Visceral fat is a type of body fat that surrounds your internal organs in the abdomen. Everybody has this type of fat because it is responsible to keep your vital organs insulated and in an organized structure in your abdomen. However an excessive amount of visceral fat can lead to many serious health problems including cardiovascular disease, types 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. When there is too much of this fat in your body, the deposits of visceral fat will act similarly to an actual organ, creating substances that affects the other surrounding organs in your abdomen. And some of the substances excreted by visceral fat may get absorbed into the liver and then increase the levels of fat and cholesterol in your blood. Compared to the normal type of that which builds up under the skin, a high amount of visceral fat has more negative impact on health and is more difficult to lose.
How visceral fat is developed
A sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet that is high in fat and sugar are the man reasons behind the development of visceral fat. A lack of exercising for a long time will more likely than not results to a cumulative effect which people will gain more visceral fat. Stress and sleep deprivation are also known for causing an increment of this type of fat. And some studies show that victim of constant discrimination or harassment are prone to develop deposits of visceral fat.
There are also causes that you cannot control, like aging or hormonal changes. When people age, their muscle mass tends to decrease, thus increasing the body fat percentage in general. This also reduces the amount of burned calories since muscles require energy even at rest, thus resulting to the increment of visceral fat. The development of this type of fat is also effected heavily by hormonal changes, particularly women who are menopausal. Several people are also prone to gaining visceral fat, even when they look really healthy.
How to reduce visceral fat
Though it is possible to reduce visceral fat, it requires more work and commitment. A combination of well planned cardiovascular activities and lean diet are usually mandatory. Researches from Duke University Medical Center show that regular exercise can significantly reduce the amount of visceral fat you carry around. A high intensity work out program is recommended to reduce visceral fat since the more exercising you do, the more of this dangerous fat you will lose. However, a moderate work out routine only stops visceral fat to build up.
One common mistake most people make when they want to lose abdominal fat is that they do a lot of stomach exercises like sit up or crunches. These exercises just build the muscle groups in the abdomen area but will not reduce visceral fat. A short, intense session of cardio training works best for losing this type of fat.
In terms of diet, a healthy menu that is high in fiber is recommended. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are always your best choice of foods to fight against visceral fat. However, be careful with some fruits that are too sweet like bananas or apples since you need to avoid sugar at all cost. It is also best to stay away processed foods and foods that are heavy in saturated fat, like butter or fatty chesse. When you cook, try to use natural cooking ols that are high in mono- unsaturated and poly- unsaturated fats.
A relaxing lifestyle also helps you counter this type of fat since stress is known as a cause for the development of this fat. Also try to moderate your smoking and drinking habit since these activities can leand to increased visceral fat as well.