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Proven Tricks to Slim Down Your Abdominal Fat

Four ways to get rid of abdominal fat, according to experts. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Having an excess of abdominal fat isn't just unhealthy, it can be dangerous. Visceral fat isn't the fat that you can see or pinch. It's located deep within your belly and it wraps around your vital organs. It can cause severe health issues like type 2 diabetes, stroke, some cancers and more. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who reveal their tricks for slimming down visceral fat and explain what causes it. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Avoid Excess Sugar Intake

woman craving sugar

Dr. Daniel Boyer of Farr Institute explains, "Sugar contains both glucose and fructose. If taken excessively may overwork insulin, resulting in insulin resistance, forcing the body to store the rest as fats in the visceral parts of your body. Reducing your sugar intake doesn't interfere with the efficiency of insulin, and may prevent the increase of visceral fat."


Reduce Refined Carbohydrates

olive garden chicken shrimp carbonara
Courtesy of Olive Garden

Lindsey DeSoto, a registered dietician nutritionist with The Dietician Momma  says, "Diets high in refined carbohydrates are associated with visceral obesity. You don't have to cut out carbs completely, but it's important to choose whole grains and minimally processed carbohydrates. One study found that people who included whole grains lost more abdominal fat compared to those who ate refined carbs like white rice and pasta. Reducing refined carbs will help reduce your belly fat and provide you with more energy."


Count Your Calories

Man counting calories on table

Scott Schutte, a certified personal trainer and health educator with the Healthy Behavior Institute reminds us to "Consume less calories. Easy in explanation but difficult in execution. Try to find replacements that you enjoy equally but have less calories. If you want to lose fat you need to consume less." 


Do HIIT Training

hiit workout

DeSoto states, "According to a study from 2018, high intensity interval training significantly reduced total visceral and abdominal fat mass.HIIT improves insulin sensitivity, which helps boost fat loss. It also increases post exercise energy expenditure and helps you burn more calories after your workout is done. Aim for HIIT exercise 2-3 times per week to see improvements." 

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How to Measure Visceral Fat

Doctor measures patient's waist.

"The best way to tell if you have too much visceral fat is to measure your waist," DeSoto says. "For men, 40 inches or more is a warning sign for visceral fat. For women, it's 35 inches."

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What Causes Visceral Fat?

Man and woman holding their bellies while sitting on the bed suffering from extra weight.

According to DeSoto, "Genetics, stress, and aging can cause visceral fat. However, one of the most common causes is when excess calories get stored as fat.  Men have a tendency to have more visceral fat than women."

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Why Most People Have Visceral Fat

Obese woman laying on sofa with smartphone eating chips

"Westernized diets rich in pre-packaged foods, refined grains, and added sugars with lack of physical activity is one of the main reasons so many Americans have unhealthy amounts of visceral fat," says DeSoto.

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