Visceral fat: How it develops and how to lose it!
It is healthy to have some body fat, but carrying certain types of fat in excess can be even more harmful than we may realise. A normal level of fat in the body is essential to protect and support your organs and build new cells, but too much of it can be harmful to your health. Visceral fat is a hidden fat which in excess levels can cause serious damage to your wellbeing.
What is Visceral Fat?
Visceral fat, also called belly fat is a fat that is stored deep inside your abdomen. But not all belly flab is visceral fat. Belly fat can also be subcutaneous fat. So what is the difference between the two? Let’s find out.
Subcutaneous fat is a type of fat found under the skin throughout the body and is easier to see. You can feel this fat when you squeeze your skin. However, visceral fat is generally found inside the belly. It is a deep internal fat that is packed around your internal organs in the abdominal region such as the stomach, liver and intestines, and can't be seen.
Healthy levels of visceral fat act as a shield and protect your organs. Excessive amounts of visceral fat can lead to health disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and more.
What Causes Excess Visceral Fat to develop in our body?
Fat gets stored especially around the belly when you consume too many calories and have very little physical activity. A diet rich in carbohydrates and processed foods and other factors such as inflammation and sedentary lifestyles can all result in excessive visceral fat.
Here are some of the main causes of excess visceral fat around the belly:
- Poor diet
- Lack of sleep
- Hormonal changes
- Alcohol Consumption
- Slow metabolism
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much body fat
How to lose extra visceral fat?
It is possible to reduce visceral fat by making healthy lifestyle changes. Here are some of the most effective ways of reducing visceral fat:
Cut back on carbohydrates
A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can lead to obesity and increase visceral fat. Restricting your intake of carbohydrates such as white bread and sugary drinks can help reduce visceral fat. In addition to losing weight and burning fat, you will be more energetic and will feel less hungry all day long.
Performing any physical activity for at least half an hour each day can help burn visceral fat and calories. Your fitness regimen should include both light and high-intensity cardio exercises such as running, aerobics, circuit training and more.
Stress may also play a significant role in adding excess visceral fat to your belly. Cortisol is a hormone released by our body when it encounters stress. It increases your body's visceral fat. You can lower the high level of visceral fat by reducing your stress.
Alcohol makes you gain weight and fat around your mid-section, without even realising it. Give your liver a break and alternate alcoholic beverages with water or other sugar-free alternatives.
Visceral fat is not visible, so we don't always know it's there, making it much more harmful. Fortunately, with the help of certain lifestyle changes such as exercise, reducing stress and eating a low carbohydrate diet, you can prevent the excess buildup of visceral fat in the belly area.