Visceral fat is the type of body fat stored within the abdominal cavity. It is located near several vital organs such as the liver, intestines and stomach.
It is sometimes referred to as “active fat” owing to its active ability to cause serious health issues such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and colorectal cancer.
Belly fat is not necessarily visceral fat; it can be subcutaneous fat stored directly beneath the skin. Compared to visceral fat which is deeply lodged into the body, subcutaneous fat is easier to see.
Since it is barely visible, the only way to measure visceral fat is by using MRI and CT scans which are quite expensive. On the other hand, subcutaneous fat can be measured by merely pinching the surface of the skin.
Visceral fat removal surgery barely ever works because visceral fat cells are lodged too deep into the body to be removed by surgical means. Most doctors advise against visceral fat removal surgery since it never achieves optimal results.
HEALTHIEST WAY TO GET RID OF VISCERAL FAT
The healthiest way you can get rid of visceral fat is by making lifestyle changes that will help you maintain a moderate weight such as eating healthy and doing exercise.
Eliminating processed foods with high sugar content and including more lean proteins and complex carbs can enable you to maintain a healthy diet that will reduce visceral fat in your body.
When exercising, make sure you tailor your fitness routine to include exercises that will burn fat fast and help your muscles get stronger.
When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, a stress hormone, which can increase visceral fat accumulation. A 2018 study review suggests a strong link between high levels of cortisol and an increase in visceral fat.
Practising stress management tactics such as meditation, getting adequate sleep, and deep breathing can help prevent visceral fat accumulation.
Intermittent fasting is another healthy way through which you can get rid of visceral fat. It is a dietary plan which involves eating and fasting alternately on a regular schedule.
Research suggests that intermittent fasting could greatly reduce visceral fat.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO LOSE VISCERAL FAT?
It is generally easy to lose visceral fat provided you are doing exercises aimed at burning body fat, and you are consuming fewer calories than you burn.
However, how long it will take for you to lose your visceral fat is very much dependent on your consistency with your dietary and fitness changes.
Of course, other factors may come into play, such as genetics and your body’s metabolism rate.
WILL A TUMMY TUCK HELP VISCERAL FAT?
The tummy tuck, scientifically known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure done to flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal muscles.
It can be used to restore the look of a contoured midsection after a major shift in body weight such as pregnancy.
Generally, a tummy tuck procedure cannot eliminate intra-abdominal fat; it only works for subcutaneous fat.
As mentioned earlier, visceral fat removal surgery, whether in the form of liposuction or abdominoplasty, barely ever works because of visceral fat cells’ positioning in the body.
If you decide to get a tummy tuck procedure done even after discovering that most of your belly fat is visceral, you might not be able to achieve the “flat tummy” look because some visceral fat might still end up hanging from your belly.
FOODS THAT BURN VISCERAL FAT
The good news about visceral fat is that although visceral fat removal surgery barely ever works, it responds very well to a healthy diet.
If you are looking to eliminate your visceral fat by making dietary changes, here are some foods that can help you burn it;
A recent study shows that avocado can help reduce visceral fat lodged in the abdomen. In the study involving 111 adults, the participants were randomly placed into two groups.
In one group, every member was given an avocado as part of their daily meal. At the same time, in the other, participants ate the same number of calories as the first group but without the avocado.
After three months, the people who were eating avocados daily experienced a reduction in visceral fat while the other group did not.
You can eat avocados as they are, but if you are not a big fan, there are easier ways to include it in your meals such as whipping it into a smoothie, using it as a spread for your bread it in your salads.
Aside from being gluten-free, nutrient-packed and highly versatile, lentils are a rich source of soluble fibre which aids in burning fat.
A study conducted to monitor belly fat accumulation among adult participants over a period of five years found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fibre intake, visceral fat accumulation reduced by 3.7%.
One cup of cooked lentils contains about 14 grams of fibre, most of which is soluble fibre. This makes a rich source of soluble fibre which is also easy to incorporate into your meals due to its versatility.
Only a few foods are rich sources of vitamin D, and wild salmon is one of the best. It can be purchased fresh or canned in tins and pouches.
Research shows that strong links exist between high vitamin D levels in the body and decrease in visceral fat accumulation in the body.
Salmon is quite a versatile food; you can add it to your avocado toast during breakfast or to your salads at lunch, you can use it to make a burger, you can have it with veggies for dinner – the options are endless.
If you do not eat fish, you can opt for other foods containing vitamin D such as plant milks, e.g. soy milk, or consider taking vitamin D supplements.
When consumed in moderate amounts and inline your body’s energy requirements, whole grains such as oats and quinoa can help burn visceral fat in your body.
Studies reveal that whole grain intake can be inversely associated with visceral belly fat, whereas refined grains like pasta, white rice and white bread can increase belly fat.
IS IT HARDER TO LOSE VISCERAL FAT?
Visceral fat is the easiest fat to lose because it is metabolically active, making it vulnerable to lose.
If you are looking to lose weight by making dietary changes, your diet has to be on a caloric surplus, meaning you have to be consuming fewer calories than you burn.
When you begin eating fewer calories than your body burns, you begin losing visceral fat first even before subcutaneous fat.
The reason for this is that when your diet is on a caloric deficit, your body will mobilize the excess fat stored in the body for energy and if you are storing excess fat in the abdominal area, it will take the fat from there first.
While it is less dangerous to your health, subcutaneous fat may be stubborn thus harder to lose compared to visceral fat.
Getting rid of visceral fat should be more of a health concern than a body image concern.
Even if you are okay with how your body looks with the visceral fat, you should get rid of it to avoid being susceptible to chronic conditions caused by visceral fat accumulation such as diabetes, heart attack and certain types of cancers.
Can visceral fat be surgically removed? The simple answer is no.
Some plastic surgeons will be honest with you and give you the same opinion, but if you come across one who is willing to conduct a visceral fat removal surgery on you, you should know that you may not achieve the results you aim to achieve.
As mentioned in the article, the good news is that visceral fat can be removed but through making the necessary lifestyle changes rather than surgical procedures.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]