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Living Well

Can Food & Lifestyle Help In Reversing TOFI (Thin-Outside-Fat-Inside)?

Jul 13, 2017

According to a recent report, functional foods and lifestyle changes can help in reversing Thin Outside, Fat Inside (TOFI). Functional foods are types of foods benefit an individual’s health in a targeted manner and they do more than just provide these people with basic nutrition.

Thin-outside-fat-inside (TOFI) is a condition that is characterized by low muscle mass, low strength and high visceral fat (the fat in the abdomen that lines vital organs). While TOFI individuals may appear thin from the outside, they are building stores of dangerous fat, which can lead to conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. While there is no straightforward cure for this condition, it can be kept in check with a regular diet and exercise regimen. Here are a few basic tips to deal with TOFI.

Eat Protein-Rich Foods

Getting enough protein is one way to deal with the challenge of TOFI. The World Health Organization recommends 0.8 kilograms of protein per kilogram of body weight. Some sources of protein include seafood, poultry, milk & cheese, lean beef, etc.

Include Certain Bioactives In Your Diet:

Bioactives are chemicals, which have some kind of a biological effect on our bodies. Bioactives such as omega 3, green tea catechins (antioxidants), resveratrol (a compound found in red wine), and soy isoflavones can help in reversing TOFI.

Try Strength Training

Resistance exercises or strength training help in increasing the strength and endurance of muscles. Given that muscle health is affected in people suffering from TOFI, these exercises can help in restoring it. Strength training once or twice a week should be adequate for beginners. If you are new to strength training, it is advisable to perform strength training only under the supervision of experts.


The emerging global phenomenon of sarcopenic obesity: Role of functional foods; a conference report