Being overweight can be risky for your overall health, but a particular type of fat, called visceral fat, can be especially dangerous. Visceral fat is the fat that accumulates around your waistline, and it's more deeply set into your abdomen than subcutaneous fat that settles in other areas of your body. A 2004 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation discusses the dangers of visceral fat, including an increased risk of insulin resistance and heart disease. Getting rid of visceral fat can be challenging but in most cases can be done in the privacy of your own home.
Eat healthily to get rid of visceral fat. Reducing your portion sizes, total calories and amount of saturated fat you eat can help you lose weight overall. Some of the bulk you lose will most likely come from your midsection. Focus on including whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein in your diet.
Exercise to whittle away belly fat. A September 2005 Medical News Today article reports results from a Duke University study in which participants jogged daily to lose visceral fat. The people who performed high-intensity aerobic exercise -- up to 20 miles weekly -- lost the most fat around the waistline.
Tone your abdominal muscles to reduce the amount of dangerous visceral fat you're carrying around. Pelvic tilts are an effective toning exercise; lie flat on the floor, tighten your stomach muscles and push the small of your back toward the floor so your pelvis is tilted upward. Hold the position for 10 seconds and release. Do 10 pelvic tilts in a set.
Combine strength training with your toning exercises to step up your workout and help fight visceral fat. Hold a 3-pound hand weight in each hand. While performing your pelvic tilts, lift your left leg until perpendicular to your body and raise your right arm as far over your head as you can. Lower your limbs as you release the tension in your abdominal muscles; switch to the right leg and left arm for the next tilt.
Things You'll Need
Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.
- Harvard Health Publications: Abdominal Fat and What to do About It
- Medical News Today: Dangerous Visceral Fat Builds Up if You Don't Exercise, Can Go Down if You Do
- Journal of Clinical Investigation: The Case of Visceral Fat: Argument for the Defense
- ACE Fitness: 6 Strategies for Losing the Spare Tire