Some nine out of 10 people are not aware of the risks of having visceral fat ; the one that is concentrated around the waist. It is one of the most active and therefore most harmful types of fat stored in the body.
A survey of 12,000 people in Europe found that most had no idea that having a fat belly was a sign of a dangerous type of fat accumulating around internal organs.
This "visceral fat" can increase your risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers.
The danger of visceral fat is related to the release of proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, can damage arteries, pass to the liver, and affect the way your body breaks down sugars and fats.
The body has 2 types of fat
Too much visceral fat is a serious health problem. It produces inflammatory markers such as IL-6, IL-1β, PAI-I, and TNF-alpha. High levels of these markers are related to the health problems described above.
Why visceral fat poses a health hazard
Its danger is due to the fact that it produces inflammatory molecules that enter the bloodstream. High levels of inflammation in the body can trigger a wide range of systemic diseases related to metabolic syndrome .
An example of this isheart disease . Prolonged inflammation can lead to plaque buildup inside the arteries, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
While it's often called "belly fat" because it can cause a "beer belly" or apple-shaped body, you can have visceral fat even if you're skinny.
Not all body fat is bad
It is possible that after reading all of the above you think that all body fat is bad and it is not.
Fat cells are an important active and intelligent part of your body, as they are responsible for producing hormones that impact your brain, liver, immune system and fertility.
Research indicates that the subcutaneous fat found just under the skin is different from visceral fat in several ways.
This fat can improve glucose metabolism and communicate with the organs to produce beneficial effects.
Leptin and its connection to fat
Most people don't know that leptin plays a huge role in the development of obesity .
It is a hormone produced by the body that is as important as insulin in determining the risk of type 2 diabetes and other serious diseases.
Hormones produced by fat cells affect how much you eat and how much fat you burn. Leptin resistance causes an increase in visceral fat that the body produces.
One risk factor that makes you leptin resistant is having a diet full of sugars , since these are converted to fat and that fat is stored in the body.
The body can become resistant to leptin in the same way that it can become resistant to insulin .
When you're leptin resistant, your body doesn't listen to your own signals to stop eating, burn fat , or pass up sugary foods.
The consequences? You are constantly hungry, you crave sweets, and your body stores more and more fat.
What should I do to help move the visceral fat?
A diet to eliminate visceral fat low in carbohydrates and sugars
Low-carb diets are an effective way to reduce visceral fat.
In fact, many studies have shown that low- carb diets are the most effective.
In the case of refined sugar, did you know that it is more addictive than other drugs? In fact, it is one of the most addictive substances you can consume.
But when talking about sugar, it is not only about refined white sugar, other foods are also included. Starch, in the form of grains and potatoes, is metabolized to sugar in the body and should also be eliminated from the diet if you are overweight, diabetic, or have high cholesterol.
You might benefit from the ketogenic (also called keto ) diet , which drastically reduces carbohydrate intake and replaces it with fat. This can put you in a natural metabolic state called ketosis.
Ketosis is the result of an altered metabolism that is caused by a deficit in the contribution of carbohydrates. This action induces the catabolism of fats in the body in order to obtain energy.
Increases the concentration of ketone bodies, which break down fats into shorter chains, generating acetoacetate that is used for energy.
This is how the body stops using carbohydrates as its primary source of energy and replaces them with fats.
Get more aerobic exercise
Regular aerobic exercise is a great way to stimulate visceral fat removal. It is the famous cardio and it helps you burn calories.
In fact, many studies have shown that aerobic exercise can help you lose visceral fat, even without dieting.
However, combining regular aerobic exercise with a healthy diet is more effective at attacking visceral fat than doing it alone.
One of the keys to normalizing insulin and leptin levels, and stimulating the burning of visceral fat, is to exercise enough.
There are three important variables with exercise:
- Time frame
If you are healthy enough to exercise, you should gradually increase the length and frequency of your workouts to one hour per day. This is where you should stay until your weight and insulin levels return to normal.
When you reach that goal, you can reduce the frequency of exercise to three to four times a week.
Get enough sleep at night
Sleeping well is beneficial for your health. However, more than a third of adults do not get enough sleep, and studies have shown that lack of sleep can increase the risk of increasing visceral fat.
The important thing is that you understand that excesses and deficiencies are not good. Fat can be negative in certain aspects of your life, but it is also important so that many processes in your body can be carried out.
For balance, try to eat a healthy diet, get enough rest, and exercise. If you think you already do it and you don't see results, consulting your nutritionist's opinion will always be the best option.