People humorlessly say they have, a spare tire, a beer belly, pot belly or instead of a six-pack they have a keg. If your waist resembles one of these, there is a cause for concern. Having a belly that hangs over the waist puts you at a high risk of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and high cholesterol. Fortunately, you can change this condition for the better by exercising and eating a proper diet.
There are two types of fat. One is called subcutaneous fat. This is the layer of fat that lies below the skin. You can pinch this, and actually feel this type of fat from the outside of your body. The other kind is visceral fat. This type of fat is not something you can touch. It is not visible to the eyes, and it is located around very important internal organs, like the abdomen, heart, and liver. This type of fat is usually found near the stomach. Visceral fat is the more serious type of fat. Someone can look skinny, but can still have a lot of visceral fat.
The main causes for gaining visceral fat are diet and a sedentary lifestyle. If you are eating a diet that is high in fatty foods on a regular basis your body is going to most likely store the excess fat around your stomach and internal organs. Also if people do not exercise frequently, excess calories will be stored as fat.; Losing visceral fat starts with your diet. You want to eat a diet that is higher in protein, fruits and vegetables and lower in fat. Also eating the correct amount of calories based on your physical activity level will help you lose fat as well. Eating 5 to 6 small meals a day about every 2-3 hours will speed up your metabolic rate. This means your body will start using the food you eat for bodily functions instead of storing the excess calories as fat. Each meal should be about a small fist sized portion.
To be healthy, physical activity should be a part of your daily routine. Look for examples of this in your daily lives. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car a distance away from the store, do yard work, and wash your car. These are just a few examples of everyday activities. By making this small change, your health will start to improve. Physical Activity is a start in the right direction, but not enough to burn off visceral fat. Exercise is needed for this. Exercises that are good for combating visceral fat are walking, swimming and resistance training. You should be doing cardio type exercises for at least 20 minutes a day. To lose visceral fat you may need to increase the intensity of your workouts. It takes a bit more than just a moderate effort to burn visceral fat. Three to five more vigorous workouts are more effective for fat loss. Interval cardio sessions will increase the intensity. Try to do at least 20 minutes. Interval training involves a rest time and a work time. An example of this type of workout is warming up for 5 minutes. After the warm-up you run as fast as you can for the next 1-2 minutes. This is followed by a jog or walk for the next 1-2 minutes. Repeat the pattern for the full 20 minutes. Cardio alone is not enough to burn fat though. Strength training will increase your fat burn. Full body strength routines 3 days a week work best. Some exercises to include are push-ups, dips, squats, lunges, burpees, squat thrusts, and pull-ups. Doing these in a circuit style works well. In a circuit style workout you do one exercise for one set, then move to the next exercise, and the next until all the exercises are completed. This represents 1 circuit. Try to do 2 to 3 circuits for each workout you perform.
By changing your diet and exercising frequently visceral fat will cease to exist. The key to making this a success is frequency and consistency. You must continue to eat foods that are low in fat, and to exercise daily. If your not consistent, you will not see great results.
Paul is a fitness enthusiast who has worked as a Personal Trainer and a Physical Education Teacher. He earned a B.S. in Kinesiology from CSUF and a Physical Education Teaching Credential as well. He also earned a National Certification as a Performance Enhancement Specialist through NASM. He started [http://www.workdfitness.com] which focuses on all aspects of fitness, and motivation.
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