dinner/breakfast). Most of the posts I've read here seem to confuse or co-address visible belly fat and invisible visceral fat. Can anyone point me to any clinical studies that measure true visceral fat loss under different circumstances, particularly among normal weight individuals? Thanks!
    Last edited by NextSteps; 09-25-2012, 06:15 AM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Hi! I'm not sure if this will be of any help to you, but I was compelled to add my two cents. I actually signed up just to reply; I usually lurk.

    Typical eating disorder recovery requires adhering to the food guide, making your diet grain heavy. In fact, I suspect that's one of the reasons why it's recommended: they know that grains will put weight on a person faster than anything else, and increase appetite. This is fine if all you're interested in is weight gain, not so fine if you want to restore overall health. This is where I think the diabetes and belly fat correlation stem from.

    Now, it's true that when you gain from being underweight, the first place it's going is your belly to protect your organs. (that awesome central weight gain every person with an eating disorder just loves! ) After about a year at a normal weight, your body fat evens out, and you'll feel a little more human. Does that visceral fat stick around? Once your body knows it doesn't have to conserve fat, I'm thinking not. But I honestly don't know. Probably yes if you're still eating gluten. The grains-type II-belly fat connection probably isn't mentioned in the study. Higher insulin levels will cause you to store belly fat, and eating grains will fuel that.

    I know you're not trying to recover from that, so my point is that I think it's more about the effects of grains than the recovery itself. Do you have a link? I'd love to read it.

    A few people have talked about primal helping them recover from disordered eating and specific e.d's, especially bulimia. It's a confusing thing to navigate when you get three million opinions from doctors and dieticians.