Are You a TOFI?

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TOFI stands for “Thin Outside, Fat Inside”, which in fact means that if you are a TOFI, then you are thin on the outside and fat on the inside at the same time. You may wonder how’s that possible?

“Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat.” – That’s the answer of Dr. Jimmy Bell, who is a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College in London.

Dr. Bell and his team have been researching on that for more than 10 years now. They’ve scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines and have created the so called “fat maps” that show where our bodies store fat.

Thin people probably don’t realize that they also have fat issues. This is due to the fact that their bodies do store internal fat around invisible to the naked eye organs, such as the liver or the heart. We’ve used to say that only the people whose external fat is stored underneath the skin (which is the largest organ in human body and is visible with naked eye) are really fat. I wish it was as simple as that.

Now it turns out that the risk of many thin people (with normal BMI) to develop serious disease such as insulin resistance, Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease is even higher than the risk of this happening to people with higher (even obesity) BMI results.

Out of all people scanned by Dr. Bell and his team it turned out that nearly 45% the women with normal BMI results (between 20 and 25) actually had excessive levels of internal fat stored around vital organs. This percentage among men turned out to be even as high as 60%.

These results are quite disturbing. It seems that BMI (one of the most reliable measurements for overweight and obesity) is no longer accurate as long as internal fat is concerned. Most diet experts still consider BMI 100% accurate, which means that they believe that being of normal weight is equal to good health, but the truth is that BMI can’t give you the exact indication of where fat really is.

I am a TOFI. And how about you? Are you a TOFI too? If your answer is “Yes”, then it pops up the question: How we fight this internal fat?

Well, there is good news for all of us and it’s that internal fat can be easily burned off through exercise or by improving your diet. As usual regular physical exercise and caloric restriction (dieting) have always been the best way to get rid of visceral fat.

When it comes to being fit and healthy, all experts are unanimous: Dieting is now always the key to healthier and slimmer you, exercising is also a very important part of your happier and healthier lifestyle.

3 thoughts on “Are You a TOFI?


    Following Bell’s results, we suggest that “Stay, TOTI” (Thin Outside, Thin Inside) is much more positive message than “Escape TOFI” (Thin Outside, Fat Inside). Because in humans’s adipobiology/adipotopography the truth is inside (in interno veritas)(see the Table).
    Table. Fat mapping (adipotopography) – variations+
    TOFI** thin outside, fat inside
    TOTI***** thin outside, thin inside
    FOFI* fat outside, fat inside
    FOTI*** fat outside, thin inside
    + The number of asterisks, as for hotels,
    indicates quality, here – the quality of
    (cardiometabolic) health.

  2. This is something that most people do not really think about as by going by the weight scale is very mis leading. Going by weight is not only wrong but it is mis leading as people that don’t exercise but are thin might still be fat if their lean muscle mass is weak.

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