Visceral fat is deemed harmful because of where its stored in the body. It’s found in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs such as the stomach, intestines and liver. For this reason, a build-up of visceral fat can increase the risk of serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease. So what can you do to get rid of it?
One of the main causes of visceral fat is a poor diet, high in refined carbohydrates, fatty foods and sugar.
So a simple way to get rid of visceral fat is to look at what you’re eating.
Experts recommend cutting down on sugar and carbohydrates, but also to eat a diet with plenty of protein.
Research has demonstrated how eating protein can reduce food cravings by 60 per cent, boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.
One paper ‘Gluconeogenesis and energy expenditure after a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet’ demonstrates these findings.
Studies have also shown how protein is effective working against belly fat.
One study, titled ‘Quality protein intakes inversely related with abdominal fat’, published in BMC Medicine, showed the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly.
This means people who ate more and better protein were found to have less belly fat.
Healthline recommends high protein foods to eat:
- Cottage cheese – one cup (226g) of cottage cheese with two per cent fat contains 27g of protein.
- Broccoli – one cup (96g) of chopped broccoli has 3g of protein.
- Lentils – one cup (198g) of boiled lentils contains 18g of protein
- Peanuts – one ounce (28g) has 7g of protein
Other diet changes you should consider making to help get rid of visceral fat are:
- Avoiding sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks
- Cutting carbs from your diet
- Eating foods rich in fibre
Exercise has also been found to be an effective way to reduce visceral fat.
But while many may assume abdominal exercises are effective at getting rid of visceral fat, research suggests you should avoid these.
Spot reduction, which is a term used for losing fat in one spot, is not possible, so doing endless amounts of ab exercises will to make you lose fat from the belly.