Visceral Fat – What You Need To Know

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What is Visceral Fat?

Visceral fat is the excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation, also known as the “deep fat”.

It’s a form of gel-like fat stored within the abdominal cavity that wraps around the major organs including the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. It is not the same as the type of fat that most people associate with, which is “subcutaneous fat” (which is the fat that is all over the body and under the skin).

Visceral fat is sometimes referred to as ‘active fat’ because research has shown that this type of fat plays a distinctive and potentially dangerous role. It does more than just making your pants feel tighter- visceral fat affects how our hormones function and how our body operates.

Storing higher amounts of visceral fat is associated with increased risks of a number of health problems including type 2 diabetes.


Health risk associated with Visceral Fat

  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary Heart disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease


How do I measure Visceral Fat at home?

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The simplest (though not entirely accurate) way to determine if you have too much visceral fat is to measure your waistline. Do not suck in your stomach or pull the tape too tight.

In women, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more is generally a sign of excess visceral fat. In men, its 40 inches or more.


How do I measure Visceral Fat accurately?

Fitness Factory has launched a new service for a precise measurement of your body composition. The seca mBCA 525 is a medically validated body analyzer that offers the Gold standard for fat mass estimation. The body composition, instead of body weight, is a better health indicator simply because the scale cannot identify the difference between a kilogram of muscle and a kilogram of fat. A private consultation with your Fitness Specialist will be done to cover the readings after the assessment in which quantifies your visceral fat level, all within just 5 minutes.


3 Ways to lose Visceral Fat

Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise where the body uses up the energy in the muscles and then needs to plunder the fat stores around the body for more. This means you need to exercise continuously and anything like running will work. The heart rate and breathing increases as a means to transport oxygen to the fat stores where it can be used to break it down.

Resistance  Training
A well-designed and high volume resistance training will improve your body’s hormone profile. Our hormone profile will influence where the body stores the fat (e.g low testosterone levels increases the visceral fatness in men),  but at the same time simply having more muscle mass will increase your metabolism even at rest, because your body needs to burn fat in order to produce the energy it needs to maintain the muscle mass.

Eat less of everything, and eat a lower ratio of carbs to proteins – but at the same time make sure you do get a balanced and nutritious diet and consume fewer calories than you are going to burn off in a day.

Work with a nutritionist to design a nutrition plan for you that focuses on improving your health and helping you to lose weight. Fitness Factory offers a personal consultation to develop a dietary plan that suits your lifestyle needs.


What Else Can I Do To Lose Visceral Fat?

  • Cut Trans Fat From Your Diet
  • Reduce Alcohol intake
  • Manage Stress
  • Sleep


Weight loss takes time. Do not expect to lose weight overnight, and you did not gain it overnight either. The Journal of American Medical Association stated that just a modest amount of weight loss will improve the visceral fat stores and other medical complications you have. Keep yourself motivated and stick with your eating and exercise programme. Track your meals and log your progress in a journal. Don’t miss your exercises and have quarterly reviews with your nutritionist on your progress. Practice healthy lifestyle habits and it will improve your quality of life.



* References:

  • Visceral Fat.
  • The Problem with Visceral Fat (and how to lose it) Michael Matthews.
  • Different modalities of exercise to reduce visceral fat mass and cardiovascular risk in metabolic syndrome: the RESOLVE randomized trial.
  • How To Burn Visceral Fat. Rachel Grice.

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