Drinking Habits to Lose Visceral Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians
There's good news and bad news when it comes to visceral fat. The bad news is that your risk of having this type of dangerous fat, which wraps around your organs and can lead to heart disease and diabetes, increases significantly as you age.
The good news, however, is that there are tangible ways to lose visceral fat over time and in a healthy way. In fact, experts say that getting enough sleep, reducing stress, exercising, and eating healthier can all contribute to the loss of abdominal fat.
If you're wanting to make changes to your diet in order to work on losing visceral fat, where do you begin? Our expert dietitians suggest a few key changes in your drinking habits that can make all the difference as you age.
Continue reading to learn more, and for more healthy drinking tips, make sure to check out The Worst Smoothie Habits for Abdominal Fat.
Cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages
They may be delicious, but sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit cocktails have the power to truly wreck your weight loss goals.
"Over time, excessive intake of added sugars can contribute to chronic inflammation, and sugar-sweetened drinks have next to no nutritional value, meaning they really just provide you with sugar and calories," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook.
Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, agrees, saying that "swapping soda with plain old water can save you some serious calories, and as a result, may help you lose abdominal fat."
Limit your alcohol intake
Just like soda, says Goodson, "many alcoholic beverages provide little to no nutritional value, which means you are just sipping down extra calories."
Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, author at Go Wellness, warns that along with plain alcohol, consuming mixed drinks can also contribute to visceral fat. "Mixed drinks with sugar can have more of an effect on the circumference of your waist, which causes more fat to be stored in that area, so try cutting back and limiting yourself to a reasonable amount of drinks per week, or take it out of your routine completely."
Manaker suggests that if you're still wanting something fun to drink at night, try choosing a mocktail instead. "Limiting alcohol and sipping on mocktails can help you avoid drinking excessive amounts of booze, helping you lose that abdominal weight."
Drink green tea
We've discussed drinks that should be avoided or limited, but what about the beverages that can benefit our health? According to D'Angelo, green tea is helpful in losing visceral fat.
"Green Tea is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can help with weight loss, fat burning, and your overall health, which is due largely to green tea's main antioxidant, EGCG, which has shown to promote fat breakdown, especially in the abdominal area," says D'Angelo.
Not only that, but she notes, "green tea also contains caffeine, which may speed up your metabolism (which slows down as we age) and help your fat cells break down more fat."
Add a protein shake every day
While limiting your added sugar intake and sipping on green tea can help with managing abdominal fat, consuming enough protein on a daily basis is a crucial component in losing fat around your belly.
Not only does it help you build muscle, but protein is known to speed up your metabolism, which can contribute to weight loss.
"Add a protein shake or smoothie to your diet so you are getting the recommended amount of protein per day," says D'Angelo, "and if you want to get creative, you can add fruits that are high in antioxidants and other ingredients that help with abdominal fat as well."