Are you overfat?

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

You might not be obese or overweight, but you may be part of the 76 percent of the world's population who are now being labeled "overfat" according to a recent report in Frontiers in Public Health.

It's a new term being used by doctors to describe patients that may have normal BMIs but have an excess of body fat around the abdominal region that could put them at higher risk for diabetes, stroke, cancer, heart disease and inflammation.  

Dr. Christine Horner, natural health expert and author of the award-winning book, "Radiant Health, Ageless Beauty," says 100,000 cancer cases are linked to an increase in body fat each year, in the United States alone, and at least 50 other illnesses have direct ties to carrying too much weight around your midsection.

But fortunately, Horner says our bodies are highly responsive to even the smallest positive changes. In fact, research shows that even dropping 5 percent in body weight significantly reduces the risk of developing diseases like diabetes.

Horner will shares four nutrients that are scientifically proven to specifically target belly fat and five positive quick-fix habits you should make now that take 15 minutes or less and can reduce inches off your waistline.

All tips are part of her 30-day program outlined in her award-winning book, "Radiant Health, Ageless Beauty." 

  • Nutrient 1: Vitamin C. Studies show that vitamin C prevents the hormone cortisol from staying elevated in a stressful situation, so that it circulates in your body for shorter amounts of time, thereby helping to fight against belly fat storage. Horner recommends eating with the seasons to get the best response out of your body. Foods that are rich in vitamin C and seasonal for fall and winter include: broccoli, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, red and green bell peppers, kale, winter squash and oranges. 
  • Nutrient 2: Oligonol. Extracted from lychee fruit, Oligonol is a supplement that contains a higher level of polyphenols than you could find in the fruit alone and without the added sugar. A human clinical trial published in the Journal of Functional Foods reports that study participants who took 100 mg of Oligonol a day decreased body weight and specifically abdominal circumference and visceral fat, in addition to improving insulin resistance. Another study showed a 15 percent reduction in abdominal (visceral) fat.
  • Nutrient 3: Omega-3. Research out of the University of Ontario shows that taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement daily can dramatically boost your metabolism by as much as 400 calories a day. Other studies show omega-3 can help reduce abdominal fat storage and prevent the stress hormone cortisol from peaking. Taking the correct dosage of omega-3 is crucial it this nutrient's success. Horner says the only way to know your levels is by taking an omega-3 index test. A score of 8 percent or higher is ideal. You can get your levels tested by ordering an at-home test kit from www.nutrientpower.org
  • Nutrient 4: Cinnamon. This popular holiday seasoning has been shown to make fat cells more responsive to insulin, which improves blood sugar regulation and helps prevent fat storage. One study found that cinnamon could increase glucose metabolism by twenty-fold. The USDA recommends 2 teaspoons of cinnamon daily to reap the weight loss benefits cited in this study. Sprinkle cinnamon on foods like chopped apples or sweet potatoes; mix it with other foods, smoothies or make a cinnamon tea. 

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