What’s More Important – Reducing Belly Fat or Losing Weight?
In the quest for a healthier lifestyle, many individuals set their sights on reducing overall weight. While weight loss is undoubtedly beneficial, prioritising the reduction of belly fat can have a more significant impact on overall health and wellbeing. However, the belly fat we are referring to specifically is visceral fat; the fat that surrounds vital organs in the abdomen – also known as ‘hidden fat’. Targeting visceral fat should take priority over just focusing on the number on the scale.
What Is Visceral Body Fat?
Visceral body fat, existing deep within the belly and wrapped around crucial organs like the liver and intestines, accounts for approximately one-tenth of all stored fat in the body. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which is visible and can be felt under the skin, visceral fat remains concealed and is often responsible for an “apple” shape in individuals.
Health Risks Of Having Large Amounts Of Visceral Fat
Having visceral fat is a significant indicator of metabolic diseases – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin resistance which can increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Assessing Visceral Fat
To determine if you have visceral fat, measuring your waist circumference is a valuable method. For women, a waist circumference of 80 cm or more and for men 94 cm or more signals an increased risk of chronic diseases. This is a great measure to use to assess whether your dietary and physical activity changes are contributing to a reduction in visceral fat.
See below the steps to measure your waist circumference:
Strategies for Visceral Fat Reduction
To combat visceral fat, lifestyle changes are paramount:
- Balanced Diet: Reducing visceral fat responds well to a balanced diet. All our recipes are balanced, see them here.
- Regular Exercise: Prioritise regular exercise, such as brisk walking, aerobic exercises, and strength training. Live Life Get Active provides both aerobic and strength classes, so book yours in to work towards reducing your belly fat.
- Avoid Sugar Drinks: Cut back on sugary beverages such as soft drinks and sugary alcohol-drinks to support a reduction in visceral fat. Try our Fruit Infused Sparkling Water as a healthier option.
- Avoid Smoking: Eliminate smoking, which can worsen health risks associated with visceral fat.
Though overall weight loss often captures our attention, the importance of reducing visceral fat should not be underestimated. By prioritizing visceral fat reduction, we address the root of various health issues, ensuring our bodies function optimally. Remember that a holistic approach, encompassing nutrition, exercise, and self-care, is key to achieving a healthier and happier life. Embrace the journey to reduce visceral fat, and you’ll unlock a world of improved health, vitality, and confidence that goes beyond the number on the scale.