The Best Way to Reduce Visceral Belly Fat

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Fat is unhealthy, but belly fat is one of the most dangerous. There are two types of stomach fat: visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral fat is located deep within the belly, surrounding and protecting organs, while subcutaneous fat is located just under the skin. Those who have large amounts of visceral fat in the belly area are at an increased risk for medical issues, such as diabetes and heart disease.

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To lose any type of fat, exercise is important. The best way to lose visceral belly fat is to add cardiovascular and resistance training into daily activities. Abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups, are not enough to get rid of visceral body fat, since it is deep within the abdominal cavity. To get rid of it, you should do at least one hour of intense cardiovascular activity, such as running or interval training, each day of the week. Low or moderate amounts of exercise have been shown to not have a beneficial effect in reducing visceral belly fat, according to a study published in the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism."

Resistance training to the entire body should be done at least three to four times a week to build muscle and boost metabolism.

An overweight man runs in the park.
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Changing your diet is important when trying to reduce and prevent the buildup of visceral belly fat. In order to lose belly fat, you must eat fewer calories than you burn through daily exercise. The diet should be comprised of whole, natural foods; avoid fatty, fried or sodium-filled foods. The Flat Belly Diet is directed specifically to eating right for belly fat loss—eating a large amount of monounsaturated fats, also known as MUFAs. These fats allow you to stay satisfied longer so you consume fewer calories. MUFAs include olive oil, chocolate, peanut butter, avocados and fat found in nuts, especially almonds.

A diet rich in MUFAs has also been linked to a reduction in bad cholesterol, known as LDL. It also boosts HDL cholesterol levels, which work to clean arteries of buildup.

A woman eats a healthy salad.
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