We need to get rid of abdominal fat for more reasons than just our own vanity. Even if you only have a slight amount of excess abdominal fat, we’re going to discuss the reasons why it can be dangerous to your health.
Unfortunately, it is a statistical fact that most people today, about 70 percent of the population in fact, have more abdominal fat than they should have. This is particularly so in “westernized” countries such as the USA and Australia, where there are regular current affairs programs about how overweight or obese the general population is.
When people think of abdominal fat, the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s not sexy or appealing – and this is generally true. So they look for ways to cover it up or get rid of abdominal fat because they’re feeling self conscious about it. But what most people don’t know, is that it’s not only unsightly, but dangerous to your overall health.
Types of Belly Fat
Speaking of belly fat, there are two types. One type is called subcutaneous fat and this is the stuff that lies directly beneath the skin and on top of your abdominal muscles. The other type is called visceral fat – and this one is found deeper in your abdomen. It is beneath your muscle and surrounds your internal organs. It’s the fat that’s responsible for giving your belly that distended look, sometimes referred to as “beer gut”. We can fool ourselves into thinking that it’s ok, because this type of gut is firm to press on and because it’s not all blubbery and squishy, we don’t perceive it as “fat”. If this is you, then you would be wrong.
Whether you’ve been “blessed” with subcutaneous fat, or visceral fat, the bottom line is, that they are both serious health risks. However, scientific studies have found that visceral fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous. So when we think about getting rid of abdominal fat, this one should be our primary target.
The potential health risks associated with excessive abdominal fat include heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases. One of the reasons for this, is that visceral fat consistently releases inflammatory molecules into your system, which in turn, compromises your immune system.
What Causes Excessive Visceral Belly Fat
One of the main culprits behind the accumulation of too much visceral fat is the high carbohydrate diet. Over time, this leads to insulin resistance, which is another way of saying that your pancrease grows tired of trying to handle too much blood sugar and starts to give up. When we bombard our bodies with sugars, starches and carbs, our pancreas releases insulin in an attempt to metabolise these things while at the same time, regulating our blood sugar levels. But after a while, the response becomes tardy and so the sugars, starches and carbs are stored as fat instead.
Unfortunately, our “western” diet, with “fast foods” and many pre-packaged processed foods, include an ingredient known as high-fructose corn syrup, have become a major contributor to excess visceral fat.
How Do You Get Rid of Abdominal Fat?
The answer is simply by doing two things:
1. High intensity exercise
2. Get your blood sugar levels under control
High intensity exercise such as interval training, sprints (bike sprints or running sprints), AND full-body weight training are very effective at helping to improve your body’s ability to manage glucose and increases insulin sensitivity, a crucial step in removing visceral fat.
These types of high intensity exercise routines are also very effective at increasing your fat-burning hormones and creating a hormonal environment conducive to burning off abdominal fat, including visceral fat.
Low intensity cardio exercise, such as slow walking, simply isn’t as effective for removing visceral fat in particular. If you want to walk then you need to put your headphones on and step up the pace into a power walk.
Reducing your blood sugar levels means cutting down big time on sugars and refined starches in your diet (including fully eliminating any use of harmful high fructose corn syrup!), and focusing more of your diet on healthy fats (such as avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut fat, olive oil, grass-fed butter, free-range eggs, fatty fish and fish oils, etc), as well as increasing protein and fiber intake. The standard diet recommended by the government, which contains an unnaturally high grain intake is NOT conducive to controlling blood sugar and reducing visceral fat!
Reducing grain-based foods in your diet and getting more of your carbs from veggies and high fiber fruits such as berries can go a long way to helping to solve this problem.
If you take the above advice and apply it diligently, then you will not only get rid of abdominal fat, but will also eliminate the inflammatory molecules that are sent from your gut into your system and greatly minimize the risk of degenerative health diseases in the longer term.