wikiHow to Get Rid of Visceral Fat

Three Methods:Changing Your Eating HabitsIncorporating Other Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Visceral FatMonitoring Your Progress

Humans carry body fat in a variety of places — around the hips and thighs, waist or all over multiple body parts. However, there are different types of fat within the body — subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat found right underneath the skin and generally doesn't impose a huge health risk.[1] Visceral fat, however, is a type of fat that's found in and around the organs especially in the abdominal or belly cavity. It surrounds the stomach, liver and intestines.[2] Visceral body fat is very harmful to your health. It's metabolically active producing harmful substances to the body. In addition, it has be linked to: insulin resistance (which can lead to type 2 diabetes), heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and certain types of cancers (like breast and colon cancers).[3] However, levels of visceral fat can be managed and reduced with a few diet and lifestyle changes.

Method 1
Changing Your Eating Habits

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    Monitor your total fat intake. Limit dietary fat to about 20–30% of your total caloric intake. This is equal to about 40–70 g of fat daily (based on a 2,000 calorie diet).[4] Higher levels of fat may increase your risk of weight gain or levels of visceral fat.
    • Eliminate trans-fats completely. Trans-fats are a type of fat that's man made and has been shown to cause hardening of the coronary arteries and increase visceral fat.[5]
    • Reduce saturated fat intake to less than 7% of your total caloric intake. Although saturated fat is not as unhealthy as trans fat, it's important to moderate your intake to an appropriate level. In general, limit your intake to 15–20 g daily (this is based on a 2,000 calorie diet).[6]
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    Consume heart-healthy fats. Although it's important to monitor your overall fat intake, it's also important to make sure you're consuming the types of dietary fat will improve your health and help support your desire to decrease visceral fat. Some dietary fat — monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) — have been shown to help decrease visceral fat levels.[7]
    • MUFAs are found in foods like: olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil and sesame oil. They can also be found in avocados, nuts and seeds. [8]
    • Incorporate one to two servings of these foods daily.[9]
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    Limit your carbohydrate intake. A low carbohydrate diet has been shown to be an effective eating pattern to help reduce levels of visceral fat.[10] Reduce the amount of carbohydrate rich foods in your diet to help promote the reduction of visceral fat.
    • Carbohydrate rich foods include: bread, rice, pasta, crackers, tortillas, bagels, sweets and sugary beverages. Limit these foods to one to two servings maximum each day.[11]
    • Foods like dairy, fruit and starchy vegetables also contain carbs, but have other beneficial nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
    • Keep carbohydrates from sweets or sweetened beverages to an absolute minimum if possible.
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    Consume adequate fiber daily. Studies have shown that those who consumed adequate fiber daily had lower (and had an easier time lowering) visceral fat levels.[12] Women should consume 25 g of fiber daily and men should consume 38 g of fiber daily.[13]
    • Outside of grains (like bread, rice or quinoa), you can consume a significant amount of fiber from fruits and vegetables.
    • Fruits that are high in fiber include: apples, blackberries, raspberries and pears.[14]
    • Vegetables that are high in fiber include: beans, artichokes, spinach, broccoli and cabbage.[15]
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    Monitor your total calorie intake. Consuming a moderate- to low-calorie diet has been shown to support the loss of visceral fat.[16] In general, men should consume around 2,000-2,500 calories daily and women should consume 1,600-2,000 calories daily.[17]
    • Your total calorie level can vary greatly based on your metabolism, muscle mass, gender, age and activity level.
    • Note that a low-calorie diet alone has shown to have little effect on visceral fat levels. However, a low-calorie, moderate-carbohydrate diet along with exercise showed the best reduction in visceral fat levels.[18]

Method 2
Incorporating Other Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Visceral Fat

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    Engage in cardio exercises. Cardio exercises have been shown to be one of the most effective methods at reducing visceral fat. It's recommended to include 150 minutes or 2 1/2 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week to help reduce visceral fat levels.[19]
    • Aerobic activities can include exercises like: walking, jogging, swimming, biking or hiking.
    • If you can do more than the recommended 150 minutes weekly, that may help you reach your goal faster.[20]
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    Incorporate strength training. Weight lifting or resistance training is another important part of your exercise routine. It's recommended to include one to two days of strength training each week.[21]
    • Strength training includes activities like: weight lifting, Pilates or isometric exercises like push-ups or crunches.
    • Note that spot training (trying to reduce fat in a specific area) does not rid the body of visceral fat. To lose fat, diet and cardio are key. However, the more muscle you build with strength training, the more calories you will burn.
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    Try different types of exercise. Keep your exercise routine fun and exciting by engaging in a variety of different exercises. This can also help prevent over-training or over-using certain muscle groups.[22]
    • If exercising in a gym is not your thing, try a dance class or team sport instead. You will be more willing to stick to it if it is enjoyable for you.
    • Try incorporating some outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking or biking.
    • Keep your end goal in mind to help motivate you to stick to your exercise routine.
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    Go to bed early. It's recommended adults sleep at least seven to nine hours each night. Sleep is essential to your overall health and wellness. Studies have shown that those who slept less than six hours nightly had higher levels of visceral fat.[23] Make sure you go to bed early enough that you can get a full night's sleep.
    • Turn off all electronics — your TV, cell phone and computer — at least 30 minutes prior to going to sleep.[24]
    • Turn off all lights in your room prior to sleeping. Even minimal light can interrupt sleep patterns.[25]
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    Give up smoking and alcohol. Both smoking (or consuming any type of tobacco product) and drinking alcohol have been linked to higher amounts of visceral fat.[26] Give up both to help reduce your levels of visceral fat, decrease your weight and improve your overall health.
    • If you need help giving up nicotine, speak to your primary care physician for further help. She may be able to prescribe you a medication or provide you with additional resources to help quit.
    • Limiting alcohol is recommended. At a maximum, women should have one alcoholic beverage daily and men may have up to two alcoholic beverages daily.[27] However, it's ideal to discontinue consumption while trying to reduce visceral fat.

Method 3
Monitoring Your Progress

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    Measure your waist circumference. Waist circumference is a measure that indicates your risk for obesity, metabolic syndrome and other chronic health conditions.[28] High waist circumference numbers may indicate an increased amount of visceral fat present.[29]
    • To minimize risk, women's waist circumference should be 40" or less and men's waist circumference should be 35" or less.[30]
    • To accurately measure your waist circumference, place a non-elastic tape measure around your waist — right above your hip bones. Measure as you breathe out, not as you inhale.[31]
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    Weigh yourself weekly. Although your main target goal is to reduce the amount of visceral fat, you will need to monitor the changes in your weight over time. Weight loss while modifying your diet and incorporating exercise can indicate your levels of visceral fat are decreasing.[32]
    • Weigh yourself about one to two times weekly, and always at the same time (and nude, if possible) for the most accurate reflection of your progress over time.
    • Safe weight loss (even when aiming to reduce visceral fat levels) is about one to two pounds weekly. Any more weight loss can result in nutrient deficiencies or may not be sustainable long-term.[33]


  • Join an online community to get advice to empower yourself to lose weight.
  • Keep a food diary, as this helps to highlight problem foods and problem times during the day
  • Keep a training diary, this helps you to improve your workouts
  • Join a fitness class with a good social atmosphere, like group aerobic classes, as this may help keep you more motivated


  • Always speak to your doctor prior to starting any new diet or exercise program. He will be able to guide you on what is the most safe, healthy and appropriate program for you.

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Categories: Losing Weight