There are two types of abdominal fat: visceral also known as the active fat and subcutaneous fat- the fat under your skin. The second one is actually visible, while on the other hand, the visceral fat is harder to notice because it surrounds the organs in your midsection, such as the liver, pancreas and your intestines.
Why is it not good to have a big visceral fat body percentage?
The reason why people must not have big fat percentage in their body is because it enables the liver to function properly and it inhibits proper hormonal messaging between the body’s vital organs. Moreover, it can also cause insulin resistance thus leading to diabetes, increased cholesterol, high blood pressure and increased risk of developing heart disease. It should also be mentioned that large deposits of visceral fat have been associated with several types of cancer such as breast and colorectal cancer, but also with stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
When the stores of visceral fat are high, it leads to the appearance of “Syndrome X”. The symptoms of this syndrome are: low levels of good cholesterol, increasing blood sugar levels, high triglyceride levels in the blood, etc. nevertheless, it’s not that dangerous since there is a way to stop the deposits of this type of fat. In order to achieve that, people need to change their lifestyle, diet and to increase physical activity.
How to diagnose and fix the problem?
Measuring your midsection is the best way to find out if you have too much visceral fat. CT scan or MRI scan are also the most precise way to find out if you are at risk or not. When it comes to women, if they measure more than 30 inches and men more than 40 inches, it means that there is an excess of stomach fat, no matter the fact that you have a healthy weights and seem to be in an overall good health.
- You should follow a properly customized diet plan according to your needs
The best solution is to consume more fresh vegetables and fruits which are full of nutrients and fiber that will ease the digestion. In order to take a proper diet, make sure to consult a nutritionist. However, a generally accepted recommendation among nutritionists is to limit the consumption of fat to 20-30 % of the total daily calories. Moreover, people should also limit the saturated fats found in palm oil, completely avoid trans fats because they are hazardous and limit the processes food to 7%.
- Increase training volume as well as intensity
One of the easiest ways to maintain healthy levels of physical activity is to train with moderate intensity to 5 days. Make sure to train at least half an hour every day. A gradual loss of weight in the range of 5-10% of the total body mass will also gradually decrease the deposits of visceral fat.
For instance, if you want to lose one pound per week, you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 a day. In order to achieve that, you need to walk, ride a bike, do the circuit training, etc.
- Keep yourself accountable and motivated
We all know that the process of losing weight is a slow process, so don’t expect to lose weight overnight. Moreover, a gradual and slow weight loss will decrease the visceral fat deposits more efficiently and it will also eliminate any other medical issues that might arise.
Nowadays, MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular applications on smartphones which will help you to track your weight loss progress easily. If you have people around you that will support you, it will be much more easier for you to lose those extra pounds.
- Incorporate healthy habits in your lifestyle
In order to decrease stress levels, you should start practicing meditation or simply try breathing deeply for a few minutes. On the other hand, if you want to improve your health, make sure to quit smoking, reduce alcohol intake, be more physically active and avoid eating processed food.
To increase your overall life quality, you should always opt for healthier choices. Another very important thing is to get enough sleep and try to relax whenever you can. Scientists have discovered that cortisol, the stress hormone, increases the depositing of visceral fat. This is why people should meditate for 20 minutes, go for a walk, take up yoga or take a bath.