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Visceral Fat – 5 Things You Need to Know

Visceral Fat
Home » Blog » Visceral Fat – 5 Things You Need to Know

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Visceral fat is fat that wraps around your abdominal organs. Visceral fat lives around your liver, stomach, and intestines. Although visceral fat is officially diagnosed with a CT scan or MRI, there are ways to measure your visceral fat at home.

Below are five things you need to know about visceral fat. 

You can determine whether or not you have visceral fat from home or with expensive scans.

Visceral fat is typically diagnosed with a CT scan or an MRI. It is often found in patients when these scans are used to look for other health problems. 

There are a couple of ways to calculate your visceral fat from home. These non-invasive methods may help determine health and fitness goals.

One method involves calculating your body fat. Some scales offer body fat calculation tools to help you determine how much body fat you have. You can also find calculators online that help you determine how much body fat you have. One medical study found that visceral fat makes up about 10% of your body fat. That means you can determine how much visceral fat you have by dividing your body fat number by 10.

Another method for determining your visceral fat is by measuring your waist. The Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health found that waist size can indicate how much visceral fat you have. Women with a waist size of 35 inches or more likely have visceral fat. For men, a waist size of 40 or higher indicates visceral fat.

You can also calculate how much visceral fat you have by calculating your waist-to-hip ratio. The World Health Organization found that a ratio of about .85 in women and .90 in men typically indicates visceral fat.

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To calculate this ratio, you’ll need to measure your waist and hips. You should measure the smallest part of your waist, which typically sits above the belly button. Then measure the widest part of your hips, around your hips and butt. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement to determine your waist-to-hip ratio.

Different fat types
Different fat types

You can be thin and still have visceral fat.

You don’t need to be fat to have visceral fat. Because this fat wraps around your body’s organs, it can occur before you’ve developed fat in other areas. People with visceral fat may be skinny on the outside but fat on the inside.

Even if you’re thin, you should take measurements to determine whether you have visceral fat. Poor diet and exercise may lead to visceral fat, even if you’re still skinny. Thin people with visceral fat can use diet changes and activities to reduce their body’s visceral fat.

However, most research indicates that visceral fat is most common in people with excess body fat. If you’re concerned about your risk for visceral fat, discuss options with your doctor or dietician.

Visceral fat puts you at a higher risk of developing health problems.

You’re more likely to develop serious health issues if you have visceral fat. There is a link between Visceral fat and heart disease, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and more.

Studies found that visceral fat creates more proteins that inflame your body’s tissue. This inflamed tissue then causes narrowing of blood vessels. When your blood vessels narrow, you’re at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

If you get too much visceral fat around your liver, it can cause significant health problems. When there’s too much fat on your liver, you can cause damage and scarring to its tissue. This scarring can cause liver failure in extreme cases.

Because your liver performs essential functions, liver failure is catastrophic. Although your body can function with only half of your liver, damage-causing liver failure leads to numerous other health problems.

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Most people are aware of the harmful effects alcohol can have on the liver. However, visceral fat around the liver can be just as dangerous. People with fatty livers may be diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Studies show that 25 or 30 percent of people in the United States and Europe are affected by this disease.

A healthy lifestyle can help you get rid of visceral fat.

Healthy foods
Healthy foods

The good news is that you can get rid of visceral fat. A healthy diet and exercise can help you get rid of excess body fat and visceral fat. Although many people lose weight to feel better about their appearance, losing weight can also help your overall health.

Exercising regularly can help you get rid of visceral fat. Studies suggest you should get thirty minutes of exercise about five times a week. This exercise doesn’t have to be intense. People are often able to reduce visceral fat just by taking daily walks. If you’re not currently exercising, introducing more activity is a step in the right direction.

High-intensity exercises can be especially effective in combating visceral fat. Brisk walking, jogging, and running two to three times a week can go a long way in reducing your body’s visceral fat. Some studies suggest that aerobic exercise can be effective at reducing visceral fat, even without dieting. However, combining aerobic exercise with healthy diet changes is still the most effective way to fight visceral fat.

Dietary changes can also reduce your body’s visceral fat. You should avoid fatty foods, especially those packed with trans fats. Trans fats are found in meats, dairy, fried foods, and heavily processed foods. It’s also important to avoid sugary food, as these can increase visceral fat in your body.

Instead, eat lean meats and plenty of vegetables. Leafy greens are rich in nutrients that help your body fight fat. Whole foods are an essential part of a healthy diet. Tofu, sardines, yogurt, cheese, and milk can also help reduce visceral fat in your body.

Some studies show that increasing your calcium and vitamin D consumption may also lead to less visceral fat. Dietary supplements can help you get enough of these nutrients. Before starting any supplements, it’s essential to discuss them with your doctor or dietician. 

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Stress can increase how much visceral fat is in your body.

The stress hormone cortisol can increase how much visceral fat gets stored in your body. That makes it very important to reduce your stress levels. Long-term stress can make it challenging to get rid of visceral fat.

Take time to learn stress management techniques, especially if you have chronic stressors in your life. Meditation, breathing exercises, and engaging in hobbies are all great ways to reduce stress.

If you aren’t sure where to start, there are plenty of phone apps available to help you with breathing exercises and meditation. Calm, Headspace, Liberate, and MyLife all have breathing exercises and guided meditations to help you reduce stress. You don’t have to have any experience with these things since these apps walk you through step-by-step.

Working out can also help you reduce your stress levels. Not only does it help visceral combat fat, but it produces endorphins that can help fight the adverse effects of cortisol in your body. That’s one more reason why you should add working out to your priority list.

Conclusion

Visceral fat wraps around your body’s internal organs. This fat can cause several health conditions, including heart disease and stroke. Even if you’re thin, visceral fat can still cause significant problems. In some cases, visceral fat can lead to breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and liver failure.

The good news is that visceral fat can be reduced. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercises can help you reduce visceral fat. Because stress can make visceral fat worse, it’s essential to learn good stress reduction strategies. When you lose your visceral fat, you’re at lower risk for life-threatening health problems.

Please take a moment to comment below or share this post with friends and family. What steps are you taking to get rid of your body’s visceral fat?

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