Having excess abdominal fat isn’t just uncomfortable–it can be dangerous healthwise. While most people know about subcutaneous fat–the fat you can see and pinch, there’s another kind many people don’t know about that is a major concern called visceral fat. It’s hidden deep in your belly and wraps around your vital organs causing serious issues like some cancers, stroke and more. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who reveal ways to get rid of visceral fat and why it’s so worrisome. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Why Visceral Fat is Alarming
Lindsey DeSoto, RDN, LD with The Dietitian Momma explains, “Everyone has fat under their skin, but visceral fat is located deep in the belly. It surrounds organs such as the liver, stomach, and intestines. It’s close to the liver so it can turn quickly into cholesterol and build up along the walls of your arteries. It also can lead to Type 2 diabetes because it makes it more difficult for the body to use insulin the way it should. In order to reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases it’s important to reduce the amount of visceral fat you have. Genetics plays a role, which can make it more difficult for some. However, we can make changes to our diet and exercise regimen to reduce the amount of visceral fat we have.”
DeSoto says, “People who eat more added sugar tend to have more visceral fat. One of the first and simplest things I always tell my clients is to cut back on sugary beverages and juices. Swap sugar filled drinks for sparkling water, fruit infused water, or green tea.”
Exercise Several Times a Week
According to DeSoto, “Although diet plays a large role in helping you lose visceral fat, exercise is crucial. Many studies have shown that aerobic exercise combined with a reduced calorie diet has a significant impact on the amount of visceral fat you have. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise such as biking, jogging, swimming, or a brisk walk each week. Combine with strength training 1-2 times a week for best results.”
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Do a Low Carb Diet
Dr. Rizza Joyce Mira states, “Low-carbohydrate diets are an excellent strategy to lose visceral fat. Numerous studies have demonstrated that low-carb diets are more successful than low-fat diets. The ketogenic diet, which is an extremely low-carb diet, may also aid in the reduction of visceral fat. Ketogenic diets eliminate carbohydrates from the diet and replace them with fat. This can put you in a state of ketosis, a natural metabolic state, which can help decrease fat stores.”
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Increase Fiber Intake
“Fiber makes you feel full for a longer time,” Mira reminds us. They can also help lower ghrelin levels, which is a hunger hormone. In a study, increasing soluble fiber consumption by 10 grams per day lowered the risk of visceral fat growth by up to 3.7 percent. Consume extra flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, lentils, and grains to enhance your fiber intake. You might also want to consider taking a soluble fiber supplement.”
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How to Measure Visceral Fat
Danielle Edenworth, a health & fitness expert with a focus on nutrition and general well-being with Healthyland explains, “Measuring your waist is the best technique to determine if you have visceral fat. The waist size is an excellent measure of the amount of fat deep within the abdomen surrounding the organs. If the waist circumference is 80 cm or more for women and 94 cm or over for men, you’re more likely to get a chronic illness.Calculating your waist-to-hip proportion is another approach to assess visceral fat. Measure your waistline at the navel with your abdomen relaxed. Then, at the broadest point, measure your hips. Subtract your waist measurement from your hip circumference. When that ratio is greater than 0.95, the chance of a cardiac event doubles for men; when it surpasses 0.85, the risk increases for women.People with an apple figure naturally accumulate extra fat in their abdomen than those with a pear form.” And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.