What is Belly or Visceral Fat?
Visceral fat is one of the types of fat that are present inside our bodies. This specific type of fat accumulates in the abdominal cavity. It’s located between several organs such as the stomach, intestines and liver.
Normally, whenever you’re trying to measure your waistline, you’re trying to measure your visceral or belly fat. You can’t always see or feel visceral fat, which is why there’s also a condition we call TOFI, ‘thin outside, fat inside’.
Only a detailed CT or MRI scan will reveal the total amount of visceral fats inside your body. As per Harvard Health, 10% of our total body fat will be equal to our visceral fat.
Harms of Visceral or Belly Fat:
Although visceral fat is important as a cushion between our organs. However, if left unchecked, visceral fats can build up in our arteries and cause severe medical issues.
Moreover, since it affects the fat hormone (adiponectin) in the body that is responsible for regulating our overall fat percentages, we often call it ‘active fat’.
Visceral fat inhibits this fat hormone and starts accelerating the production of more fats than our bodies need. Some people consider this to be hormonal belly fat.
Along with other problems, this can affect our insulin sensitivity which drastically raises the chances of getting Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Having too much visceral fat can also cause inflammation and high blood pressure problems that can only worsen any medical condition.
Other than this, here’s a list of health problems you’re at risk of with high amounts of visceral fat:
Breast and Colorectal Cancer
This is why it’s crucial that you work on visceral fat loss by paying attention to the factors described below.
Reasons Why We Get Visceral or Belly Fat?
There are many reasons why we accumulate fat. Apart from our daily consumption of various forms of foods, our bodies turn various nutrients into energy that turns into fats if not burned.
This fat is stored inside and can turn into what people refer to as ‘hardened fat’.
A lot of people get fed up with their long-term efforts trying to get rid of this hardened fat. You have to understand that you’re not the only one. And that the process isn’t impossible.
This hardening of the fat is due to long durations of inactivity that have halted the process of fat distribution.
When the visceral fat in the waistline isn’t burned or at least shaken up from its place, it starts solidifying.
This can also result in serious medical conditions and to make things worse, it can require a lot of hard work to get rid of belly fat.
Having explained this, let’s take a look at the general reasons why we get visceral fat:
The average American diet includes a lot of processed foods, sodas, alcohol and forms of meat in excess that result in 36.5% of all American adult population categorized as obese.
Moreover, nutrition and obesity-related diseases end up taking 678,000 deaths in the U.S every year.
While our sympathies and respect go out to the loved ones we lost, keep in mind that not all these people were ‘unable’ to get healthy nutrition.
A lot of us choose burgers over salads and soda over water every day. As much as it hurts to admit it, you’re not on the healthy side of the spectrum. Not unless you drop down the number of carbs and fats you’re consuming.
Processed foods, sweetened beverages, and a whole lot more contribute to the overall fats we accumulate.
With no added benefits except for the sugar, these foods can inevitably cause serious diseases. If you ever forget, here’s a reminder of the foods you need and don’t need:
Nutrients You Need To Lose Belly Fat
Nutrients to Avoid to Reduce Belly Fat
Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids
Lack Of Exercise
Another prominent reason why we have belly fat is the lack of exercise. Exercise for losing belly fat is the same as oxygen is for humans. There’s no rocket science behind it.
We eat food to take in calories. These calories are units of energy that will turn into fat if not utilized.
Now, we consume food to get other nutrients but always end up with an excess of calories. This is where we need to achieve a calorie deficit.
Smart people will think, ‘why not just fast?’
Sure, intermittent fasts can work. But, you can’t skip two meals and eat a dozen burgers hoping you’ll lose weight.
Furthermore, you can’t deny your body the essential nutrients it needs. Which is impossible without adding calories to your daily consumption.
Whether you’re trying to reduce the abs fat or the belly pooch, you can’t function without the right amounts of proteins, fiber and the right fats it needs.
This is where HIIT workouts come in handy. But, more on that later.
The relationship of stress with weight loss is of extreme importance. In fact, stress has proven to be a trigger for our urge to consume comfort food, e.g. sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, ice creams, etc.
Although we might not notice, stressful situations often leave people with abnormal eating habits. When exposed to prolonged or really stressful situations, individuals even develop serious eating disorders as well.
Here’s an overview of how stress plays a role in weight loss:
Our bodies release a lot of adrenaline and cortisol, which triggers the release of glucose. Once that sugar hits our bloodstreams, we feel a sort of ‘high’ or sugar rush.
However, as soon as the threat subsides and our sugar levels drop, the high is gone and thus, the cortisol will start working on replenishing your spiked sugar level, considering it to be the required amount.
Thus, your body will start accumulating more stomach fat.
That is why, whenever we feel down, we instantly go for sugar for that quick shot of energy. It’s natural for our stress hormone cortisol to cause a craving. After all, it’s nothing but our body’s natural response to stress.
To counter this, we need to reduce stress from our daily lives and come up with ways to reduce belly fat. One of the ways to do that is to create a healthy environment to work out and relieve stress.
Genetic or Medical Reasons
While science does claim that genetics are a factor in obesity, it also states that they are not to be considered a verdict for the future.
That is to say, your fate is not sealed just because there are obese people in your family.
In all fairness, research shows that specific disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome can be directly caused by genetics.
However, this is very rare and not the usual reason you’re putting on belly fat.
Other than that, people with preexisting medical conditions such as underactive thyroid, diabetes, Cushing's syndrome, steroid treatment, etc. are likely to face problems with weight loss.
This is because their medical conditions either increase their fat production, affect their metabolism, or cause other changes in their physiological and psychological states.
Factors that Affect Weight Loss
It’s crucial to note that while diet and exercise are the quickest ways to lose belly fat, you have to factor in things like:
As put forward by ResearchGate, here’s a comprehensive list of interrelated and dynamic factors that influence weight loss:
Everyone has a different body that reacts in a different way to various diets and exercises. What works for you will need to be analyzed by a professional.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat?
The best way to lose belly fat is to follow a regimen with a healthy diet, exercise and regular physical activity. While it may take longer than you expect, it’s the most effective way to reduce visceral fat in your stomach.
Here’s an idea of the long-term changes you’ll have to incorporate in your life:
The fastest way to lose belly fat is to gain proteins and fiber. These are the only fat burners that you can rely on.
These two nutrients work together to not just provide the body with energy, but also make you feel full for longer periods. Learn more about the top foods that burn belly fat here.
Another secret to stomach weight loss is knowing the right carbs from the wrong ones. Essentially, any source of carbs that isn’t rich in fiber can end up as the ‘hardened’ or ‘false fat’ inside your stomach.
While it may take unusually long amounts of time, you have to trust the process and consult professionals without quitting.
There is a whole list of foods you need to avoid to lose belly fat. The problem, however, doesn’t seem to end there.
Even people who have a complete awareness of what they shouldn’t eat continue to follow unhealthy eating habits.
Here people need Good Habits to Have to Help Enforce a Healthy Eating Plan.
The key to ensuring the results of your diet lies in the sheer determination as well as the extra effort you put into your endeavors.
There are many success stories of people losing extraordinary amounts of weight with serious dietary changes. Even if it takes you a comparatively longer amount of time, you can’t give up.
Follow any diet and specific meal plans that you prefer. Just remember though, Irregularities and cheats will only be hindering your progress. Take help of our diet guide to lose
Knowing how many reps and sets of each workout to do in between breaks of specific durations along with the diet plan you’ll follow forms the basis of your regimen.
You can engage in any form of regimen you prefer, so long as you do it long enough to burn more calories than you consumed for the entire day.
Even without HIIT, you should be able to do something about your weight loss problems if you keep exercising for 30 minutes daily. Your routine should comprise healthy exercises to reduce belly fat as well as healthy foods that burn belly fat.
Read More About: Workouts and Exercises.
Visceral fat is the belly fat that is stored in the abdominal cavity
Although some of it’s necessary, excess visceral fat can be deadly.
Problems ranging from heart attacks to strokes can be caused by too much belly fat.
We accumulate visceral fat by consuming foods that are rich in carbs, calories, and sugar.
The excess calories in the body don’t burn if we don’t exercise, thereby becoming stubborn visceral fat in the stomach.
Stress gives visceral fat the ability to produce more fat by affecting cortisol and adiponectin.
Low-carb, high fiber, and high protein diets are necessary nutritional changes required to lose belly fat.
Engaging in HIIT and other forms of workouts is crucial to effectively reduce stomach fat.