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Published: 30th March 2020
Although having a certain level of fat in your body is healthy, some fats are worse than others and can be potentially a lot more dangerous. Visceral fat isn’t visible, and it’s hard to identify when it’s present. It builds up inside the body and can contribute to serious problems in the long run, such as diabetes and heart disease.
What is visceral fat?
The visible fat you see when you gain weight is not the same as visceral fat. So, what is visceral fat? It’s made when there’s too much fat in your body and stored in the abdominal cavity near your vital organs, as well as building up in your arteries. This is dangerous as it puts a lot of strain of your body to keep your organs functioning at an efficient level. It’s commonly referred to as “active fat”, because it plays a very active role in overall health and can cause serious and long-term damage as well as changing the level of hormones in the body.
Visceral fat measurement
It’s hard to accurately measure the amount of visceral fat that’s in your body without having access to expensive equipment like an MRI or CT scanner. However, a tape measure can give you an indication of your visceral fat measurement from the comfort of your home. Measure your waist from the level of your belly button all the way round. For women, a number higher than 35 inches is a tell tale sign that you could be storing visceral fat, and for men it’s anything higher than 40 inches. If your body is overall quite round and your BMI is at a high level, then that could be another indication too.
How to get rid of visceral fat
Although it’s the most dangerous type of fat, visceral fat is actually the easiest to lose! Visceral fat responds well to regular, vigorous exercise, so getting a sweat on for 30-60 minutes every day should start to make a change. Your body uses fat to fuel your muscles during exercise, so anything that gets your heart rate going is recommended.
A visceral fat diet
When it comes to losing visceral fat, diet plays an important role too. Eat well-balanced meals, pay attention particularly to the amount of calories that you consume and the fat content of your food. Added sugars and alcohol especially are more likely to turn into visceral fat. Protein can actually stimulate the body to eat away at visceral fat, so foods such as lean meat, eggs and nuts are a great substitute to your normal diet, and will keep you energised as you exercise.
Overall, in improving your knowledge about visceral fat we’re not telling you anything new. If you’re overweight, it’s important to start making these changes to your lifestyle in order to achieve a healthier and happier body and mind, whether you have high levels of visceral fat or not. Making new habits may seem hard at first, but the long-term benefits to your health will be well worth the efforts!