Your growing middle may be a warning sign

Q: How do I get rid of belly fat?

GR: If you've been relying on your weight to determine how healthy you are, there's a good chance your scale has been lying to you.

Because according to research, having excess belly fat -- even if you're skinny everywhere else -- may be even MORE deadly than being obese or overweight.

You see, the kind of excess fat that surrounds your organs and puffs your stomach into a "beer gut" is a pretty reliable predictor of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and some cancers.

In fact, expanding your waist by just TWO INCHES can up your liver cancer risk by a shocking 8 percent, according to a study published last year.

And with EVERY two inches added to your belly, your risk goes up by ANOTHER 8 percent.

If you have a big belly AND you're carrying around extra pounds, you're also far more likely to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

In fact, for every four inches added at your waist (or every four pant sizes) the risk of prostate cancer increases by 13 percent -- and the risk of an aggressive form increases by 10 percent.

Now, you probably already know that to get rid of belly fat, you need to eat less sugar -- because, when you eat too much sugar, your body quickly stores it as fat, often around your mid-section.

As I shared with you just last week, I recommend the Paleo Diet, which eliminates sugars, grains, refined starches, and processed foods.

You probably also know that you've got to exercise. Anything that helps improve muscle mass can start to flatten that spare tire and protect you from diabetes and heart disease.

And exercise has proven to reduce your risk of cancer -- and death -- as well.

But belly fat might be a red flag as to something more serious that could be going on, so it's important to see a doctor -- ideally one who's well-versed in integrative medicine -- to try to determine the root cause of it.

For instance, a large waist circumference is a pretty accurate predictive factor for low testosterone in men (and possibly high estrogen levels).

As well, the accumulation of belly fat is often one of the first symptoms of adrenal dysfunction. While diet and exercise MAY help, if that's what's actually causing your expanding waistline, you may need to add some extra liver support to your health regimen.

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