Did you know that you can be both skinny and fat at the same time?
Even if you don’t have a pot belly, you could be storing more fat than you think. This type of fat–typically stored in the abdominal region–is known as visceral fat.
Visceral fat, or skinny fat, is a type of stomach fat that accumulates across your midsection, as well as your hips and thighs.
Fat that is more visible on your body is called subcutaneous fat, but visceral fat is a lot worse. It usually develops in the abdominal cavity and isn’t always visible to the eye–stored around your organs and intestines.
Using a classic weight reduction plan won’t always work on visceral fat. It can be hard to detect and doesn’t rely on weight or body mass index as a factor.
Here are some effective strategies you can use to lose that skinny fat–for good.
8 Crucial Tactics for Visceral Fat Loss
Visceral fat might be subtle and hard to detect–but it can have pretty devastating effects.
Even if you still look skinny, visceral fat can do a lot of harm to your body. It’s linked to a number of obesity-related illnesses, like type two diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
These tactics will help you drop that stubborn belly fat and put you on the path towards becoming your healthiest self, on the inside and the outside.
1. Do Weight Training Exercises
Typical weight loss programs will tell you to focus on the cardio. And while running or taking your turn on the elliptical is a crucial part of your health, the best way to drop that stubborn fat is by taking up weightlifting.
Visceral fat is often not linked to weight because it’s more about your body fat percentage in relation to muscle. Your goal is to drop the weight and replace it with muscle mass.
Weight training will help you build your strength, preserve your muscles, and keep your metabolism high.
Your regular exercise should include both cardio and weightlifting if you’re hoping to make a dent in that visceral fat.
2. Don’t Forget the Core
Of course, some of the best workouts you can do in order to burn off belly fat are around your core.
While crunches and sit-ups are great for your abs, they aren’t the only thing you can do to shape up your stomach. Try other core exercises like planks, torso twists, and leg lifts. These exercises target all the muscles in your abdomen and can help tighten up your whole core.
3. Cut Down on Added Sugar
The one food that contributes most to added fat around your belly is added sugar.
This isn’t the sugar that’s commonly found in things like fruit–it’s the added calories of sugar that don’t have any nutritional value. This sugar is often added to things like soda, cakes, candy, and even things you wouldn’t expect like bread or canned vegetables.
The average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar each year. That’s a lot of sugar, and when it’s eaten in excess, the fructose is converted into fat.
4. Avoid Carbs
Avoiding carbohydrate-heavy foods is an effective way to reduce fat, especially around the belly. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out all carbs, but just watch how much you’re eating a day.
Just by eating less or swapping out some carb-heavy foods with healthier options, you can make a big difference in the long term. Some ways you can do it include making bread out of cauliflower or zucchini or making tater tots with assorted vegetables.
5. Load Up On Fiber
When you’re looking at fiber in your diet, be sure to add lots of soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber mixes with water in your system, becoming gel-like and slowing down the digestive process. This can actually help you feel full longer. It’s also linked to losing belly fat and keeping that weight loss consistent.
Eat lots of soluble fiber-rich foods like quinoa, nuts, lentils, barley, peas, brussel sprouts, avocados, and blackberries.
6. Eat Lots of Protein
Protein works hand in hand with your workout regimen to help you lose that visceral fat.
Eating a lot of protein can help raise your metabolism, build muscle, and help you feel less hungry. It releases a hormone called PYY, which makes the brain feel sated and satisfied.
You should be eating at least one serving of lean protein every meal to maximize the positive results.
7. Don’t Limit Your Portion Sizes
When it comes to healthier eating, this is the most important thing you need to remember: Don’t limit your portion sizes.
It’s probably one of the first things you think of when weight loss comes to mind. But extreme dieting won’t help you burn off fat, especially that stubborn visceral fat. While you should be eating moderate portions, cutting down the amount you eat won’t change anything. It’s what you eat that matters.
Fat sticks around on your abdomen because you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning off in exercise. If you eat healthy, muscle building foods and stick to an exercise routine with cardio and weightlifting, you should be able to achieve that balance.
8. Limit Other Factors
It isn’t just a lack of exercise and poor eating habits that contribute to visceral fat. All aspects of your health go into the storage deposits of fat.
Give your body the best shot to fight back by limiting other factors that could be worsening your health. Make sure you’re getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Reduce stress in your life by taking up yoga, meditation, or therapy.
Sleep and stress are an essential part of your weight loss journey. When you take care of your body, it will help take care of you.
Put It All Together and Change Your Lifestyle
Visceral fat might not always be easy to see, but it could be wreaking havoc on your body. It’s linked to all sorts of harmful diseases, and it means that you might not be as healthy as you think.
By incorporating a few simple lifestyle changes–and thinking a little differently about how you eat and exercise–you can make a big difference in your health.
Want to learn more about what it means to be skinny fat? Check out our blog for more information on what visceral fat is, what it means, and what you can do about it.