We all understand what it is to be obese or overweight. But many of us have no clue what visceral fat is. Why is this Important?
In plain words, Visceral fat coils around and penetrates your internal organs and causes a bulging belly. When we undress and look at ourselves in the mirror there is a pinchable, superficial flab that is jiggling around your body– that is not visceral fat. That is just superficial fat.
Visceral fat is the most dangerous fat you have and you have to reduce this first.
You can have a higher BMI and can have low visceral fat which is healthy, and you can have a lower BMI but high visceral fat, and that is very risky. This is sometimes called “skinny fat.”
(“Skinny” from the outside but “fat” on the inside). Why is this so dangerous? Because this fat is putting pressure on your internal vital organs like your Kidney, Heart, Stomach, and Intestines, and in doing so, it creates a burden on your vital organs.
For a man, a healthy waistline is around 35.5 and for a woman, it is 31.5. Your risk of health goes up when your waist is bigger. For example, for a man to go up to a 43-inch waist, your morality jumps to 50% when compared to a 35-inch waist. Women suffer 80% percent greater mortality risk at 37.5 Inches compared to 27.5 Inches. Simply put, the belly fat around your waistline is the Visceral fat and is the most dangerous one.
What foods cause the most visceral fat?
These are the categories of food that are responsible for visceral fat: Trans fats, which are found in meats and dairy as well as in deep-fried or processed foods. Also bad are sodas, candy, processed baked goods, and other foods sweetened with fructose.
Dangers of Visceral Fat
The visceral fat is more likely to raise your risk for serious medical issues like Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and many more. These are some of the top health issues that we are facing today.
How to reduce Visceral fat
Keep moving. Do aerobic exercise where you are able to breathe and do exercises like normal walking or brisk walking for 30 minutes a day. I suggest taking a “digestive walk” after lunch and dinner for 15 to 20 minutes. If you start going after every meal, it will help you keep up with this routine.
It’s also important to maintain and build your muscles. Workout with weights do resistance training like push-ups and sit-ups, or practice yoga.
Eat Smart. Look at everything that is going inside you from morning until you go to bed. Write it down and take a look at it. Make sure the food you are eating is water-rich, Fiber-rich, and contains Macro and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, and is calorie balanced.
Your goal is to eat 70% of foods that fit in here. Just because they are liquids doesn’t mean that coffee, tea, and soda are considered water-rich. In fact, they are very unhealthy for your health and dehydrate you. They are also acidic to your body.
Foods that fit this category are Vegetables, Fruits, Legumes and Beans, and some Nuts. I call this Whole food Plant Based (WFPB) diet.
Eat lots of Salad without oil and fat-drenched dressing. Use avocado, grounded flax and chia seed as a good source of fat. Use sprouts like broccoli sprouts, alfalfa, Fenugreek sprouts, Mung bean sprouts etc.
These are nutritionally rich and calories poor.
Stress Management & Planning
We know we have to eat healthily and exercise–and still we are not able to do it. Have you thought about why?
Let us think about it: Due to busy work and stressful events happening in our life we have not planned our food, so when we are stressed, tired and hungry, we pick up the food that shows up and as we have not planned. Then we pick up what’s convenient- and that’s usually fast food loaded with all the bad things like Fat, Sugar, Oil, that’s also processed and loaded with chemicals and preservatives.
When you are purpose-driven and you have taken the time out to plan the food for the entire week and get the groceries accordingly, you are well equipped so you have food ready when you need it and do not pick up bad food.
Stress Management like meditation, writing a gratitude journal and going to sleep before 10 PM and waking up at 6:00AM gives your body a healing rest. You are less reactive and tired when you are ready to start your day.
You can get a coach or professional help if you need it in this area. Make it a Must and you will see the positive results.