I've noticed that weight loss diets "targeting" visceral fat have become very popular. Unfortunately, there is no way that diets can target this type of fat. This is just a new spin on spot reduction fat loss but now instead of the butt and thighs of women being the target, the beer bellies of men are under fire.
Let's look a little deeper on what is visceral fat, why you should care, and what you can do about it.
What is Visceral Fat? – Visceral fat is the fat found close to and between your organs. This is very different from the fat underneath your skin, also called subcutaneous fat. Traditionally fat was seen as metabolically inactive, meaning it just sat there and did not really contribute anything to the rest of your body. Over the past decay there has been an explosion of research regarding fat and its role as metabolically active tissue. We know now that fat cells secret hormones and are very active in numerous metabolic processes. Visceral fat is your most metabolically active type of fat. Unfortunately it does not work in a positive manner and the metabolic effects that it modulates yield adverse health effects (eg increased risk of heart disease, decrease insulin sensitivity, etc).
Can You Measure It? – For the average person visceral fat is just about impossible to measure because people do not have access to MRI's and other machines on a daily basis (at least I do not). One potential way to get a rough estimate of visceral fat is waist circumference as visceral fat is concentrated in the abdominal region. If you use skinfolds to measure your body fat percentage you can not really gauge your level of visceral fat either because you are directly measuring subcutaneous fat and then using ratios to estimate the rest.
What Can You Do To Get Rid of Visceral Fat? – The good news is that you can get rid of visceral fat just like any other type of fat. Researchers are currently looking for interventions that preferentially target visceral fat. Some studies with CLA have shown some effect (but nothing remarkable). To get rid of visceral fat you need a solid nutrition plan and an effective fat loss program. That combination will melt the fat off from in front of and behind your abs leaving a lean healthy midsection that will make your friends jealous.
Source by Michael Roussell