Visceral fat, also known as abdominal fat, exposes the dangers in adopting an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mindset. As opposed to subcutaneous fat – a type of fat that lies just under the surface, visceral fat lies perilously close to vital organs in the body. Its positioning means it can interfere with vital bodily processes, raising your risk of developing metabolic conditions, such as diabetes.
Keeping visceral at bay is therefore essential to leading a long and healthy life.
If you looking to reduce visceral fat, exercise offers the best defence against the harmful belly fat.
Knowing where to begin with exercise can seem intimidating to the inexperienced but evidence suggests that there is a simple and inexpensive route to reducing belly fat.
Several studies point to the fat-burning benefits of walking.
READ MORE: How to get rid of visceral fat: Best diet to reduce the belly fat – five foods to eat
Visceral fat: Walking has been proven to reduce belly fat
In one small study, obese women who walked for 50–70 minutes three times per week for 12 weeks, on average, reduced their waist circumference by 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) and lost 1.5 percent of their body fat.
Another study found that people on a calorie-controlled diet who walked for one hour five times per week for 12 weeks lost an extra 1.5 inches (3.7 cm) off their waistlines and 1.3 percent more body fat, compared to those who followed the diet alone.
Strengthening the association, other studies on the effects of walking briskly for 30–60 minutes per day have observed similar results.
The case for walking is in line with the broader benefits of engaging in aerobic exercise.
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In fact, many studies have shown that aerobic exercise can help you lose visceral fat, even without dieting.
For example, an analysis of 15 studies in 852 people compared how well different types of exercise reduced visceral fat without dieting.
They found that moderate and high-intensity aerobic exercises were most effective at reducing visceral fat without dieting.
In addition to aerobic exercise, strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat, according to Harvard Health.
How to lose visceral fat: Aerobic exercise has been shown to attack visceral fat
It is worth noting that spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat, adds the health body.
For optimal weight-loss benefits, it is vital to combine exercise with a healthy, balanced diet.
Evidence shows that following low-carb can accelerate the visceral fat-burning process.
In fact, many studies have shown that low-carb diets are more effective at reducing visceral fat than low-fat diets.
In an eight-week study including 69 overweight men and women, scientists found that people who followed a low-carb diet lost 10 percent more visceral fat and 4.4 percent more total fat than those on a low-fat diet.
Additionally, the ketogenic diet, which is a very low-carb diet, may also help reduce visceral fat.
A study including 28 overweight and obese adults found that those who followed a ketogenic diet lost more fat, especially visceral fat, than people following a low-fat diet.
What is considered low-carb?
Low-carb foods include meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and natural fats, like butter.