Visceral fat and 5 things you can do to lose it
What is visceral fat?
Visceral fat, also known as ‘belly fat’ or ‘hidden fat’, is fat stored deep inside the belly. Some amount of visceral fat, roughly 10% of your total body fat, is normal and helps protect your organs.
However, too much of it can be dangerous for your health.
What causes visceral fat?
Your genetics will determine the shape of your body and how it stores visceral fat. But environmental factors can play a key role as well.
A poor diet consisting of heavily processed foods, excess sugar, and an inactive lifestyle are the main causes of visceral fat buildup.
Stress can also significantly increase levels of visceral fat. The more stress you experience, the more cortisol is released, which can trigger visceral fat storage.
Why is visceral fat unhealthy?
Visceral fat cells store excess energy but can also produce hormones and inflammatory substances. Over time, chronic inflammation can cause long-term health problems.
5 ways to help reduce visceral fat
The best way to prevent excess buildup of visceral fat is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can help reduce visceral fat levels if you:
1. Eat a healthy diet.
Replacing unhealthy, processed foods with whole foods like lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, complex carbs like beans, whole wheat, brown rice, and quinoa, and healthy fats is a great way to reduce excess visceral fat in your body.
Adding aerobic exercise into your routine can help burn excess belly fat. A few brisk walks per week is a great place to start.
3. Get plenty of sleep.
A good night’s sleep can be very beneficial to your health. Research shows that increasing the average amount of sleep you get from 6 hours to 7-8 hours can help reduce visceral fat.
4. Reduce stress levels.
Stress activates a hormone in your body called cortisol. The more stress you experience, the more cortisol will be released, which triggers the storage of more visceral fat.
5. Limit how much alcohol you consume.
Drinking too much alcohol could increase the amount of visceral fat stored by your body.
Remember, a slow and steady approach to weight loss can help reduce visceral fat and help prevent it from coming back.
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