How To Measure Abdominal Or Visceral Fat
MRI or CT scanning are currently considered the gold standards for measuring visceral and abdominal fat.5 A DEXA scan, which uses a low-dose x-ray beam, produces similar results and may be more accessible. Other tools like bioimpedance scales are less accurate and provide less information about visceral fat, but are widely available.6
For those who dont have access to imaging tools, a simple technique is to measure your waist circumference. General recommendations are for men to keep their waist measurement below 40 inches and women to keep their measurement below 35 inches . However, some ethnic groups, such as South Asians, have lower cutoffs of 35 inches for men and 31 inches for women.7
However, we suggest aiming for an even smaller waist circumference, most notably, one that will keep your waist-to-height ratio in a healthy range. Studies show that a waist-to-height ratio less than 0.5 may be an even better measurement for predicting a lower risk of health complications.8
- heart disease13
Belly fat is even associated with a shorter life.15 Even normal weight people, as defined by BMI, with extra belly fat are at increased risk of health complications.16
As we saw in 2020, more visceral fat is associated with a higher risk of severe Covid-19 complications.17
Fortunately, excess belly fat can be reduced. Studies show that reducing it improves metabolic health and is likely to improve overall health.18
Hit The Weights First
Banging out some bis, tris, and quads before hitting the treadmill or track may be just the thing that makes your abs pop. Since weight training is bound to wear you out, your cardio workout will be all the more challengingand effective. Mentally cuss us out all you want as you sprint on the track, the extra sweat will benefit your abs in the long run. You can thank us later. Just make sure to avoid these 15 Exercise Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Workout.
How Does Belly Fat Accumulate
Were still learning about the exact mechanisms behind how we accumulate stomach fat, especially visceral fat, but we do know that stress and the hormone cortisol plays an important role, regardless of our age or life stage. In addition to this, a poor diet which is high in fast-releasing carbs and low in protein, combined with alcohol consumption, a lack of exercise and disturbed sleep will all influence our girth.
Another factor is our genetic make-up, researchers believe our genes influence how effectively we burn energy, our behaviour and our risk of developing obesity and associated diseases.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Stomach Pain After Eating
How To Create A Caloric Deficit
To create a caloric deficit, you need to first understand the basic concept. If the number of calories you consume each day is equal to the number of calories you burn through activity, your weight will remain fairly stable, unless you have an underlying health condition affecting your weight.
If you want to lose weight or reduce body fat, you must consume fewer calories than you burn. You can do this by restricting your daily calorie intake, increasing your daily activity level, or both.
To lose one pound of fat, you need to burn about 3,500 extra calories through a caloric deficit. That means that if youre consistently burning 500 calories more than you consume each day, youll lose weight at the rate of about one pound per week.
Losing more than 1.5 to 2 pounds per week requires excessive calorie restriction, and is not recommended for most people.
The Best Exercise To Lose Belly Fat
Before you ask about the best exercises for a flat stomach, let’s get clear on why crunches and sit-ups alone not going to be the thing to help you lose belly fat. ‘While crunches will help strengthen your abdominals and core muscles, theyre not enough in isolation to burn calories,’ Luke Hughes, Origym PT says.
Instead, Hughes recommends a rounded bodyweight or free weights workout routine done at a higher intensity as the best exercise to lose belly fat. These sessions will help to burn calories and increase muscle mass, which will, in turn, tap into your body fat stores even within a limited time period.
Do note though, too much HIIT can elevate cortisol in your body, which could hinder how effectively you lose stomach fat . Aim for three to four sessions per week and make sure you’re allowing your body plenty of time and space to recover.
‘Burning calories through cardio exercise like this helps to burn belly fat, particularly when we operate at a calorie deficit,’ says Hughes. ‘Try adding star jumps and mountain climbers into your workouts.’
Also Check: What Can Cause Stomach Pain And Nausea
How To Lose Belly Fat In A Week
This article was co-authored by Laura Flinn. Laura Flinn is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, USA Olympic Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach and Certified Fitness Nutritionist, with an additional qualification as a TRX Suspension Trainer. Laura runs her own personal training program based in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in topics such as weight loss, muscle growth, cardiovascular training, and strength training.There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 18 testimonials and 87% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,325,129 times.
Belly fat, or visceral fat, is fat stored in and around your abdominal organs. It can increase your risks of cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, dementia, heart disease, and diabetes.XResearch source You cannot lose large quantities of weight or excess body fat within one week – especially visceral or belly fat. To get healthier and lose the dangerous belly fat, you’ll need to change your diet, exercise routine, and lifestyle over a longer period of time. However, during a week you can start to make some great, health-promoting changes to your lifestyle.
Consume A Combo Of Calcium And Vitamin D
Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium and vitamin D to your diet could be the best way to get the flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
Read Also: Where Is My Baby At 17 Weeks In My Stomach
Losing Belly Fat After Childbirth
Eat A Healthy Diet By Avoiding Certain Foods
Avoid liquid calories, found in sugary beverages: Most sugary drinks are high in calories and simple carbs.
If you have had a high-calorie intake through beverages, an easy way to take in fewer calories is to cut empty calories. And you can find those in alcoholic drinks, this is how you get that beer belly.
Limit refined carbohydrates: instead of white bread or bagels, go for complex carbs like sweet potatoes and other vegetables.
Complex carbs, like non-starchy vegetables, help but with insulin sensitivity, high blood sugar, and insulin resistance.
A good idea is to consider a dietitian, an R.D. for a personalized meal plan.
Read Also: Why Do We Have Acid In The Stomach
You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Can one too many pintsreally earn you a beer belly? Well, yes. As you gulp down your drink, your body turns the alcohol into acetate, which your body cant store. It becomes your primary energy source, and the proteins, carbs and fats swirling around your digestive system are converted to fat by default.
Factor in the excess calories from your drinks with the gut-busting kebab you pick up on the way home and suddenly youre looking at excess fat storage.
Not only does a night on the sauce send your cortisol levels through the roof, it saps your testosterone, which means youll find it more difficult to build lean muscle and burn fat as fuel.
What Is Belly Fat
First things first. Before we talk about how to get rid of belly fat or how to lose belly fat, its important to know exactly what belly fat is.
‘Belly fat or abdominal fat is the subcutaneous fat that sits around the waist and provides a store of energy, and also protection and heat, for the organs,’ says Tarik Belalij, personal trainer and nutritionist at Everyone Active Becontree Leisure Centre.
‘Small amounts of fat below the skin is normal and healthy, it is the visceral fat, which surrounds the organs that can be the most dangerous type of fat leading to heart attacks and diabetes.’
How do you know if youve got this type of fat situation going on? ‘Excessive visceral fat is what causes the “beer gut” , pushing the stomach out from the inside,’ Belalij says. So, to reiterate, were not talking bloating, which comes and goes, we’re talking about actual belly fat tissue.
Recommended Reading: Can Advil Be Taken On An Empty Stomach
Dress Your Salad With Vinegar
While people who claim that vinegar can do everything from cure headaches to clean glass without leaving a single streak may be overstating its benefits, adding some to your meal plan can actually help you shrink your belly. The results of a 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry reveals that obese study subjects who added vinegar to their diet over a 12-week period lost significantly more weight and belly fat than those in the control group. If drinking straight vinegar is a less-than-appetizing proposition, try adding just a little apple cider vinegar to your favorite smoothie or mixing some with olive oil, mustard, and garlic for a flavorful salad dressing.
Three Ways To Reduce Belly Fat
How can I lose belly fat? pulls up over two million hits on Google. Its a hot topic that goes beyond wanting to improve appearance. A larger waist measurement can mean that you have too much visceral fat. This is the fat stored around internal organs like your liver and pancreas, which is commonly referred to as belly fat.
Whether youre overweight or not, carrying more fat around your belly is linked to a number of serious health problems, such as:
- heart and circulatory problems
While anyone can have this type of deep visceral fat around their inner organs, its important that you make some changes to get your body into a healthier place.
Recommended Reading: Does Laser Skin Tightening Work On Stomach
Can You Lose Belly Fat In A Week
Diets and trends that claim to reduce belly fat within days are unrealistic and unhealthy. In terms of exercise, ab exercises can help tone your stomach, but you’ll still need to lose weight overall to significantly reduce your stomach fat.
Since there’s no way to control where your body loses weight, to lose belly fat you have to reduce overall body fat. “The best practices to lose belly fat will be a balance of an active lifestyle, a nutritious diet, and maintaining low stress levels,” says Lapaix.
Important: Taking drastic measures to reduce weight can lead to some unhealthy eating behaviors. Before making major changes to your diet or lifestyle, be sure to check in with your primary care doctor or a dietitian for advice and guidance.
Here are the foods and exercises that can help you lose belly fat and when to expect results.
Avoid Eating After Dinner
Stop treating your kitchen like an all-night diner and you’ll stop seeing those unwanted pounds piling onto your frame, too. The results of a study published in Cell Metabolism found that mice who only had access to food during an eight-hour period stayed slim over the course of the study, while those who ate the same number of calories over a 16-hour period gained significantly more weight, particularly around their middle. When you’re finished with dinner at night, shut the fridge and don’t look back until morning your belly will thank you. When you do head back to the kitchen in the A.M., make sure the best healthy kitchen staples for cooking are there waiting for you.
Don’t Miss: Can Asthma Cause Stomach Pain
Are You Working Out At The Right Level
Moderate-intensity exercise includes activities like brisk walking, uphill walking, swimming, cycling and dancing. The talk test will help you find out what level youre exercising at.
- Low intensity You can talk and sing while you exercise, without feeling puffed or getting out of breath.
- Moderate intensity You can talk comfortably while you exercise, but cannot sing.
- High intensity You cant speak much at all while exercising, without gasping for breath.
Use A Daily Journal To Track What Youre Eating It May Speed Up Weight Loss
Even if youre not trying to lose weight, keeping a food journal can help you figure out your daily habits, including the foods you eat and the portion sizes.
One study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that dieters who kept records of their meals lost more weight than those who didnt. In another study published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, participants who tracked their own physical activity for at least three months dropped about 3 pounds more than those who didnt track their exercise at all.
Recommended Reading: How To Flatten And Tone Stomach
Keep Whole Grains In Your Diet
You don’t have to go low-carb to ditch those extra pounds around your waist in a short period of time.
To get rid of belly fat, ditch refined grains like white bread and white rice, and eat more whole grains such as:
In fact, opting for more whole grains might just get you there faster. Researchers at Tufts University have linked eating three or more daily servings of whole grains to as much as a 10 percent reduction in visceral body fat, the kind that ups your risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Why Is Extra Belly Fat A Problem
Although we may affectionately refer to our extra inches as love-handles or describe ourselves as cuddly, carrying too much abdominal weight does have a dark side. Visceral fat although small in proportion to other body fat is active, which means it produces messengers that influence how the body functions. These messengers include pro-inflammatory cytokinesand compounds which influence how hormones like insulin work.
What this means is that when visceral fat starts to accumulate it may become a risk to our health, increasing our chances of developing conditions such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia
Also Check: What To Drink To Lose Stomach Fat
The Best Exercise For Belly Fat
We’ve been conditioned to think that super hard exercise are going to be the things to help us get results, especially when we’re trying to lose lower belly fat. In fact surprise, surprise it’s much more holistic than that and is about keeping your nutrition, exercise and general movement in check concurrently.
Outside of gym workouts , the movement you’re doing walking to the shops, making a cup of tea or taking your pooch out to stretch their legs can actually contribute more to hitting your healthy fat loss goals. This type of movement is known as NEAT and is a cornerstone of healthy body composition.
‘NEAT simply refers to the energy used carrying out any daily activity that isn’t formal exercise or sleeping,’ says Elliott Upton, personal trainer at Ultimate Performance and Head of LiveUP Online Coaching.
NEAT plays a major role in how much energy you expend per day and increasing your metabolic rate. It also helps control your blood sugar, aid muscle recovery, lower stress levels and improve cardiovascular health.
You can increase your NEAT by walking instead of taking public transport, opting for the stairs over the elevator or doing household chores. Whichever you choose, they’ll all contribute to the process in which you lose belly fat.
Learn everything you need to know about NEAT exercise with this full explainer.