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This Burns the Most Visceral Fat, Says Science

Learn how to measure visceral fat and ways to get rid of it.

Visceral fat is a serious health condition many people don't know they have because it's a type of body fat you can't see, feel or touch. Visceral fat is hidden deep in your belly and wraps around vital organs which causes major problems like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers and more. Getting rid of visceral fat is vital for your overall well-being and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who explain ways to lose it. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


How to Measure Visceral Fat

Fat overweight woman measuring her waist

The Cleveland Clinic says you can measure visceral fat the following ways"

–"Waist measurement: Wrap a tape measure around your waist just above your hip bones. For women, 35 inches or more means you're at risk for health problems stemming from visceral fat. For men, the number is 40 inches or more.

–Waist-to-hip ratio: Measure your waist size and your hip size (wrap a tape measure around the widest part of your hips). Divide your waist size by your hip size. A waist-to-hip ratio higher than 0.85 in women and 0.90 in men indicates abdominal obesity.

–Body mass index (BMI): BMI measures your body fat based on your height and weight. A BMI of 30 or more (in men and women) indicates you may be overweight and could have a higher level of visceral fat.

–Waist-height ratio: Divide your waist size by your height. A healthy ratio is no greater than 0.5 (in men and women). Some healthcare providers prefer the waist-height ratio. Other methods aren't as accurate at distinguishing between visceral and subcutaneous fat."


Lose the Booze


Dr. Brian Fisher MBBCh MBE MSc FRSA, Clinical Director at Evergreen Life and a medical expert with more than 42 years' experience as a general practitioner tells us, "Alcohol makes you gain weight around your midsection, without you realizing. It's so easy to guzzle down hundreds, even thousands, of liquid calories. Extra alcohol units also place strain on the liver, which is already working over time to break down the toxic visceral fat acids, if you carry excess visceral fat. Give your liver a break – alternate beers with water." 


Stop Smoking


Dr. Fisher reminds us, "Cigarettes take a toll on almost your entire body. Like visceral fat, smoking increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Take a step towards quitting today by cutting down the number of cigarettes per week. These 10 tips on the NHS website may also help you quit."


Make Good Food Choices

chicken salad

Dr. Fisher says, "Beat hunger and reduce insulin spikes with healthy protein choices. Avoid greasy hamburgers, bacon and processed sausages in favor of fish, lean meats such as turkey or chicken, beans and free-range eggs. Eating healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocados and walnuts, or fermented foods like kimchi, live yogurt and miso can benefit your insulin balance, gut bacteria, hormones, and weight management."


Hit the Gym


Kent Probst, personal trainer, kinesiotherapist and bodybuilder with Long Healthy Life

states, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous cardiovascular exercise to significantly reduce the risk of disease.  Try to get at least 20 minutes a day of exercise, and then increase it in small increments.  This can include bicycling, running, swimming, cross-country skiing, stair climbing, or brisk walking."


Cut Out Sugary Drinks

glass of soda

Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of the Candida Diet says, "It is not uncommon to turn to drinks like shakes or smoothies to help with your weight loss goals. However, the sugar, carb, and calorie content in these drinks can add up quickly. This is true for both homemade and manufactured healthy drinks. Sports drinks are typically a go-to for after a workout. It is important to watch the calorie and sugar content in these drinks because they can impede your weight loss goals quickly. Some forms of these sports drinks can reach up to 8 teaspoons of sugar in a bottle. Unless you are doing intense exercise where you are losing significant amounts of electrolytes it may be more beneficial to stick with water for hydration. Always check the nutrition label on pre-packaged bottled smoothies. Their carbohydrate, sugar, and calories can add up quickly in an attempt to increase flavor and texture."


How to Tell When You're Losing Visceral Fat

weight loss after 40

Joanna Wen, a certified weight loss coach with Spices & Greens says, "Visceral fat is more difficult to lose than subcutaneous fat because it is more metabolically active. However, there are some telltale signs that you may be losing visceral fat. For example, you may notice that your clothes are fitting more loosely around your waist or that you have more energy. You may also notice that your skin appears more toned and that you have less bloating after eating." 


Probst adds, "An indicator that visceral fat may be decreasing is to check your waist circumference to see if it's getting smaller.  A normal waist circumference is under 40 inches (102 cm) for men and under 35 inches (88 cm) for women."


Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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