Most of us know that carrying extra fat on our bodies is unhealthy, but what a lot of people don’t know is what type of fat is the worst for our bodies to be carrying. Visceral fat is actually stored in a person’s organs and because of the location of the fat it puts people at high risk for many health conditions including dementia, cancer and heart disease. If you are already a diabetic then you are more in danger for major health conditions as too much visceral fat in the system makes it difficult for the body to produce insulin. Fat cells change some of the body’s vital functions which means you become more susceptible to hormone interference, increased hunger, changes in mood and weight gain.
How do you know if you have visceral fat? In order to ascertain wether you have and how much visceral fat you have, you should take an accurate measurement on your belly and waist size. The waist-to-hip ratio determines how high your visceral fat measurements are.
Stand up straight and breath out, using a tape measure check the distance around the smallest part of your waist.
Measure the distant around the largest part of your hips.
Calculate your waist-to-hip ratio by dividing your waist circumference by your hip circumference.
For men, a waist:hip ratio of above one is high and anything below 0.95 puts you at the low end of risk of disease.
For woman, a waist:hip ratio of above 0.85 is high and below 0.8 put you at a lower risk of disease.
Four tips to help you banish visceral fat:
Sweat it out for at least 30 minutes a day
Luckily visceral fat responds well to regular exercise. It needs to be endurance type exercises that makes you sweat.
As the body uses fat to fuel itself, it will start using up the visceral fat stored in your body.
Best exercises for removing belly fat include running, rowing, swimming, and biking. Your heart rate needs to be elevated in order for it to work properly.
If you are struggling, it’s recommended to start off slow and move into more intense exercises as you get fitter.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Variety is key and you should aim for a diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruit and vegetables.
The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be one of the best diets to follow and involves plenty of fish, healthy fats, nuts and low-fat dairy.
Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Alcohol consumption puts you at risk of developing more visceral fat and is known as ‘empty calories.’
In a study at the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 87 clinically healthy woman who drank a moderate amount of alcohol consumption looked at the affects between daily alcohol intake and fat distribution.
The results showed that moderate alcohol increased abdominal distribution of body fat (visceral) and increased the waist circumference.
Too much sugar will lead to excess fat storage and insulin resistance.
Eating too much sugar could mean an excess of glucose in the blood stream.
A Framingham study looked at middle-aged people who enjoyed a soft drink daily and found that the data gathered from the six year study showed that regardless of the persons age, gender or physical activity, their visceral fat volume increased from drinking soft drinks.
The good news is that you can get rid of visceral fat fairly easy and when you follow a well-balanced diet and get enough exercise, the fat will decrease.
Seeing the results will help to spurn you on and keeping in mind that the less visceral fat you have, not only will you look better, but you will be seriously decreasing your risk of other health related issues.