There is nothing better than hearing the simple phrase “Hey! Have you lost weight?”. The mere satisfaction of someone noticing the rewards of your healthy lifestyle choices and better stress management.
If you have a goal to lose weight and feel more confident in your body, you need to understand the fat you are trying to burn off or reduce — like visceral fat.
Visceral fat or belly fat is found within the abdominal cavity. It is dangerous to have a lot of visceral fat as it is linked to a greater risk of various chronic diseases, as well as certain cancers. This post looks at what visceral fat is and how you can get rid of it.
What is Visceral Fat?
Visceral fat is body fat which is stored in the abdominal cavity, meaning it is also stored around important internal organs. According to research, visceral fat is even referred to as an active fat and it impacts the way in which hormones function.
What Problems Visceral Fat may Cause?
The thing about fat cells is that they do more than just store the excess energy. They produce inflammatory substances and hormones.
These hormones increase the risk of falling victim to chronic diseases through promoting long-lasting inflammation over time. One of the most common disease that are associated with increased visceral fat is heart disease. The long-lasting inflammation that is caused by visceral fat is what leads to the plaque being formed inside your arteries that often leads to heart disease.
Plaque consists of cholesterol and different substances. It grows in size over time and could eventually lead to rupture.
According to the portal theory, it advises that the visceral fat releases inflammatory markers. It leads to fat buildup within your liver and is what eventually causes liver insulin resistance.
Related: What Can Make You Overweight and Cause Obesity
Best Ways to Get Rid of Visceral Fat
If you or anyone you know has visceral fat, then the following tips will help you start your healthy lifestyle to burn visceral fat and keep it away.
1. Consider a Low-Carb Diet
Sometimes, all one needs to lose weight is a diet plan. A low-carb diet is an effective way through which the visceral fat can be reduced. There are many studies which show that a diet plan which consists of low-carbs is more effective as compared to other diets like low-fat diet plans. For instance, a keto diet is also a low-carb diet and can reduce belly fat.
Keto diets are a great way to reduce carb intake and lose fat as it puts one in their natural metabolic state.
2. Aerobic Exercise
Belly fat can be easily removed by aerobic exercise. It will help burn calories faster than you think and will also reduce your stress levels. Sometimes, following a healthy diet is not that effective and you need to do more in order to burn calories and lose weight. This is why you need cardio. Various studies show that aerobic exercise reduces visceral fat, without even having to follow a healthy diet.
By following a moderate or high-intensity aerobic workout plan, you will experience weight loss and better stress management. However, it is a great idea to combine a healthy diet with regular aerobic exercise to target subcutaneous fat. If you are just getting started with aerobic exercise, then you can consider giving running, jogging or brisk walking a try for at least three times a week.
3. Eat More Soluble Fiber
Visceral fat is the cause of many chronic diseases. This is why you need to try different strategies to get rid of fat. Eating more soluble fiber is the place to start. Fiber is generally divided into two categories which are soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber mixes with water and forms a viscous type of substance. It helps slow down the digested food that gets delivered from your stomach to the intestines. As soluble fiber reaches your colon, it gets fermented into short-chain fatty acids by the gut bacteria. This leads to your appetite being suppressed which helps reduce visceral fat.
4. Eat More Protein
When it comes to weight loss, protein is the most important nutrient. By eating more protein, hunger is fended off by the increasing levels of GLP-1, cholecystokinin and PYY which are the fullness hormones which reduces ghrelin levels, the hunger hormone.
Protein boosts metabolism which increases both weight loss and visceral fat loss. Add a source of protein such as legumes, dairy, eggs, fish, and meat to your diet to increase protein intake.
Related: Gained Weight? How Extra Pounds Affect Your Health and What You Can Do About It
5. Reduce/ Limit Added Sugar Intake
Added sugar causes various chronic diseases. Besides, it provides no minerals or vitamins to your body and causes weight gain when consumed in excess. The liver turns added sugar into fat which increases the levels of visceral fat.
This is why you need to eat less added sugars to lose visceral fat. Opt for whole foods to reduce added sugar intake by consuming fish, lean meats, fruits and fresh vegetables.
6. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
While, drinking small amounts of alcohol such as red wine might offer health benefits, drinking too much alcohol will harm your waistline and health. There have been various studies which indicate that those that drink the most alcohol seem to have the widest waistline. Hence, you should limit or reduce your alcohol intake.
7. Avoid Trans Fat
Trans fats are simply bad for your health. There is no way around it. It is an artificial fat which is created by putting hydrogen into different vegetable oils. Even though, trans fats have a longer shelf life since they do not spoil quickly, they increase visceral fat. This is why you need to avoid it.
8. Reduce Your Stress Levels
For many, excess weight gain can be caused by higher stress levels. . When you experience stress, it can lead to high blood pressure because of the influx of cortisol being produced. Cortisol is a stress hormone, meaning it is produced in periods of high stress. Many studies show that visceral fat increases due to stress levels and high blood pressure. This is why it is important to reduce your stress levels by yoga or meditation.
Just like any other excess fat in your body, visceral fat is harmful and it is the root cause of many chronic diseases. You can calculate your body fat percentage to see if you are within a health range for your gender and size. If your body fat percentage is too high, it is important for you to control your body fat by having good stress management skills, exercise daily, and follow a general healthy lifestyle to burn off the visceral fat and get your friends asking “have you lost weight”?