Visceral fat (also called organ fat or intra-abdominal fat) is the accumulation of intra-abdominal adipose tissue. It is stored in the abdomen region and therefore covers several sensitive internal organs like the liver, pancreas, and intestines. This gel-type fat is stored under a layer of superficial belly fat.
As an unwanted form of accumulated fat, it is known to cause metabolic disturbances and increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. It is worse in women and can lead to the formation of lumps in the breast and gallbladder. Diabetics are also prone to be affected by it.
If you have a large waist, then you are perhaps on a dangerous visceral diet and are accumulating fat. This type of fat is considered highly dangerous and is also termed as ‘active fat’ because it plays a critical role in changing the way your body works and hormones operate.
It acts as an extra organ in the body and starts pumping out hormones and inflammatory substances. Not only does this abdominal fat increases the production of unwanted chemicals, but it also starts controlling our mood, weight, eating patterns, digestion, and even the functioning of our brain.
The human body works as per the chemicals that trigger the brain to perform the right actions. These include calculating the time to sleep, time to eat, the amount of food to eat, etc. Effective communication between the brain and these chemicals holds the accountability of maintaining a healthy weight. It may make you more susceptible to weight gain and an increase in belly fat.
Presence of natural elements in the human body:
Oxygen -- O -- 65 -- 24
Carbon --C -- 18.5 -- 12
Hydrogen -- H -- 9.5 -- 62
Nitrogen -- N -- 3.2 -- 1.1
Calcium --Ca -- 1.5 -- 0.22
Phosphorus -- P -- 1 -- 0.22
Potassium -- K -- 0.4 -- 0.03
Sulfur -- S -- 0.3 -- 0.038
Sodium -- Na -- 0.2 -- 0.037
Chlorine -- Cl -- 0.2 -- 0.024
Magnesium -- Mg -- 0.1 -- 0.015
All others < 0.1 < 0.3
The above values are taken from Wikipedia.
The base of the weight of a human body is defined by the blood sugar levels which are controlled by insulin. To digest the food the body breaks down sugar into simpler units of glucose. These units then enter our bloodstream and trigger insulin in the pancreas, and thus sending required amounts of blood sugar into the cells in our body. This ultimately helps in energizing the brain and body tissues and increasing muscular functions.
Insulin also corresponds to body fat stores, including the visceral fat stored deep within our bodies. Too much glucose turns into fat and can cause a rise in various health ailments. The longer these insulin levels spike, the more they turn into body fat and lead to weight gain. Consulting a professional dietitian or nutritionist could help you sort out your eating habits and foods altogether.
The most effective and certain way is to undergo a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or MRI) scan. You can also use a Body Composition Analyzer machine to assess the level of visceral fat in your body. Along with this, another good indicator is to take a waistline measurement.
Around 10% of the total fat is likely to be stored as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat, therefore if you are carrying higher amounts of body fat, it is more likely that you are also storing excess body fat. We are next discussing what the risks of this dangerous fat type are and how you can avoid it.
Visceral or abdominal fat plays a larger role in insulin resistance than other fats and it also increases the risk of developing diabetes. This is the reason why any type of fat on the midsection is often considered worse than that on the hip or thigh. The same is true for diabetes and many other chronic diseases too.
The production of hormonal and inflammatory molecules that are dumped directly into the liver, leading to even more inflammation and hormonal reactions. If there is a layer of visceral organs like the liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas, and intestines, your body might become inflamed and your metabolism could suffer. Consuming alcohol would only make it worse.Consuming alcohol
People tend to gain more and more weight as time passes on. One of the main reasons it happens thus is that stored body fat affects hunger levels, especially visceral fat. Your body’s metabolism levels are highly governed by none other than the existing stored fat. Accumulated fat messes with our appetites and we overeat due to hormonal changes that take place.
Higher levels of insulin convert the calories into body fat. The mind loses its effective functionality when you tend to eat more refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar, and this also makes it difficult to go with a healthy diet.
Caution: Here are some of the most popular foods that come laden with unwanted sugar!
Inflammation caused by excessive fat is the main contributor to heart disease and other inflammatory disorders. Visceral fat is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease markers like high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Technically, it is hard to break out of a habit and so is getting rid of visceral fat. However, it is not impossible to do so and to enjoy better health. We recommend consulting a fitness trainer and a nutritionist about how you may deal with the process. They would be best placed to create a personalized plan of action for you and should you stay on it, you would become fitter and better.
Create and follow a meal plan that focuses on improving your health and weight management. As per the recommendations given by the American Diabetes Association, you should limit your total daily fat intake to less than 30% and saturated fat to less than 70% of your total calories. You should also eliminate harmful trans-fats from the meals.
You can go for fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates such as beans, lentils, and sprouted grains for energy and fiber. Also try to include healthy vegetable oils for cooking like coconut, sunflower, olive, avocado, and grapeseed oils. Following the Mediterranean diet for a few months can deliver very good results in such cases.
It’s not just healthy eating but overall lifestyle habits that play a crucial role in getting rid of visceral fat. Say no to smoking, drinking, junk food, and refined carbs if you are serious about getting fit. Choosing healthier lifestyle choices will improve your quality of life and will show up in weight loss.
It is important to exercise for at least 30 mins every day to stay fit and strong. If you lose around 5 to 10% of your total body weight, it can help in reducing the visceral fat stores. You should aim to burn more calories than you consume and for that, exercising is a must. Any form of exercise is welcomed-be it walking, circuit training, brisk walking, biking, or suchlike.
It is important to understand that the process of weight loss does not happen overnight. But even a little weight loss will play an important role in reducing your visceral fat stores and this should be enough motivation for you to stick with a better eating practice and exercise program.
Then there is a special case of those frequent fliers who prefer to travel by air to distant parts of the country or the world for either business or leisure. We understand you may not always have the time to work out and to live a healthy lifestyle, but these habits shall only help you in the long run.
Sitting and eating for most parts of the day can only wreak havoc on your body fat and your midsection is usually the first one to receive attention. Here’s what you can do if you are flying next month (you can also use these tips to negate the accumulation of unwanted body or belly fat).
When you’re planning a vacation, you probably start by figuring out where you’re going to go, how you’re going to get there, where you’re going to stay, and what you’ll want to do once you get there. You might have to plan to make your travel a happy one and to reduce the possibility of weight gain through visceral fat.
If you want to avoid returning from your holiday with a flab around your middle or derriere, you should eat and drink reasonably. This usually begins from the moment you step on the plane and you are offered refreshments.
Here are some smart ways to lose weight while traveling:
Planning will help you keep off the immediate meal decisions. Have a thorough check at the airport eateries. In case you want to eat before you fly, else order a special nutritious meal on the plane that has more veggies and less fat and sugar.
Start your meal with an olive oil and lemon juice dressed salad. Crowd your plate with green and leafy vegetables and eat them before you start eating anything else. By doing this, you’ll eat low-calorie, nutritious foods, curb your appetite, and be less likely to overeat on starches and animal proteins.
Drinking lots of water will keep your body working properly. Everyone knows that the air in an airplane is dry so drinking a liter or two of water before your flight will keep you hydrated and would also not let you feel hungry. Often the body confuses thirst for hunger, leading you to eat unnecessary calories, which will also be avoided with sufficient water intake.
No matter what your travel mode is, easy-to-pack foods like protein bars, almonds, seaweed snacks, lentil chips, fruit, string cheese, and individual packs of baby carrots always come to your savior. Along with this, ask for nuts or fruit instead of pretzels and chips on the flight.
Choose 1 percent milk as your beverage of choice (other than water). Its perfect combination of protein (8 g), carbohydrates (11 g), and fat (2 g) will fill you up and keep you that way better than nearly any other snack. Other good foods to pack are dates, dried mango, crackers, cherries, carrot, celery sticks, smoked salmon, homemade popcorn, and bean salad.
When flights are delayed, use the time to walk around in the terminal rather than letting the restaurants and watering holes tempt you. At some large airports, you can easily log a mile or more by walking back and forth along the concourses.
Even in the flight, rather than being stuck to your seat just keep strolling a little every two hours for better functioning of your digestive system. Sitting for long hours and following a sedentary lifestyle is also not recommended by healthcare professionals.
Visceral fat is one of the hardest body fats to melt once it starts forming. We would thus advise you to go through the following tips and check the ones that you can follow to the T.
Don’t glaze your eyes over the menu. A double chocolate cheesecake has the same number of calories when at home and when traveling. It’s time to grip your temptations and apply the same healthy rules you follow at home. Look out for some healthy and simple dishes, prefer green salads!
Watch out for empty liquid calories. Avoid chugging sodas, cocktails, and alcoholic drinks else you’ll rack up a bundle of calories. Stick to water, iced tea, or lightly sweetened sports beverages instead.
Give the complimentary snacks served with drinks a miss. It’s tempting to overeat starchy bagels, cereal, and waffles and it’s far easier to eat more than you should, especially when you’re not paying for it. Avoid it and rather choose some fresh fruits- you can also find some protein in hard-boiled eggs or freshly made yogurt too.
A small portion is key to keep your weight loss regime on the right track. If you want to have a to-die-for dish or dessert that’s packed with calories, share it. Don’t deprive yourself, but rather have a few bites, relish it, and appreciate it.
It’s all the extras and side dishes that lead you to unnecessary pounds. You should remain careful with the mayo dressing of your salad, cheese and biscuits, butter with roll, and after-dinner chocolate. Avoid them as much as you can.
Visceral fat is a nasty thing to happen to anyone and you would always be well advised to stay away from its improper accumulation. While you may not always put off your daily routine and business activities, but you may still get stay away from its increasing load. We suggest you keep these tips in mind next time you travel to keep loads of excess weight baggage at bay.
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