Visceral fat: what is it and how do you get rid of it? (Part 1)

Visceral fat is the abdominal fat that is in your abdominal cavity. In this article you will read everything you need to know about visceral fat, and find out how to burn it. Everyone has visceral fat, and that's a good thing. Visceral fat surrounds your organs and protects them from outside bumps. Visceral fat, however, becomes a problem if you have too much of it. In this article you can read what visceral fat looks like, why less abdominal fat is good for your health and how to lose visceral fat.

What is visceral fat?

Visceral fat is one of two types of abdominal fat that exist:

Subcutaneous abdominal fat

This fat is between your abdominal muscles and your skin. You can hold it with your hand.

Visceral abdominal fat

This fat is under your abdominal muscles, in your abdominal cavity. That's why you can't grab it.

If you have too much visceral fat, your abdominal wall will be pushed out. This makes your belly look bloated and thick. Because the fat is under your abdominal muscles, your belly can feel hard. This is often the case, especially in men.

Visceral fat can be recognized as:

  • A beer belly
  • A bulging belly
  • A big, round, hard belly
  • A strong apple figure: thin legs, but a lot of weight around the waist
  • Overweight Overweight people often automatically have too much visceral fat. But people with a healthy weight can also have too much visceral abdominal fat.

Summary: Visceral abdominal fat is under your abdominal muscles, between your organs.

Dangers of visceral fat


Visceral abdominal fat is much more dangerous than subcutaneous abdominal fat. In fact, it is the most dangerous fat in your body if you have too much of it. Excess visceral fat not only puts pressure on your abdominal wall, but also on the organs with which it has to share your abdominal cavity - such as your liver, stomach, intestines and kidneys. What makes visceral fat even more dangerous is that it affects your hormones. Visceral fat produces hormones that disrupt fat burning and can cause you to store even more fat. Via these hormones, abdominal fat even influences how you feel. It is important to know that visceral abdominal fat is alive. It influences your hormones, organs, energy, appetite and weight. If you have too much visceral abdominal fat, you run a greater risk of serious disorders including:

  • A heart attack
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer's
  • A stroke
  • Breast and colon cancer

Advantages of less visceral fat

If you have too much visceral fat, it will do your health good if you lose the excess fat. The health benefits of living without excess visceral abdominal fat are:

  • A healthy heart
  • Better cholesterol levels
  • A healthy blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • A fast metabolism
  • An active fat combustion
  • More energy
  • You feel happier/happier Do you suffer from too much visceral fat and do you also want to benefit from the advantages mentioned above? Then read on to find out how you burn visceral fat.

Burning visceral fat

There are three ways to get rid of visceral fat:

  • With your diet
  • With movement
  • With your lifestyle It is best to make a combination of these three: this is the quickest way to burn visceral fat. Let's start with the first one: nutrition.

Nutrition tips - losing visceral fat

1. Stop your sugar addiction

Eating less sugar is the most effective way to burn visceral fat. Eating less sugar also helps your cells burn more body fat, including visceral fat. Moreover, several studies show that the more sugar you eat, the more likely you are to store a lot of visceral fat. Quitting sugar is therefore the first step towards losing visceral fat.

Avoid these sugary products:

  • Candy
  • Pastry
  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Soft drink
  • Milkshakes
  • Fruit Juice

2. Put these omega 3 bombs on the menu

Oily fish is incredibly healthy. It contains a lot of omega 3 fats - something we're not getting enough of these days. Omega 3 fats protect you against various diseases and inflammations and also help you burn visceral fat. Scientific research shows that fish oil, which is rich in omega 3, significantly reduces visceral fat in overweight and obese people. You can also find omega 3 in vegetable products, especially in nuts and seeds. It is best to vary and omega 3 from both nuts and seeds.

This diet is high in omega 3:

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Anchovy
  • Linseed
  • Chia seed
  • Walnuts

3. Oatmeal\, beans and avocado: eat fiber against fat

It's not just the good bacteria in your intestines that get happy from fibers, but you too. Research shows that fibres are very effective in reducing visceral fat. A study among more than 1000 participants showed that people who ate more fiber had less abdominal fat. For every 10 grams of extra fibre, the percentage of abdominal fat was reduced by 3.7%. There are two types of fiber: 1. Soluble fibers 2. Insoluble fibers The soluble fibers in particular are so effective against visceral fat. These fibers absorb moisture and form a gel-like mass in your stomach, making you feel satiated. They also keep your blood sugar level stable, so you won't need an unhealthy snack for hours. Nutrition with a lot of soluble fibres:

  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Oatmeal
  • Plums
  • Apricots
  • Pears
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Beans Fibers also ensure that the food can move smoothly through your intestines. In this way you can also prevent a fat belly due to a bloated feeling.


4. Eat your protein

Proteins are your best friends if you want to lose visceral fat. Proteins help to burn fat in three ways:

  • Proteins increase your metabolism
  • This is because your body has to make more effort to break down proteins than carbohydrates or fats.
  • Proteins protect your muscles (which burn fat)
  • Proteins are needed to build muscle and other tissues. By eating high-protein you ensure that your body mainly burns fat, and does not 'eat' muscle tissue. That would be a shame, because muscles burn a lot of calories, including those from the fat in your abdomen.
  • Proteins suppress hunger
  • Protein-rich food keeps you satiated for a long time, so you don't need to snack in between.
  • It also turns out that proteins specifically reduce the risk of excess visceral fat. Several studies show that people who eat a lot of protein have less abdominal fat than people who eat little protein

The rule of thumb to get enough protein is to eat something protein rich with every main meal.

These are products with a lot of protein:

  • Egg
  • Fish
  • Crustaceans and mollusks
  • Meat
  • Tempe
  • Soft cheese or Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Legumes
  • Low-carb snacks also help you burn visceral fat.

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