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Drinking Habits to Shrink Visceral Fat After 50, Say Dietitians

These changes can help you burn the "dangerous" type of fat on your body.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

It's important for us to not look at all types of body fat as equal. For example, there's subcutaneous fat, which is a protective fat that is found right underneath the skin. This type of fat isn't nearly as dangerous as what is known as visceral fat, which is located around the internal organs in your stomach area.

In fact, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago, there is a strong link between too much visceral fat and insulin resistance, metabolic disease, and even death. Harvard Health also notes that visceral fat can increase cholesterol levels and is linked to an increased risk of heart disease as well.

This can impact anyone, but it's especially crucial to watch your levels of visceral fat as you age, since your risk for heart issues and diabetes can rise as you get older.

With these dangers in mind, how can we control our visceral fat levels after the age of 50? To find out, we talked with medical expert board member, registered dietitian Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, about some helpful drinking habits that can help.

It's also important to note that while changing your diet can help significantly, incorporating exercise and lowering your stress when possible is helpful to losing visceral fat as well. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians.


Avoid drinking too much booze


When it comes to any type of weight loss, limiting your alcohol consumption is usually helpful because of the empty calories it can lead to. Manaker warns that when it comes to visceral fat, this is especially true.

"While a once-in-a-while cocktail is ok, too much alcohol can cause the body to store fat as visceral fat and is linked to an increased waist circumference," says Manaker, "so stick to a mocktail or sparkling water instead."


Drink green tea

green tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can have. Not only can it help reduce your risk of cancer, improve your brain health, and help your dental health, but it is also linked to weight loss as well.

Green tea's weight loss properties come from one of its powerful compounds, called polyphenols, which are known to improve metabolism.

And those trying to lose visceral fat will be pleased to know that green tea has been proven to specifically help with belly fat. "Data shows that green tea consumption over a span of 12 weeks is linked to less visceral fat," says Manaker.

RELATED: The #1 Best Green Tea to Drink, According to Experts


Don't overdo it on the artificial sweeteners

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It's understandable that when you're trying to shed some pounds, you may try replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, Manaker warns that these may actually lead to more weight gain around your belly.

"Many people lean on artificial sweeteners when they are trying to limit their sugar intake, but drinking beverages with these sweeteners in excess may result in fat being deposited as visceral fat," she says.


Stick with water to stay hydrated

glass of water

And lastly, staying hydrated is key for losing weight and managing your weight loss. "Water contains zero calories and doesn't cause weight gain when consumed, so staying hydrated with plain old H2O may be your best bet if you are trying to watch your visceral fat accumulation," says Manaker.