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Drinking Habits To Avoid if You Don't Want Visceral Fat, Say Dietitians

These habits can sneakily lead to an increase in the "harmful" type of belly fat.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

It's more than likely that you've heard of visceral fat and its side effects. That's because it's known as the "dangerous" type of fat, and if someone is carrying around excess amounts, it may increase their risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

"The most dangerous type of fat is visceral fat because it's the kind that accumulates around your internal organs and causes metabolic dysfunction," says Ronald Smith, RD.

Although decreasing visceral fat requires a change in lifestyle, diet, and movement, there are certain eating and drinking habits that can either help or harm your progress of trying to reduce it.

Continue reading to learn about the drinking habits you'll want to avoid if you don't want excess visceral fat, and for more healthy eating tips, make sure to check out The #1 Drink to Avoid Visceral Fat, Says Science.

Drinking soda regularly

soda glasses

Soda is one of the trickiest drinks when you're trying to lose weight, especially if you're trying to lose visceral fat. "These are a major source of calories in many people's diets, and they typically contain large amounts of sugar which can cause weight gain if consumed in excess," says Smith.

A study from the Journal of Nutrition found that those who consumed soda on a daily basis had a higher percentage of visceral fat on their body. "If you want to cut down on soft drinks, it's best to switch from regular sodas to water, tea, or coffee instead," says Smith.

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Drinking alcohol

drinking alcohol

According to a study from the International Journal of Obesity, daily consumption of alcohol was associated with an increase in visceral and abdominal fat.

"Drinking alcohol is one of the worst things you can do to create visceral fat," says Smith, "and this is because of ingredients in alcohol called congeners, which make your body store more fat around your organs, speeding up the process of gaining weight around your middle."

The Worst Side Effect of Drinking Alcohol, Says Dietitian

Sugary juices

woman drinking sugary beverage

"Drinking juice beverages can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess," says Smith. This is because store-bought juice beverages are often loaded with added sugars like high fructose corn syrup.

Harvard Health Publishing suggests that when you're trying to burn off visceral fat, you may want to avoid things like refined carbohydrates, white bread, and sugary beverages.

Mixing alcohol with energy drinks

energy drink

Combining your alcohol with an energy drink is a sneaky culprit and one that you may not realize is contributing to weight gain.

"Red Bull may give you wings, but it's a sugar bomb loaded with empty calories," says Smith, "in fact, a study found that adding an energy drink to your beer boosted the number of calories by 10% and participants didn't compensate by eating fewer calories later in the day or the next morning."

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Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha