Whether you’re sporting a ripped six-pack or carrying a bit of a paunch, there’s no getting away from it: you have visceral fat. We all do. It’s normal to have some degree of visceral fat stored around the abdomen and internal organs, but if you’re carrying too much of it, your body could be susceptible to an array of health problems.
Excess visceral fat can be harmful, leading to metabolic disorders, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Located within the abdominal cavity, it affects your liver, gallbladder, intestines and pancreas. Fortunately, the most dangerous type of fat is also the easiest to lose.
People with high amounts of deep fat are at risk of suffering insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer – and it’s not always evident that your visceral fat levels are too high. You don’t necessarily have to be obese to carry visceral fat, which usually builds up as a consequence of poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Thankfully it’s not all bad news: you have the power to banish visceral fat and improve your health in one fell swoop. By adopting better lifestyle habits, it’s possible to vanquish visceral fat and develop a better body in the process. Here are four effective ways to go about it:
Cut back on refined carbs
A diet high in sugar is often the culprit behind obesity, heart disease and visceral fat. Cutting back on sugary carbs like white bread and carbonated drinks can help you slim down and add years to your life. Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll have more energy, better focus at work and feel less hungry throughout the day. That’s because sugary foods cause an insulin spike followed by a crash, leading to fatigue, low energy and increased hunger.
Instead, switch to healthier carbs that come from whole, natural foods such as oats, vegetables and sweet potatoes. For quick results, cut back the starches and grains in your diet and stick to lean meat, fish, eggs and leafy greens.
Eat more protein
High-protein foods help build and maintain muscle, increase metabolic rate and suppress your appetite. They also reduce muscle loss while on a low calorie diet. Thus, if you’re looking to lose weight, it’s recommended that you cut back on carbs and increase your protein intake. Your diet should include poultry, turkey, lean beef, fatty fish, low fat dairy, egg whites and nuts.
Protein shakes are a convenient way to augment your meals and get a quality source of protein into your diet. A supplement such as Healthy Whey will increase your protein intake in addition to fuelling your body with essential vitamins and minerals to help prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Consume good fats
You need to eat fat in order to lose fat. Hundreds of studies indicate that carbs, not dietary fat, are responsible for weight gain. The best sources of heart-healthy fats are tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil and unrefined vegetable oils. Most of your dietary fat should come from polyunsaturated fats, with around 10% coming from saturated fat.
Diet alone will likely not be enough to shift visceral fat. Exercise is also crucial. Studies have shown one of the fastest and most effective ways of burning fat to be high intensity interval training. HIIT, as it’s known, combines bursts of intense exercise with short rest periods and will set your heart racing. If your smartphone is missing Adrian James High Intensity Interval Training, download the app now and give one of the 15-minute workouts a try. Repeat three times a week and watch your visceral fat beat a hasty retreat. To monitor your progress, try using a body fat scale that can check for visceral fat. Your visceral fat is normally displayed as a number, with 1-12 falling within normal parameters and above 12 qualifying as a cause for concern.
So now you’re an armchair expert on visceral fat, there’s just one thing left to do: get out of that armchair and start doing something about it! Cut out sugary carbs, incorporate more protein into a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Finally, if you’re looking to fast track your progress and up your motivation, try the Adrian James Body Transformation Challenge. It will help you hit your fitness goals and develop a lean physique in record time.