Visceral fat, also known as active or hidden fat, is the fatty tissue usually deposited in the human’s abdominal cavity. It’s different from the subcutaneous fat found underneath the skin because it poses more serious medical problems.
Visceral fat has the potential of influencing hormone functions. Little abdominal fat is important for insulation and cushioning. However, excess of it is detrimental to the body.
Quick Facts about Visceral Fat
- Excess belly fat cause serious health problems such as cancer, heart attack, diabetes mellitus, stroke and hypertension, among others.
- 30 minutes of exercise every day is enough to burn down the visceral fat.
- Having little visceral fat is normal and healthy.
What Causes Visceral Fat?
When you eat too many calories and do little physical exercise, your body will store more fats.
Your genetic makeup will determine whether fat deposition is done at the hip or in the abdominal region. In most cases, unused fats are deposited in the belly, forming the abdominal fat.
Another factor that contributes to the formation of visceral fat is alcohol consumption. Alcohol has the potential of lowering the body’s metabolism process. Therefore, it will reduce the process of fats breakdown, thus leading to a deposition of used fats in the abdominal region.
How Do You Know If You’ve Visceral Fat?
Imaging scans such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans are majorly used to determine whether someone has abdominal fat or not.
Since the imaging scans are time-consuming and expensive, your physician will ask you about your diet and lifestyle. The overall body fat is again measured to give an insight into the amount of visceral fat you have.
The most effective way to know whether you’ve visceral fat or not is to measure your waist distance. Waist circumferences will capture the fat stores within the abdominal organs and around the wait itself. Therefore, you need to capture the waist-hip ratio in addition to that.
For women who have a chronic disease, visceral fat is in excess if the waist circumference is more than 80cm or more than 94cm in men.
Notably, the reference ranges can’t be applied to pregnant women and children. If you think you have an oversize waist, please consult your doctor. You might be given a prescription for a slimming belt.
What Are The Health Risks Of Visceral Fat?
Too much abdominal fat indicates the eruption of a medical condition called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome comprises of four disorders: insulin resistance, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Combining the four malfunctions increases the risk of diabetes mellitus, heart disease and stroke. Too much visceral fat can also cause the following:
- Fertility problems
- Gall bladder disease and gout
- Liver disease
- Lower back pain
How Can You Get Rid of Visceral Fat?
Since the effects of storing excess abdominal fat can be severe and sudden, it’s critical to adopt dietary and lifestyle adjustments as soon as possible.
Losing weight can help you reduce visceral fat levels. In addition, you might need a slimming belt to give you the desired body shape while in your exercise and lifestyle management follow-up.
- Regular Exercise
Exercise is the most effective method that can help you reduce visceral fat. Cardiovascular exercises include running, swimming, cycling, strength training, aerobics, squats, pushups, weights and strength training increases heart rate and the body’s metabolism processes.
The stored fats will be broken down when you do cardiovascular exercises routinely. As a result, your body will have a healthy amount of abdominal fat that can’t cause serious health complications.
- Stress Management
Your mental well-being is important as your physical health. When you’re stressed, the body metabolism process is derailed. Therefore a lot of fats are stored in the form of visceral fat.
To explain it scientifically, when someone is stressed, the body releases cortisol hormone that increases the visceral fat stores in the body’s vital organs. Therefore, physicians recommend that to have healthy belly fat, you must manage your stress levels not to affect on body’s metabolism.
Are you wondering where you can start with stress management? Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditations, among other stress management tactics, are significant in helping you lose abdominal fat.
- Healthy Diet
The importance of healthy food for your general body health cannot be overemphasized. A healthy diet has fewer sugars and low processed foods. A healthy diet includes lean proteins, complex carbohydrates like whole grains and sweet potatoes, and fruit and vegetables. Grilling, steaming, boiling and baking food reduces fats level and makes them healthier.
The Bottom Line
Visceral fat needs closer monitoring and regular measurement since it’s fat that you can’t see. Therefore, it’s not always easy for a person to tell whether they have excess visceral fat or not.
When excess visceral fats go unrealized for quite some time, it can lead to dangerous health problems like breast and colon cancer.
Do regular measurements of your waist circumference, know your body mass index, do imaging scans and calculate your hip waist ratio if you want to know whether you’ve excess visceral fat.
Ultimately, it’s possible to avoid the buildup of excess visceral fat. That requires you to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Other things you can do include eating a low-fat and nutritious diet, controlling stress and doing cardiovascular exercises more often.