Visceral fat is a hidden health problem that many people don't know about. It's fat found deep in your abdomen that wraps around your vital organs. Since you can't see or touch it, oftentimes we don't realize we have it, but more than likely it's there. Visceral fat has been linked to serious health issues like stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and more. Eat This, Not That! Health talked with experts who revealed the quickest way to get rid of visceral fat and why it's so dangerous. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Why Visceral Fat is so Unhealthy
Dr. Mahmud Kara, holistic doctor says, "Not all fat is created equal. Fat cells in the body can be stored in three ways: essential, subcutaneous, and visceral. Visceral fat is often overlooked, but it is the type of fat that poses the most risk to our health. Visceral fat is found in the belly and around our major organs—kidney, heart, liver, pancreas, digestive tract, etc. Too much visceral fat is unhealthy because of its location in relation to key organs. High levels of visceral fat can have been associated with negative health outcomes like diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, increased blood pressure, Alzheimer's, and more. Visceral fat has also been associated with increased inflammation, insulin resistance, problems with hormone production, and other health issues."
How to Tell You're Losing Visceral Fat
Jess Rose McDowell, a renowned certified trainer with KINETIC SWEAT® explains, "Your lower abdominal area is slimming down and becoming stronger. The "tire" around your waist is beginning to disappear. Insulin and cholesterol levels have improved from your body responding to a healthier diet. Energy levels have increased and lowered stress levels. You're going to the bathroom more because you're hydrating the body, flushing your system of toxins."
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Why it's Important to Lose Visceral Fat
McDowell says it's important to lose visceral fat for the following reasons:
"To maintain insulin and hormonal levels.
Reduce the risk of long term health risks such as heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke.
Simply living a healthy lifestyle! Being routinely active to support your physical/mental health, organs, and immune system."
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Aerobic Exercise Works
Dr. Kara states, "Research has suggested that aerobic exercise effectively targets visceral fat. This is most likely because aerobic exercise supports certain processes in the body like digestion, circulation, metabolism, etc., that can help speed up the loss of visceral fat storage. Aerobic exercises include jogging, running, walking, swimming, and other forms of 'cardio.' Another important way to target visceral fat is through sleep."
McDowell says, "Four days of cardio between 40 to 60 minutes and two days of strength training between 20 to 40 minutes targeting the lower abdominals. Exercises such as bicycle kicks, Russian twists, lying parallel leg lifts, lying single leg lifts, mountain climbers, etc. Drink at least 1 gallon of water a day."
Get a Good Night's Sleep
"Quality sleep is the body's opportunity to rest and reset itself so that all systems can function properly," Dr. Kara says. "Studies have suggested that 7-8 hours of sleep per night can reduce visceral fat by roughly 26 percent. Again, when the body has the proper chance to refresh itself, all of our organs and processes, such as our metabolism, are able to function at their best which can help with fat reduction."
McDowell adds, "Visceral fat is deep and surrounds major organs in the lower abdominal area. Get routine blood work to rule out hormonal or thyroid issues that could be causing visceral fat. Manage your glucose and cholesterol levels. Get routine sleep and manage stress levels."
Watch What You Eat
"Keep a strict diet of omega-3 foods (salmon, almonds, avocados, etc.), plant-based foods, vitamin C (citrus that will cut fat), protein (chicken&fish), fruits, and vegetables," McDowell explains. "Food items that offer the body natural energy and boost metabolism." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.