Visceral fat which is also known as belly fat is found inside the abdominal cavity. In this post, we’re simply going to look at eleven quick ways you can get rid of visceral fat.
Having too much of this belly fat is extremely harmful to your health. It is strongly linked to numerous diseases such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease and some certain types of cancer (1, 2, 3).
Fortunately, there are effective strategies that can help you lose visceral fat conveniently.
Table of Contents
- What Is Visceral Fat?
- How Do You Check Your Waist:Hip Ratio?
- What Makes Visceral Fat Harmful?
- How to Get Rid of Visceral Fat
This article carefully describes the harmful side effects of visceral fats and provides solutions to help you get rid of it more effectively.
What Is Visceral Fat?
Visceral fat most commonly known as belly fat is found inside your abdominal cavity and provides a cushion to your internal organs.
Carrying too much visceral fat should be a concern as it can predispose you to various health problems.
Visceral fats are also used for the synthesis of inflammatory hormones such as IL-6, IL-1β, PAI-I, and TNF-α. Elevated levels of these inflammatory hormones are linked to health problems described above (4, 5).
It is difficult to judge how much visceral fat one has. However, your help waist:hip ratio is a good guide to knowing if you have visceral fat. Your waist:hip ratio is the ratio of the circumference of your waist to that of your hips.
How Do You Check Your Waist:Hip Ratio?
On a visit to the hospital, your waist:hip ratio measurement can easily be taken by your nurse or doctor. However, you can take the measurement easily at home.
- To measure your waist:hip ratio, get the tape measure and take it round the lower part of your stomach. Don’t let the tape rule be too loose or too tight. When you have wrapped the tape around the widest part of your stomach, it’s now time for you to take the measurement. Take a deep breath gently and then breathe out gently too. Take the measurement immediately after exhaling.
- To take your hip measurement, stand upright, and take the tape round your buttocks. Thereafter take the measurement
- To get your waist:hip ratio, divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement.
What Makes Visceral Fat Harmful?
Apart from the storage of excess energy, fat cells also produce hormone and inflammatory substances.
Over time, these hormones can promote long-lasting inflammation and increase the risk of chronic diseases (6, 7). One common example is plaque formation inside the arteries which is a risk factor for heart disease.
An artery plaque is the accumulation of cholesterol and other substances which grows and subsequently ruptures over time.
This eventually leads to a blood clot in the arteries which either partially or completely blocks blood flow.
In the coronary artery, a clot can deprive the heart of sufficient oxygen and cause a heart attack (8). On the other hand, the visceral fat releases inflammatory hormones and free fatty acids that travel through the portal vein to the liver.
How to Get Rid of Visceral Fat
The Visceral type of belly fat is as dangerous as it is easy to lose. Here are eleven simple ways to get rid of visceral fat once and for all.
1. Try a Low-Carb Diet
One of the most effective ways of reducing visceral fat is by embracing low-carb diets.
A 2013 study published in obesity shows that people who followed a low-carb diet lost 10% more visceral fat and 4.4% more total fat than those on a low-fat diet (13).
In addition, a Ketogenic diet which is a low-carb diet may also prove effective in reducing visceral fat (14).
2. Practice Regular Aerobic Exercise
Doing regular aerobic exercise is an effective way of shedding visceral fat. Aerobic exercise is also called cardio, and it burns a lot of calories. Dancing is a perfect example and it does have many health benefits.
However, combining regular aerobic exercise with a weight loss diet is more effective at targeting visceral fat than doing either one alone.
If you want to start with aerobic exercise, start with simple ones like walking, jogging or running and then progress to a more difficult form of exercise.
3. Eat More Protein
Protein is an important nutrient to lose visceral fat.
Consuming more protein help keep hunger at bay by increasing the levels of the fullness hormones GLP-1, PYY, and cholecystokinin. It also helps reduce the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin (18, 19, 20).
To up your protein intake, try adding much protein source to your meal.
Some great protein sources include meat, eggs, fish, legumes and whey protein.
4. Cut Back On Added Sugar
Added sugar is very unhealthy as it is high in calories and with no added nutrients which can lead to weight gain.
Why is that so, added sugar is made up of about 50% fructose, a simple sugar that is metabolized by the liver. In large amounts, this sugar can be converted by the liver to fat. This subsequently leads to increase visceral fat storage (28, 29).
You can cut back on the added sugar by simply eating more whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, fish and lean meat.
5. Eat More Soluble Fiber
Fibers are divided broadly into two categories; soluble and insoluble. The soluble fiber mixes with water to form a viscous gel-like substance which helps slow down the delivery of digested food from the stomach to the small intestine (30).
When this fiber gets to the colon, it is being fermented by gut bacteria into short-chain fatty acids.
6. Cut Back On Alcohol Intake
Consuming a little quantity of alcohol especially red wine can have some potential health benefits (36). However, excessive consumption of alcohol may harm both your health and waistline.
Several studies have shown that consumption of excessive alcohol may encourage fat to be stored as visceral fat (37, 38). A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders shows that a moderate alcohol intake was linked to carrying more visceral fat in women (39).
Similarly, another study carried out in 8,603 Korean adults found that people who drank the most alcohol had the largest waist circumference, a marker of visceral fat (40).
7. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Many people are suffering from stress and anxiety. These two can stimulate the body’s adrenal glands to produce more cortisol, a stress hormone (41).
In fact, studies show that excess cortisol can increase visceral fat storage (42, 43). Also, stress can cause over-eating, which in turn may worsen your condition (44). It can also cause you to age faster than normal causing an imbalance in your internal body systems.
Some effective ways of reducing stress include exercising more, meditation, yoga and spending more time with family and friends.
8. Avoid Trans Fat
Trans fats are naturally bad for your health.
Trans fats have a higher shelf-life and as such are added to processed foods, such as baked goods and potato chips (45). But studies reveal that trans fat can increase visceral fat and may cause numerous health problems (46, 47).
9. Get Quality Sleep
The wonders of a good night’s rest cannot be overestimated. Unfortunately, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep (48).
A 2014 study including 293 people shows that increasing sleep from 6 hours to 7-8 hours reduced visceral fat gain by roughly 26% (52). It’s best to consult with your doctor if you suspect you have sleep apnea.
10. Try Intermittent Fasting
One of the most effective ways of losing weight is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting does not restrict any food, unlike dieting. Rather, it simply focuses on when you eat. This ensures that you eat fewer meals and in turn, fewer calories.
11. Try A Probiotic
Probiotic are live bacteria that are very beneficial to your gut and digestive health.
They are most commonly found in supplements and foods like yogurt, natto, sauerkraut and kefir. Certain probiotics can help you lose weight and visceral fat by reducing dietary fat absorption in the gut, increasing how much of it you excrete in feces.
In conclusion, eat more veggies, drink more water and seek ways to add exercise to your routines.
You can do push-ups in your free time at the office, plank when you get off the bed and take a jug or even go for a run often to increase your chances of getting rid of visceral fat.
See six low-calorie foods that help melt belly fat quick
- Zawn Villines. 11 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat. Retrieves from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319957
- Franziska Spritzler. 20 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed By Science). Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-tips-to-lose-belly-fat