When you think of weight loss and dieting, most people assume they should focus primarily on the visible fat layers on their belly and hips, for example. While these are, of course, not considered healthy, they are not the only sign of obesity, and most certainly not the most harmful one. Enter: visceral fat. Unlike its visible, jiggly sibling, subcutaneous fat under your skin, visceral fat is located on the inside of your belly, wrapped around your internal organs.
It’s one of the leading culprits of diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues, and it’s incredibly easy to overlook for people who mostly appear fit on the outside. Having too much subcutaneous fat is usually an indicator of also having excess visceral fat, but checking with your doctor is best before choosing the best way to start shedding both types of fat.
Think aerobic and anaerobic thoughts
One of the key elements in the equation of fat loss is leading an active lifestyle as opposed to a sedentary one, which greatly contributes to these fat deposits staying persistently put. Research cited by Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that regular moderate aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walks six times per week show the greatest potential in curbing your fat gain.
Add to that about three resistance training sessions for your anaerobic workouts, and you’ll help your body ward off fat even more efficiently. The combination of both in a study showed an 18% decrease in visceral fat on average, which is a tremendous change for your overall health!
Spice up your routine with HIIT
When you have little time on your hands, you can increase the intensity of your training session and simultaneously reduce the time spent working out – and still reap the rewards of cardio and strength training combined.
A favorite tool among fitness experts and busy bees alike, high-intensity interval training is also a very promising tool for keeping your visceral fat under control and reducing it if needed. Of course, depending on your current fitness level and health, the frequency and intensity of your entire exercise regime should be determined with your doctor by your side.
Rethink your diet
Our bodies crave carbs all the time, but instead of surrendering to this urge, your body will benefit from a more protein-focused diet, as well as healthy carbs from fruits and vegetables. They are also a source of fiber, which is another beneficial ingredient for a balanced diet that leads to fat loss. However, the operative phrase to remember is reducing calories with your new eating regime.
In order to lose visceral fat as well as those pesky love-handles, you will need to work on determining the right number of calories for healthy fat loss for your lifestyle. Although they aren’t the magic bullet for your diet, using weight loss supplements to boost your fat-loss efforts is another great option in case your doctor approves. Choose the ones that are packed with natural ingredients that elevate your metabolism and help your body get into the fat-burning mode without causing any harm.
Cut out the bad stuff
From processed foods, including sugar and white flour, all the way to alcohol and trans-fats, other than your temporary enjoyment in those tastes, your body can only be damaged further by these dietary choices.
Although an occasional glass of wine is considered a healthy addition to your menu, you should develop enough self-discipline to truly limit your intake of all the foods and drinks that are considered harmful when consumed in great amounts.
Keep stress at bay
Although we thrive on challenges, too much exposure to chronic stress can have a negative impact on your wellbeing, your visceral fat in particular. Stress leads to increased cortisol production, which in turn wreaks havoc on how your body stores fat, and increases your risk of getting an extra visceral layer.
Until we find a way to cut stress completely from our lives, you should consider a relaxation technique that will help you prevent stress from affecting you so deeply. For example, regular meditation, or spending time with your fuzzy friend have been found to help reduce stress levels significantly. And of course, don’t forget to get plenty of shut-eye, so that your body has time to regenerate after a tough day!