Hop on the Tanita scales with your coach and you’ll notice one measurement called ‘Visceral Fat’. It is the hardest to move, but one you really want to push into the healthy range.
Why is that?
Well the best place to start is to define what visceral fat is.
Visceral means “having to do with the organs”. It’s the fat within our abdominal cavity. It’s different to the fat which sits around our waist, just under the skin. Visceral fat is beneath the muscle and down deep inside.
You can’t pinch visceral fat.
It smothers your organs, such as your intestines, liver and pancreas. In doing so, it carries a much, much higher risk of disease. Insulin resistance, heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes have all been linked to high visceral fat levels.
You might not be able to see it, but you can’t escape it.
Well, how do you decrease it?
Luckily for us, visceral fat can be lost similarly to normal fat. Consume fewer calories than your body burns each day and exercise regularly. Sticking to that one rule WILL burn visceral fat over time. Be consistent.
There are a couple more things you can also do to decrease visceral fat.
Cut out all trans fats from your diet. There’s a reason why medical institutions recommend you keep them “as low as possible”. Trans fats can be found in things like:
Drink less alcohol. Visceral fat is more linked to the intensity of your drinking, so cut down on the ‘nights where you don’t remember how you got home’ and you’ll be fine.
Strength training and high intensity interval training. Lift heavy stuff and sweat. You guys got this one down already.
Try a lower-carb approach to dieting.
Increase your intake of fibre. It does more good for you than only reduce visceral fat. Aim for around 25g/day for women and 35g/day for men.
Improve your hormonal profile. Men - work to improve your levels of testosterone and decrease estrogen. Women - the opposite. There are ways to do this naturally.
Keep cortisol levels down. Cortisol is a stress hormone and has been linked to increased visceral fat. There are many ways you can reduce your stress, such as by taking up meditation or joining in Soul’s Yoga classes.
Get enough sleep. And make it good quality sleep. You know how important sleep is, so I won’t harp on. This is just another reason to prioritise it.
Visceral fat is definitely a measurement to be aware of. After reading this though, it shouldn’t be a problem!