“Visceral” or “internal” fat is the fat found around the internal organs and within the organs themselves. It is natural that the majority of visceral fat is located in the abdominal area – that is where most of our internal organs are located.
The waist is something that “falls off” the fastest.
This gives the impression that internal fat is also the easiest to remove.
Yes, but no.
The impression is not always the truth. And in our practice we work with objective measurements and facts.
Indeed, as measurements in centimeters, the waist changes the fastest. Perhaps a large part of the fat is removed with it. But unfortunately, this is most often the general subcutaneous fat. Internal fat begins to disappear only when the subcutaneous fat is significantly reduced.
Visceral fat also stores calories, but is not as “obvious” as it is found around and in the organs themselves. They also have a protective function – they protect the organs from purely physical “damages”. But their excessive amount is more harmful than useful. Moreover, they not only store energy and protect – they produce and release hormones that predetermine the work of other organs. Excess visceral fat can raise LDL (aka “bad”) cholesterol and blood pressure and lower HDL. Visceral fat impairs insulin sensitivity, which in turn increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Just because you have a thin waist doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have excess visceral fat. There are various theories – for example, if you gain weight like a pear, you have a lot of subcutaneous fat and not so much visceral fat (with full thighs and butt), and when you gain weight like an apple (skinny legs and a full torso) you have a lot of visceral fat and not so much subcutaneous fat . Or that men should have a waist less than 102 cm in order not to have a lot of visceral fat, respectively women – less than 89 cm.
Our practice with objective measurements with a bioimpulse impedance analyzer shows that no mandatory direct relationship between waistline and internal fat can be found. They are most likely to be measured with the analyzer. Such analyzers are now available at almost any gym or health club, and there is no point in trying to predict them with various dependencies between body circumferences – just measure them!
Family health history has a certain significance as a prerequisite for an increased norm of visceral fat. Note that I’m not saying genetics, but family health history.
Genetics play a small role in our health – 6-8%. Lifestyle has a decisive influence. Our way of life differs slightly from the life of our parents and this is quite normal – this is what we have seen, this is what we do. To change our health, we need to change our lifestyle and especially our diet.
But what exactly should we do?
It is difficult to give general advice. Each person is a separate “universe”. Our practice shows that it is most effective when starting with a basic regimen, but the changes are tracked by our trainer and the necessary adjustments are made in a timely manner.
Imagine that fat is in our body like water in a pool. Could you drain the pool so that only certain parts of the pool are drained? For example, only in the middle of the pool, on the edges to sit like this. No! It’s more or less the same with fats. The draining of fat occurs with a change in the way of eating, and the specific changes in our body with specialized physical exercises for this part.
Since our internal organs are not affected by certain physical exercises, visceral fat is lost only when the total fat falls close to the specified norms.
However, we have discovered some tricks here as well.
- As a general recommendation, you must have a personal diet prepared for you. Especially for you. Not the regimen your girlfriend made or found on the Internet. In addition to being made just for you and your amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates, the regimen should be well balanced, with priority from foods with a low glycemic index and high nutritional value.
- Track your body structure. Weight tracking gives almost no information about the correct path of development. Sometimes it can even fool you. Change in total fat should be measured weekly and visceral fat once a month. This will allow you to make timely and correct adjustments to the regime. And it will motivate you.
- Visceral fat is not as dependent as total fat on reduced caloric intake and strength training. They are more affected by endurance exercise and a variety of food with high nutritional value. Mandatory wealth of micronutrients and especially Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Emphasis on proteins in the diet. Especially if you have focused on a vegetarian or vegan diet – then it is quite difficult to get the necessary proteins, and due to your way of eating you imperceptibly overdo it with carbohydrates, even if they are more complex.
- Forget about alcohol. Think seriously if you want to be happy for an hour or two and have a headache the next day, or do you want to be healthy and happy for the rest of your life… It’s a matter of priorities.
- We haven’t established a direct link between cigarettes and visceral fat, but it’s certainly best to quit smoking as well.
- Sleep more, stress less. With proper nutrition, this is not difficult. Personal experience. Fasting for weight loss, including fasting, especially when done incorrectly, has the opposite effect. And if you think about it, all revolutions are made by hungry and stressed people to the extreme.
Without trying to scare anyone, it is common knowledge that fat is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, high blood sugar, elevated triglycerides and LDL, and lowered HDL, which is also harmful.
In summary, I recommend the following.
- Waist fat burns easily, but visceral fat – not so much!
- Take a measurement with a body structure analyzer.
- Make the necessary changes in your lifestyle, especially in your diet.
- Track changes and make necessary corrections.
- Eat foods with a low glycemic index and high nutritional value.
- Hydrate as directed by your trainer.
- Increase your physical activity – even walking can have a huge beneficial effect as a supplement to the other recommendations.
- Sign up for our challenge, for example “Marathon”, there you will learn a lot about nutrition from our trainers. Or call Galina Mihailova directly – 0888153150 – she will find a solution to your problem.