Belly fat is excess abdominal fat surrounding the organs in your stomach. There are three types of fat: triglycerides (the fat that circulates in your blood), subcutaneous fat (the layer directly below the skin’s surface) and visceral fat (dangerous belly fat). Visceral fat is located beneath the muscles in your stomach and poses many dangers to your health when there is too much of it.
To get rid of punctured tire belly and visceral abdominal fat, you need to cut back on sugar, processed food, and caffeine, eat regular small meals, control emotional eating, and exercise regularly. For low belly fat, some movement combined with a varied diet and healthy juices should work. To reduce belly bloating, consume drinks that improve digestion and reduce inflammation.
Traditionally, body fat was thought to be stored passively in cells, waiting to be used for energy by the body. However, research has shown that fat cells are biologically active and function as an endocrine organ by secreting hormones and other molecules. The activity of visceral fat results in an inflammatory state that is strongly linked to metabolic disease, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of death, even in men at normal body weight.
One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
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While the most exact way to measure visceral fat is by MRI or CT scan, an at-home approach is to calculate the waist-to-hip ratio by dividing the waist measurement by the hip measurement. For example, if the waist measures 56 inches and the hips measure 45 inches, dividing 45 into 56 gives a ratio of 1.2. A waist-to-hip ratio higher than 0.95 in men and 0.85 in women significantly increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Simply measure the waist to identify if there is a higher probability of excess visceral fat. In men, a waist measurement over 40 inches (and in women, a waist measurement over 35) indicates an unhealthy accumulation of visceral fat and an increased risk of health problems.
Elisha is a clinical nutritionist who specialises in nutrition for weight loss, insulin resistance, digestive and mental health. Elisha has a huge amount of experience in complimentary health, particularly in helping to work through food related issues such as diabetes and obesity, and provide assistance to combat emotional eating. She has been part of the Healthy Mummy team of experts since 2012, writing informative blog posts, contributing to our recipe books and the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipes. Elisha loves working for The Healthy Mummy because “I love creating family friendly recipes, knowing that women all around the country are losing weight and gaining more confidence and changing their lives for the better.”