An image of your favourite celebrity, with that perfectly slim waist on the cover page of a magazine lures you to attain the same. And you read their fitness secrets, all talking about running as the best workout to shed kilos.
You made up your mind to follow their fitness mantra and start running miles every morning. But you don’t see any changes in your weight or belly size and just feel like throwing away that weighing scale. You are angered!
But no one is at fault – neither you nor your weighing scale and not even the fitness mantra followed by celebrities. What is at fault is your lack of knowledge about the science behind weight loss .
Maximum people think that their big bellies are due to fat deposition around the abdominal skin and running will burn off this fat giving them slim waistline. But the fact is that all belly fat is not subcutaneous fat, it has some proportion of visceral fat too. Human body fat can be divided into two types – body fat, which gets deposited on muscles and can be seen; and visceral fat, which gets deposited on internal organs and tissues and cannot be seen. The latter is difficult to burn and surely cannot be burnt by making rounds of your neighbourhood park.
Now, what is more about this visceral fat and how will you differentiate it from subcutaneous fat?
Visceral fat is the one that is deposited around your body organs like liver, pancreas and intestines and is the culprit for putting you at high risk of diabetes and heart disease. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, waistline above 40 inches in males and 35 inches in females is an indicator of high amounts of visceral fat in the body.
On the other hand, subcutaneous fat is deposited right beneath the skin, helps you keep warm and stores extra calories. It is these calories that can be burnt by running.
To know whether your belly is holding subcutaneous or visceral fat, grasp and roll the abdominal skin and fat together. If you are able to slide the whole thing up and down, it indicates you are holding subcutaneous fat otherwise it is visceral fat.
So, how to lose visceral fat?
- Keep a track on your daily diet routine
You sweat out daily by running miles and miles. But that doesn’t make you deserving of eating anything you like. The daily workout needs to be combined with right diet plan too.
Include lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein and complex carbohydrates such as beans, lentils and sprouted grains for energy and fibre. Use olive, peanut, sunflower or sesame oils for cooking. Cut down on all trans-fats like doughnuts, cakes, cookies etc, processed food and desserts.
- Increase the intensity of your exercise
Your should exercise daily for about 30-40 minutes, keeping in mind that the daily caloric balance ( calories consumed minus calories burned) should be negative. Exercise routine may comprise of aerobics, yoga, running or brisk walking.
- Cut down the intake of alcohol
A study conducted by Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Buffalo, USA has implicated that drinking high amounts of alcohol per day are shown to increase the amount of visceral fat.
- Take plenty of sleep and avoid stress
Researchers have found a correlation between stress hormone cortisol and visceral fat deposition. So, avoid stress and get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
- Reap the benefits of these natural products to get rid of visceral fat