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Proven Ways to Lose Visceral Fat

Heather Newgen / March 5, 2022 / Lifestyle Medicine & Nutrition


You can’t see or feel visceral fat, but it’s there. It’s hidden deep in your belly and wraps around your vital organs, which can cause major health problems like certain cancers, stroke, type 2 diabetes and more. The best way to tell if you have visceral fat is by measuring your waist. For women, if the waist circumference is 80 cm or more and for men 94cm or more you have too much visceral fat. So how do you lose it? Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, aka “The VibrantDoc,” a recognized leader in functional medicine and author of the new self-care book Vibrant: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Reverse Aging, and Glow tells Eat This, Not That! Health the top four ways to get rid of visceral fat. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

1. Get Your Heart Rate Up
Dr. Stephenson says, “Doing 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity on most days will target excess visceral fat and burn it even before subcutaneous fat, since the body preferentially burns off visceral fat, thank goodness! That means starting a regular exercise program now could significantly improve your health quickly. You might also want to try high intensity interval training or HIIT, which takes less time but is more intense, alternating all-out effort with moderate effort. Intense cardio is especially effective for torching visceral fat. Exercise is probably the most effective way to reduce visceral fat.”

2. Strength Train
“Whether you are lifting your own body weight with a rigorous yoga practice or lifting heavy weights at the gym, you’ll burn more visceral fat than doing light calisthenics like sit-ups and push-ups,” states Dr. Stephenson. “A 2015 study showed that the combination of cardio and weight training was more efficient at burning visceral fat than cardio alone.”

3.Go Sugar-Free (or at least cut back)
Dr. Stephenson explains, “Research has shown that people who eat diets high in sugar, even when they aren’t high in calories, accumulate more visceral fat. Reducing your intake of sugar, especially if it helps you take in fewer calories than you burn with exercise, can boost the power of exercise when it comes to visceral fat reduction.”

4. Stop Overeating, Especially Carbs
Dr. Stephenson says, “Easier said than done in our current culture, I know, but eating moderately will do great things for your health, not the least of which is to help your body stop storing visceral fat. Achieving this by reducing carbohydrate intake may be particularly effective. One study showed that compared to a reduced calorie low-fat diet, a reduced calorie low-carb diet was more effective at reducing visceral fat.

5. Everyone Has Visceral Fat
According to Dr. Stephenson, “Everyone has some visceral fat, and this is normal and necessary. However, many people have excess visceral fat today, likely due to the easy availability of high-sugar foods, the epidemic of chronic stress, the ubiquity of sedentary lifestyles, and the constant temptation to overeat, all of which are part of modern life.”

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