What is Visceral Fat?
Believe it or not there are different ‘types’ of fat in our body. Visceral fat is specifically the fat that’s in our abdomen area and actually surrounds the organs. This fat is often very hard to get rid of compared to subcutaneous fat and poses many health concerns.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat under the skin that is easier to lose and it has a lesser impact on your health than visceral fat.
Effects on Health
Having fat around your organs isn’t a good thing and can cause issues such as increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat isn’t good to have, so let me show you how to get rid of it.
How do you get Visceral Fat?
Visceral fat, like other fats, build up from inactivity, overeating, stress, and bad lifestyle choices. There are some predispositions to gaining this type of fat, but I would hate someone to blame genetics and not try to get healthier.
Bad lifestyle choices include not getting enough sleep, not relieving stress, and not taking care of yourself in general. I understand that life isn’t all peaches and cream, we just have to do our best to treat our number one star (you) with care.
Tip: Even people with little subcutaneous fat can still have visceral fat.
How do you lose it?
Here’s the section many of you probably came to read; how to lose visceral fat.
High intensity training is how I would recommend attacking visceral fat. Studies show that high intensity cardio training is more effective than low intensity training such as walking.
Other aerobic exercises such as your P90X, insanity, and other higher intensity aerobic workouts will be beneficial to losing this type of fat.
Weight training is another great way to burn visceral fat. This doesn’t directly burn visceral fat, but burns a lot of calories and builds muscle. More muscle requires more energy than fat to maintain itself so your body will be burning more calories.
Any and all exercise will help you get rid of visceral fat because you are going to be burning more calories. If you pair this with a sound diet, you will benefit the most from this. If you cannot do high intensity training such as sprinting or running, don’t get discouraged; any activity and movement helps.
Changing your diet is one of the most beneficial things you can do to help lose visceral fat and maintain a healthy weight. Remember, you cannot out exercise a shitty diet.
Things to Limit
These foods need to be limited or avoided. Remember, with moderation you can eat anything.
- Sweets – Cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc.. You know, the good stuff.
- Soda – If we cut all soda intake from our diet, this would make a huge difference.
- Carbs – Don’t cut out carbs unless you know how to properly diet without carbs.** Limiting intake of carbs will help keep calories down. Rice, potatoes and pasta are good for you, but it doesn’t take much to have a lot of calories.
Things to Eat More Of
These foods you should eat more of. You might be surprised on some of them.
- Vegetables – This one is easy, more veggies equals a happy body. Find some vegetables that you like and eat a variety. A whole pound of green beans is like 150 calories. Try eating a pound of green beans and see how hungry you are afterwards. I think you get more than 150 calories looking at a doughnut.
- Lean Meats – Lean meats such as chicken and turkey breast are great sources of protein. Be sure to eat a variety of these meats.
- Fun Meats – Bacon, red meat, and pork are all good in moderation. If you’re working on losing bodyfat, be careful on the calorie and fat intake of these meats, but please have some bacon and eggs every once in a while.
- Fruit – Fruit is actually a multipurpose for us here for three reasons:
- Fills you up – Fiber is great and slow digesting
- Helps you poo – Helps keep your system clean and flowing.
- Is sweet – Find some good fruits you like to eat and try them instead of your sweets that you like. A cold orange or a hand full of cold grapes can actually make a decent sweet fix.
Lifestyle changes are things we seemingly have direct control over. Some may disagree that they “don’t have time to workout” but they sure as heck can spend all day on Facebook and Candy Crush.
More Sleep – Sleep is great because this is when your body goes into recovery mode. When you go to the gym and exercise you are actually breaking muscle down and putting stress on your body and nervous system. Sleep is what helps you build bigger and stronger muscles and helps your nervous system to recover so that it can do these tasks easier and more efficient.
Alcohol – Alcohol is calorie dense and can have a negative impact on your health. I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but you and I both know that going on weekly binges of drinking isn’t helping anyone. Reducing alcohol consumption will help; having a beer or two weekly can actually be beneficial.
Smoking – Cutting back or quitting smoking will help in many ways. You will have more money for healthier food choices, you’ll have more energy and the ability to get your conditioning back up, etc. Smoking can lead to other unhealthy lifestyle choices which makes losing fat harder.
Exercise Regularly – You need to make it a priority in your life to exercise and do what you need to do in order to succeed. This isn’t about other people or anyone but yourself, you need to take care of yourself and have pride in your life. Think about it, no one can help you unless you help yourself. I speak with passion and true feelings here.
More Activity – More movement during the day helps you burn more music. Instead of trying to find the closest parking spot to the door, park in a random spot out further and walk. You probably will get in the store faster even if you have to walk instead of waiting for the little old lady to put her bags in her car and put her “buggy” away.
If you have a desk job, make it a habit to get up and move around. If there’s a drinking fountain or something near by, just go walk to it a few times an hour and move around. Any little bit helps.
Reduce Stress – This one is one of the hardest to actually do. Take time for you. Find a way to get away from your stressors a bit and relax. I can’t really offer any advice on what to do for stress relief, but I find that gaming, listening to music, reading, meditating, and writing help me relax a lot. Find what works for you and run with it.
Without getting too philosophical or judgmental sounding, we are in the situation we are in because of us. I have visceral fat and I’m guilty of all of the above so I am no better than anyone.
Here are some tips I’ve found helpful.
- Log your diet – Making a log of everything you eat will help you get a grasp on where your diet is going wrong. You can’t expect to get stronger just going to the gym and doing what feels right. Same with weight loss.
- Log your workouts – Same thing as above.
- Be held accountable – Find a partner or a forum that you can rely on others to hold you accountable for what you are doing. These people will help you through the rough times and help guide you in the right direction. Nothing feels better than accomplishing a goal and having people who actually care about you congratulating your accomplishment.
- No fad diets – Fad diets at best offer a glimmer of hope for a shortcut or an easy way out. There’s no easy way to doing this except being consistent and persistent. Fad diets can set you back further than where you started.
- Supplement reliance – If you can’t eat on a caloric deficit and workout regularly, there’s no use in wasting your money on any supplement for fat loss. The only “supplement” I would recommend is caffeine. This is great to keep you going when you’re on a calorie deficit.
Now you have no excuse to get out there and make it happen. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below and I’ll respond to them.