Banish Your Belly - 7 Ways to Banish Visceral Fat

visceral fat loss fitness workout beach

All my boot camp clients, who are trying to lose weight, know it's all about burning off their unhealthy extra body fat. But as it turns out—not all of our body fat stores are created equal—and not all people who need to drop body fat even know they need to do it. To get the inside scoop on which type of body fat that you need to lose, you need understand the difference between the two kinds of bodyfat: Subcutaneous Body Fat, is stored between your muscle and skin; and Visceral Body Fat, which surrounds your internal organs, predominantly your liver. Visceral Body Fat (which can’t even be sucked-out by traditional liposuction), is much more dangerous than your Subcutaneous Body Fat. 

So, what makes Visceral Body Fat dangerous? Your Visceral Body Fat cells literally have a different function than your Subcutaneous Body Fat cells. Firstly, there are many more Subcutaneous Body Fat cells than Visceral Body Fat cells. However, your Visceral Body Fat cells are much larger in size per cell—and they can get to be so large that they can atrophy themselves—when this happens, the cells constantly create cytokines. Cytokines are a hormone that produce inflammation. This inflammation contributes to many unhealthful conditions including: cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, aging, tumor growth, oxidation and hypertension. NO bueno! 

So, how much body fat is too much? After all, a measurement of up 5% of your Body Fat is healthful amount to provide energy, insulation and cushioning your organs—but most of us, clearly have too much. Men are at high risk when their waistlines are 40 inches or greater, women with a waistline over 35 inches. But once you hit that size it's you're in a perpetually inflamed state—and you should consider taking action immediately. It’s much easier to take preventive action much sooner by adopting a consistent workout program and nutrition plan. Waiting to take action once you have hit these limits makes it much harder to break old habits and create new ones.

To properly measure your waist size, use a seamstress tape measure straight around yourself exactly one inch below your belly-button. Your actual waistline is not where the belt of your pants rests—it is lower than that (unless you wear your pants like grandpa ;). 

Banish Your Belly and control Visceral Body Fat Through Diet and Exercise

To control your Visceral Body Fat, attending your boot camp workout program consistently is a smart bet. Most folks know that you can't spot-burn body fat, but a combo of strength training and cardio has been proven to help reduce Visceral Body Fats. Of course, you’ll also need to control caloric intake—but, what types of calories you eat really does matter. Junk food calories leave your body inflamed, so you must really be aware of your nutrition quality. 

The 7 must-do nutrition tips to lose Visceral Body Fats—and control inflammation.

1. Develop an Overall Game Plan: Focus your diet around whole foods and consume just enough calories to maintain healthy weight and your metabolic needs. Pull back on highly processed foods as much as possible, particularly foods with trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. The goal here is to not be crazy about diet, but to be good at least 90% of the time—food, after-all is one of the great joys of life.

2. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies: A diet high in vegetables and fruits—at least 7 to 9 servings per day. Specifically, pay attention to the color of your produce. Pigment is a vital chemical and forms the immune system in plants—different plant colors have different healthful benefits. Therefore, consume a large variety: from dark leafy greens to orange and yellow veggies and berries. Berries are delicious and about the best things you can put in your mouth—jam-packed with healthful antioxidants, with blueberries and strawberries are as particularly nutritious choices.

3. Fiber is Key: Select whole grains & higher fiber foods— they’ve been shown to lower inflammation. Great examples include: Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pastas, beans, lentils, whole wheat breads and whole grain breads.

4. Lower Saturated Fat: Lower your saturated fat consumption now. Fatty meats, like red meats, as well as bacon, sausage, whole dairy milk, cheeses and full-fat yogurt are choices that should be sidelined. Better choices include: chicken, fish, turkey, and lean cuts of beef. Meat with 3 percent fat are now widely available—even while consuming red meat, try to make prime rib and high-fat content cuts of meat a rarity. And, as for dairy and yogurt go low fat.

5. Eat Your Omegas: Eat more omega-3 fatty acids—essential fatty acids with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The optimal way to get your Omega-3s is to consume 3 or 4 ounces of fish like salmon and trout up-to 2 times servings per week. Plant sources include: soybeans and walnuts.

6. Delicious Anti-Oxidants: Many spices, like oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger are antioxidant-rich foods. Also, feel free to treat yourself to some dark chocolate, at least 70 percent cacao and red wine, which also is also very good for you (of course, in moderation).

7. Control the Booze: Alcohol is calorie-rich and is a major contributer to body fat gain Practicing moderation with alcohol intake will get you to your body fat goals as much as 2 or 3 times faster. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a max of two servings of alcohol per day—(FYI, a serving is just four ounces of wine). A typical restaurant pour of wine is at least 6 ounces, and at home it's about 6 or 8 ounces—so watching your serving sizes is key. (Serving of beer is 12 ounces, and for hard liquor is only 1.5 ounces. I have made major advances in my fitness level (and bodyfat reduction) by taking an alcohol holiday the first 3 months of the year. Try it, the only thing you have to lose—is that roll hanging over your belt. ;)

—Big Mike