Visceral fat is often the result of bad diet, lack of exercise and poor lifestyle habits, but it isn’t always associated with people who are overweight or obese. Having too much visceral fat can increase the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. So what can you do to get rid of it? According to Harvard Health Publishing, which offers health advice as part of Harvard Medical School, there are three foods you should look to avoid.
It advises: “Avoid products that seem to encourage belly fat deposition, including trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oils), fructose-sweetened foods and fructose-sweetened beverages.”
While you should cut down on certain foods, others are recommended to help you get rid of visceral fat.
According to Dr Luke James, medical director, UK Insurance at Bupa UK, says protein can be a helpful way to lose weight because it makes you feel fuller than carbs and fat do.
So if you include a lean source of protein in your meals you may find you’re not as hungry, and overall not eating as much as you were.
He says: “Some studies have suggested a link between eating protein and having less belly fat. For example there’s some evidence to show that higher amounts of protein combined with resistance training increases lean body mass and lowers fat mass.
“Make sure you include protein with each meal.”
The best sources of protein he lists as:
- Chicken breast
- Red lentils
He adds: “Remember to go for low-fat and lean sources as some sources of protein can be high in saturated fat.
“Alternatively, there are lots of protein products on the market now, such as supplements and powders, but make sure you only use them as part of a balanced diet.”
Alongside eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising more can hep you get rid of visceral fat.
Many may assume ab exercises are the secret to reducing belly fat, but they’d be wrong, according to Bryce Hastings, Les Mills head of research.
He said: “When it comes to fat burning, spot reduction just doesn’t work.
“The most effective way to burn fats to focus on overall energy expenditure.”
So what is the best type of exercise to cut abdominal fat?
Les Mills, which offers fitness classes, recommends doing high-intensity interval training, known as HIIT.