Tag Archives: visceral fat

How to Get Rid of Stomach Fat

Last week we discussed the different types of body fat and how they affect your health. The most dangerous type of fat, called visceral fat, is found deep within the belly area and surrounds your major organs. The bad news is that having a lot of this type of stomach fat can increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. The good news is that although it’s dangerous, it’s very responsive to weight loss attempt — meaning, you can burn it off pretty easily with the right strategy.

Calories In Versus Calories Out

The most basic strategy for all weight loss is this: take in fewer calories than you expend. The source of your calories definitely matters, but simply restricting your calories will have a significant impact on your visceral fat.

Move More

According to researchers at Harvard University, exercise can reduce your waist circumference and help get rid of visceral fat even if you don’t actually lose any weight. To reduce visceral fat, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or biking, on most days of the week.

Consume Calcium

A study done by researchers from the University of Alabama Birmingham reported that the more calcium-rich foods a woman eats, the less visceral fat she gains. Good sources of calcium include plain yogurt, collard greens, broccoli, kale, bok choy, figs, oranges, sardines, and canned salmon.

Avoid Trans Fat and Fructose

Trans fats and fructose (read: high-fructose corn syrup) encourage the storage of fat around the belly. In addition, foods that contain trans fat and fructose are typically processed, packaged foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients anyway.

Sleep Right

Finding your perfect sleep balance is important for reducing visceral fat. Studies show that both too much (more than 8 hours) and too little sleep (fewer than 5 hours) can increase visceral fat. Aim for around 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

Manage Your Stress

Stress increases production of the hormone cortisol, which prompts the body to store belly fat. If you want to reduce your visceral fat, you’ll need to get your stress levels under control. Try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, exercise, and/or journaling.

The Types of Body Fat — and Why They Matter

When you think about fat, you might not think about the types as much as you think “I just want it gone!”; but recognizing the different types of body fat is important in determining your risk of developing certain health problems. While some fat is nothing more than a cosmetic issue, other types of fat can increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia.

belly fat

Brown Fat

Brown fat, also called Brown Adipose Tissue or BAT, is found mostly in the back of the neck. This type of fat is beneficial and helps convert the calories from the food you eat into heat to keep your core temperature warm.

Brown fat acts like a muscle when triggered by a dip in body temperature. When it’s cold outside, or when you’re standing in a cold shower or swimming in a cold ocean, your brown fat starts to burn calories for energy to heat the body. On average, a normal weight adult stores 2 to 3 ounces of brown fat, which burns about 250 calories over the course of 3 hours.

White Fat

Your body holds significantly more white fat than brown fat. Unlike brown fat, which burns energy, white fat stores energy, but that’s only one of its jobs. White fat also plays a role in hormone production and the control of insulin. Having too much white fat can make the body less sensitive to insulin, and as a result, can lead to insulin resistance and, eventually, diabetes. White fat is categorized even further into two types: subcutaneous and visceral.

Subcutaneous Fat

Almost 80 percent of fat is subcutaneous fat. This is the type of fat that lies just below the skin’s surface. It’s the fat that’s measured when determining body fat percentage; and it’s also the fat that’s typically responsible for the appearance of cellulite (although cellulite is much more complicated than this and a story for a different day).

Subcutaneous fat exists all over the body, but it’s most common in the thighs, hips, and belly. Unlike brown fat, which burns energy, subcutaneous fat stores energy. That’s why, if you regularly eat too many calories, these fatty areas will continue to grow.

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is the deep fat that wraps around the inner organs and can cause serious health problems. Having a lot of visceral fat increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Typically, visceral fat is found in the stomach area. A big waist and/or belly is a good indication that you have a lot of visceral fat.

Women with a waist circumference of more than 35 inches and men with a waist circumference of more than 40 inches are the biggest risk of developing serious diseases.