YouTuber and author Thomas DeLauer creates content on the science behind safe and sustainable weight loss and fitness, informed by his own personal experience of losing more than 100 pounds. In his latest video, DeLauer takes a look at the various factors behind normal weight obesity—a condition characterized by “central adiposity,” where fat is retained in the midsection—otherwise known as being skinny fat.
Insufficient protein intake
DeLauer cites a number of studies which found a correlation between high quality animal protein consumption and a leaner waistline. He recommends, as a broad rule of thumb, eating around 0.75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each day.
“When you’re skinny fat, one of the characteristics is going to be smaller amounts of muscle mass,” says DeLauer. “Remember, 40 percent of your daily calories being burned come from your muscle consuming those calories. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you’re going to burn. If you only have a small amount of muscle, you’re not burning a lot of calories.”
High glycemic carbs
It’s not necessarily true that eating carbs will lead to a high level of insulin resistance and result in normal weight obesity—it all depends on the kinds of carbs a person is eating. “I’m not an anti-carbs guy,” says DeLauer, adding: “I would argue that quality of the carbs absolutely matters… I don’t necessarily think you need to go down and shrink your carbohydrate intake a bunch, I think you need to focus on a lower glycemic foods for a while, and maybe start weaning off there.”
DeLauer refers to research in which a link has been found between lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of visceral fat. “It probably has to do with the fact that our visceral fat has a high amount of androgen receptors. That means our visceral fat—the fat underneath our tissue, surrounding our organs, our pot belly fat—that really is sensitive to testosterone levels.”
One possible way to improve the androgen receptors’ affinity to testosterone, DeLauer says, is to take 50 mg of zinc each day.
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