How to Lose Visceral Fat Fast, Say Experts
Visceral, or belly fat, is fat stored deep underneath the muscle in your abdomen, surrounding organs such as the liver and stomach. Known as "active fat" for the potentially dangerous role it has on how our hormones function, visceral fat is associated with a number of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. If you want to lose visceral fat as fast as possible, here are some expert-backed tips on how to get it done sooner rather than later. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Say Goodbye to Sugar
If you want to get rid of that unsightly belly fat fast, sugar has to go. "Our findings provide more evidence that consuming too much added sugar and sugary drinks is related to a higher amount of fat tissue," says Lyn Steffen, PhD, MPH. "And, we know that fat deposits are connected with higher risks of heart disease and diabetes."
"When we consume too much sugar the excess is converted to fat and stored," says University of Minnesota PhD student So Yun Yi. "This fat tissue located around the heart and in the abdomen releases chemicals into the body which can be harmful to health. Our results support limiting added sugar intake."
Exercise to Blast the Belly Fat
Exercise is extremely important not just for your overall health, but for melting away visceral fat. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise will make a difference. "Add aerobic exercise as part of your way of life," advises Johns Hopkins Medicine. "This may be the most important thing you can do. It reduces the fat around your belly. Keep in mind that moderate exercise works the best. To gauge intensity, use the talk test. While you are exercising: you should be able to talk comfortably, you should not be able to belt out a song.
Then you will know that you are doing moderate exercise."
Did you know that smoking makes you more likely to store fat in your abdomen rather than your buttocks or thighs? "We found that current smokers had abdominal muscles that were significantly higher in fat," says James G. Terry, research programs manager in Radiology and member of Vanderbilt Translational and Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center (VTRACC). "Smokers also had a higher proportion of visceral fat, the fat around their internal organs, compared to never smokers, whereas those who had quit smoking had intermediate levels of visceral and intramuscular fat."
Get More Sleep, Lose More Fat
Getting less than seven hours of sleep a night will make it significantly more difficult to lose visceral weight. A recent study showed that even one extra hour of sleep a night led to reduced calorie intake—as much as 500 calories for some people. "Getting sufficient sleep could be a game changer in tackling the obesity epidemic," says lead researcher Esra Tasali, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of the Sleep Research Center at The University of Chicago. "'With sufficient sleep your brain gets reduced signals to eat and you thus reduce your caloric intake."
Get Some Sun
There is growing evidence that spending time in the sun could help with weight loss. "When the sun's blue light wavelengths—the light we can see with our eye—penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell. In other words, our cells don't store as much fat," says Peter Light, professor of pharmacology and the director of the University of Alberta's Alberta Diabetes Institute. "It's early days, but it's not a giant leap to suppose that the light that regulates our circadian rhythm, received through our eyes, may also have the same impact through the fat cells near our skin." So beware, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 101 Health Habits You Didn't Know Were Deadly.