Visceral fat: What is it and how do you get rid of it? (Part 2)

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.

5. Stop with junk food

Clearly unhealthy foods, such as fried snacks and cakes (also called 'junk food'), contain trans fat. This is vegetable fat that is factory hardened. Trans fat is linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and the production of visceral fat. Research showed that monkeys that ate a lot of trans fat developed 33% more visceral abdominal fat than monkeys that ate unsaturated fat, without the number of calories in their diet differing.

  • Avoid these sources of trans fats:
  • Hard margarine
  • Deep-frying fat
  • Fast food and fried snacks (such as frikandells, croquettes, chicken nuggets, etc.)
  • Frozen pizza
  • Canned meat
  • Sausage (all kinds)
  • Cheap peanut butter
  • Chocolate, biscuits, cakes and pastries
  • Chips

6. Do not drink sugar

Sugar-rich soft drinks are full of added fructose; a type of sugar that can cause excess visceral fat. Research has shown that drinks with fructose are even worse than foods with added sugar. In a study, overweight people were divided into two groups and followed for 10 weeks. Group 1: Soft drink group This group followed a dietary schedule that consisted for 25% of the calories of soft drinks with fructose (regular soft drinks). Group 2: Control group This group followed a dietary schedule that consisted of sodas containing glucose for 25% of the calories. After 10 weeks the people in the fructose soft drink group had developed considerably more visceral abdominal fat than the control group. Drinking soft drinks therefore contributes even more to the production of abdominal fat. Fruit juices such as apple juice, orange juice and freshly squeezed 'juices' also contain a lot of fructose and, in exactly the same way as soft drinks, provide more storage of visceral fat.

7. Eat less carbohydrates

Limiting your carbohydrate intake can be a huge gain in the fight against visceral fat. Low carbohydrate diets have been shown by several scientific studies to be very effective in burning visceral abdominal fat. One study showed that men on a low-carb diet burned more than twice as much abdominal fat than men on a normal (low-fat) diet And it is particularly the dangerous visceral abdominal fat that is burned. Eating low carbohydrate not only ensures that you burn the existing visceral fat, but also prevents you from producing new visceral fat. 

Movement tips - visceral fat

Whether you like walking, cycling or fanatic sports: all forms of exercise give the fat burning in your belly an extra boost. Research showed that people who, in addition to their diet, walked for one hour five times a week after 12 weeks lost as much as 3.7 cm around their stomach and burned more fat than people who did not walk. By exercising your body produces hormones that stimulate fat burning and also suppress your hunger feeling. It's not about what you do, as long as you're moving. Our guideline is to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes every day. Vacuuming and cycling to work are also part of this.

HIIT: the best movement against abdominal fat

An effective way to quickly burn visceral fat is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): explosive exercise for a short period of time, with breaks in between. Research shows that HIIT is very effective in burning abdominal fat. With 20 minutes of HIIT you already get results!  With the HIIT training schedule below you can start right away.

How to do HIIT

Warming up: 3 minutes jogging or rope jumping. Training (repeat 4 to 8 times): 20 seconds sprinting / knee lifting / spinning (on bike) / rope jumping 40 seconds rest Cooling down: 2 minutes jogging.

A small warning

As for movement, we do have two warnings:

1. Don't sport too fanatically

If you exercise too much, too often and too intensively, your body reacts by producing extra cortisol. This inhibits fat burning, stimulates the production of fat and fixes the fat on your belly. If you want to burn visceral fat, don't do more than one and a half hours of intensive sport in a row.

2. Abdominal muscle exercises make the abdomen tighter\, but not leaner

With abdominal exercises you don't burn more visceral abdominal fat or subcutaneous abdominal fat than when you skip them. Scientists followed 24 people who did abdominal exercises six days a week, and concluded that these abdominal exercises had no effect at all on the amount of abdominal fat.

Relaxation tips - visceral fat

To conclude, we have a few tips that you can apply in your daily life to lose visceral fat. These all have to do with relaxing. When you are relaxed you reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for extra fat storage in your abdominal region. Below are six tips to help you relax. In this way you maintain the burning of fat in your abdomen and lose weight a lot easier.

1. Plan an hour for yourself every day

You deserve to take at least an hour for yourself every day. Read a book, bake something healthy or do that creative project you've always wanted to start.

2. Get a good night's sleep

Research shows that people who don't get enough sleep gain weight faster. By sleeping well you stimulate the production of fat-burning hormones, such as growth hormone, which makes you lose fat faster.

Research into sleep disorders showed that men with a sleep disorder had more abdominal fat than men who did not. It is best to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night.

3. Go for a round more often

Movement is also very effective in lowering the hormone cortisol.

4. Go to bed on time

If you go to bed on time, you're more likely to get enough sleep. Turn off all screens (laptop, TV, smartphone and tablet) one hour in advance: this will improve the quality of your sleep.

5. Spend time with family and friends

A good conversation with a friend or a relaxing evening with the family gives your body the opportunity to relax.

6. Eat healthy!

What you eat affects how you feel. Healthy eating has a positive influence on your hormones and helps you keep the stress hormone cortisol under control.

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