The Dangers of Visceral Fat
Today’s blog topic is one that could be a little scary or maybe even a bit too “real” for you, but I want to let you know that I’m delivering this news in a firm but loving way. You see this topic, visceral fat, IS a scary topic. Visceral fat is a very real thing that many of us are dealing with even if you don’t know it, and this type of fat can do so much harm to the body. The good news is, you are in control and can make changes in your life to get rid of it. I’m jumping too far ahead though, let’s go back to the beginning. What are the dangers of visceral fat?
What is visceral fat Leslie?
Visceral fat is defined as intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation, or to put it simply, it’s a form of fat that is stored deep within the abdominal area. Ok, sounds harmless enough right? Wrong. This type of fat is actually putting pressure on and around your internal organs like your liver, pancreas, and kidneys and can cause them to perform irregularly and interferes with their functions. I know it’s hard sometimes to visualize what is going on inside of our bodies, we only see what’s happening on the outside and can forget that there are actually real organs and processes happening inside us. It’s not until we get sick or start getting major symptoms of illness and disease that we start to realize maybe we should’ve been treating our bodies better, right? It happened to me. It took cancer for me to wake up and realize I wasn’t really treating my body the way I should’ve been. So now that you know what visceral fat is, let’s talk about what else it’s potentially doing to our bodies. Buckle up, cause this is going to be rough.
Visceral fat puts you at risk for the following:
- heart disease
- breast cancer
- colon cancer
- stomach cancer
- Type II diabetes
- Anxiety (yes, fat can affect our mood!)
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Sleep disorders
- Chronic inflammation
Are you looking at your belly fat a little differently yet? This is more than just a cosmetic thing or how you fit into your skinny jeans, this is your health. Visceral fat is also known as “active fat” because it signals molecules that can interfere with the body’s hormone functions, affecting appetite, mood, weight, and brain function. Visceral fat actually acts like IT’S OWN ORGAN in the body since it is capable of having such a large impact on the body! What the what?! I don’t know about you, but when I heard that it made me feel like that fat is almost an invading alien in the body! No thank you!
Now, I don’t want you to feel guilty or ashamed if you are thicker in the middle than you should be. I myself have struggled with my weight in the past and I was over 200 pounds when I was in my 20’s, I understand. (I have 1 photo and I can not find it!)
Don’t Waist Any Time!
Here’s a quick test that you can do right now to figure out if you more than likely have visceral fat in your abdomen, all you’ll need is a tape measure. We are going to measure our waist and compare it to the American health standards, which is 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women. If your waist is at the standard or below measurement, chances are your visceral fat levels are low.
Here’s how to do it:
- Stand up and find your hip bones then move your fingers about two inches above that, that is your natural waist.
- Exhale and then using your tape measure, loosely measure around your waist. What I mean by loosely is don’t hold your belly in or pull the tape measure too tight against you.
Your measurement will give you a good indication if you are in that healthy range for visceral fat. One thing also to remember is that American standards for belly fat are actually more generous than some other countries where they have a lower measurement for both men and women.
The Good News!
Ok! I know this blog has been a pretty big downer so far, are you still with me? Good! Because now comes the good news, YOU have the power to get healthier and get rid of visceral fat from your body! That’s right, the future of your health is 100% up to you. Am I going to fill you in on some secret sauce or magic diet pill now that you can take to get rid of this fat? Goodness no! What I am going to do is remind you of some healthy choices you can make to rid your body of visceral fat that also just happen to be good practices.
Here are my top tips for losing the visceral fat:
- Get more aerobic exercise
- Eat more fiber
- Eat more protein
- Eat less sugar
- Limit alcohol intake
- Avoid trans fats
- Avoid processed foods
- Get more sleep
- Reduce stress
- Try a probiotic
- Intermittent Fasting
I know that list can look long and intimidating, but start with just one thing and build up from there if you have to. I would personally recommend intermittent fasting as a GREAT place to start because honestly, I’ve been intermittent fasting myself and have seen great results in the reduction of my belly fat.
5/20/2018 (25 Days Later)
If you are new to intermittent fasting or don’t even know what it is, I teach an online class about it called The 8/16 Way that you can check out right here. I’d love to have you in my next class! Honestly though, just getting started with one or a few of these steps listed above will make a big difference in how you feel and in getting rid of some of that visceral belly fat.
Hopefully, this blog has lit a fire under some of you and helped you if you are ready to make some changes. Please tag me at Go2kitchens across all social media platforms to let me know how you liked this info and what you are doing with it. Also, if you are interested in talking to me one-on-one and developing a personalized health plan for you, I’d love to help you with that! You can contact me at via text or phone call 970-775-0012 and we can get started getting you on a path of health, sans visceral fat!
Copy by Marci West
Taken from a live episode of “Lunch with Leslie” The Dangers of Visceral Fat