What Is Visceral Fat? Learn How To Get Rid Of It

Snehil Sharma

Snehil Sharma
Jul 2023

2 min read
What Is Visceral Fat

Table of content

What is visceral fat and why it is important? Visceral fat is found inside your abdominal cavity. It is a fat that wraps around the human abdominal organs deep inside. Also, humans can’t feel it or see it.

Did you know, you may have a flat tummy and still have it? Thus, this is called TOFI, or thin outside fat inside.

Did you know the fat stored underneath your skin is known as subcutaneous fat?

The visceral fat present in the human body makes the belly stick out or gives a person an ‘apple’ shape. Also, it produces chemicals and hormones that can be toxic to the body.

Moreover, it produces more toxic substances than subcutaneous fat, so it is more dangerous. Even slim people, having visceral fat carries a range of health risks.

It is more common in men than in women.

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What Causes Visceral Fat?

It is the type of fat that accumulates deep within the abdominal cavity, surrounding vital organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Several factors contribute to the development of visceral fat:

  • Poor Diet

Consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to weight gain and an accumulation of visceral fat. Also, excessive intake of sugary beverages, fast food, and refined carbohydrates can contribute to this problem.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle

Leading a predominantly inactive lifestyle with minimal physical activity can increase the risk of visceral fat accumulation. Also, lack of exercise reduces calorie expenditure and slows down metabolism, making it easier for fat to accumulate.

Also, read: What Is Metabolism And How To Boost It (5 Tips For Beginners)

  • Hormonal Changes

Hormones play a role in fat distribution, and certain hormonal imbalances can contribute to increased visceral fat. For example, an imbalance of cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to fat storage in the abdominal area.

  • Genetics

Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to storing fat in the abdominal region. Also, genetic factors can influence how the body metabolizes and stores fat, making some people more prone to accumulating visceral fat.

  • Age

As individuals age, their metabolism tends to slow down, and muscle mass may decrease. This age-related decline in metabolism can lead to increased fat storage, particularly in the abdominal area.

  • Stress

Chronic stress can affect hormone levels and contribute to its accumulation. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, which promotes fat storage, especially around the abdominal region.

  • Lack Of Sleep

Poor sleep habits, such as insufficient sleep or sleep disorders, have been associated with weight gain and increased visceral fat deposition. So, inadequate sleep can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to metabolic disturbances.

Health Risk Of Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is more than just an aesthetic concern. So, here are five health risks associated with the accumulation of visceral fat:

1. Increased Risk Of Chronic Diseases

Visceral fat is metabolically active and releases various substances, including inflammatory cytokines and hormones. This can lead to a state of chronic low-grade inflammation, which is associated with an increased risk of developing serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

2.  Insulin Resistance And Diabetes

Visceral fat is closely linked to insulin resistance, a condition in which cells become less responsive to the hormone insulin. When insulin resistance occurs, the body has difficulty using insulin effectively to regulate blood sugar levels.

Thus, this can lead to high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Also, read: Diabetes? Then Lower The Risk With 7- Day Type 2 Diabetes Diet

3.  Negative Impact On Heart Health

Excess visceral fat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and cardiovascular complications. The inflammatory substances released by visceral fat can promote the formation of plaques in the arteries. This also leads to atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and an elevated risk of heart attacks and strokes.

4.  Abnormal Lipid Levels

Visceral fat accumulation can disrupt lipid metabolism, leading to abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

5.  Impaired Organ Function

Visceral fat surrounds and infiltrates vital organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. This can interfere with their normal functioning. For example, excess fat in the liver can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which can progress to more severe conditions like liver fibrosis and cirrhosis.

How To Measure Visceral Fat?

Visceral fat measurement typically requires specialized techniques and equipment. So, here are a few common methods used to measure visceral fat:

1. Imaging Techniques

Medical imaging techniques like computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can accurately measure visceral fat. These methods provide detailed images of the abdominal area, allowing for precise identification and quantification of visceral fat deposits.

However, these techniques are expensive, require specialized equipment, and are typically used in clinical or research settings.

2. Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)

DXA scanning, primarily used for assessing bone density, can also provide estimates of visceral fat. DXA scans utilize low-dose X-rays to measure body composition, including fat distribution. While DXA scans are relatively accurate, they may not be as precise as imaging techniques in specifically quantifying visceral fat.

3. Waist Circumference

Measuring waist circumference is a simpler and more accessible method to estimate its accumulation. Using a measuring tape, measure the circumference of your waist at the level of your belly button. A waist circumference above certain thresholds (such as 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women) is often associated with increased visceral fat and higher health risks.

4. Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)

WHR is calculated by dividing your waist circumference by your hip circumference. This ratio provides an indirect measure of visceral fat. Thus, a higher WHR indicates more abdominal fat and may suggest a higher amount of visceral fat.

How To Get Rid Of Visceral Fat?

Here are ten points explaining how to effectively reduce visceral fat:

1.  Calorie Deficit

Create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than your body needs. This can be achieved through a combination of a calorie deficit diet plan and exercise. Consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to determine an appropriate calorie intake for your specific needs.

2. Healthy Diet

Focus on a balanced diet that includes whole, unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Avoid or limit sugary foods, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats, as they contribute to weight gain and visceral fat accumulation.

3.  Portion Control

Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overeating. Use smaller plates and bowls to help control portion sizes and practice mindful eating by paying attention to hunger and fullness cues.

4.  Regular Exercise

Engage in regular physical activity to burn calories and promote overall fat loss. Incorporate both cardiovascular exercises (such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling) and strength training exercises (such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises) into your routine to build muscle mass, which can help increase metabolism.

5.  High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Consider incorporating HIIT workouts into your routine. These short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods have been shown to be effective for reducing visceral fat.

6.  Reduce Refined Carbohydrates

Minimize or avoid foods high in refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and sugary snacks. These foods can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and promote its storage.

7.  Increase Fiber Intake

Include fiber-rich foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Fiber helps promote satiety, regulate blood sugar levels, and can aid in weight loss efforts.

8.  Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol intake can contribute to its accumulation. Limit your alcohol consumption or opt for healthier choices like moderate amounts of red wine.

9. Stress Management

Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Chronic stress can lead to increased cortisol levels, which promote its storage.

Also, read: Rewire Your Mind On How To Reduce Stress And Feel Your Best

10. Get Adequate Sleep

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Sufficient sleep is important for hormonal balance, appetite regulation, and overall health. Inadequate sleep can disrupt metabolism and increase the risk of weight gain, including this fat.

Remember, reducing this type of fat takes time and consistency. It’s crucial to adopt healthy habits as part of a long-term lifestyle change rather than seeking quick fixes. Also, following these health tips to control it is effective.

The Bottom Line

Excess amounts of belly fat in the body, especially the visceral type, are associated with negative health outcomes. Also, this includes an increased risk of developing conditions like metabolic disease and fatty liver.

Fortunately, there are different healthy ways to reduce excess belly fat. Such as increasing your intake of nutrient-dense foods, getting enough sleep, moving your body, performing core exercises, etc.

Always remember that creating healthy, sustainable habits is much more crucial for your overall well-being than aiming for quick weight loss.

If you need more personalized or customized dietary advice on how to lose excess belly fat and reduce your disease risk, contact our experts for guidance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Lose Visceral Fat?

  1. Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day (for example by brisk walking, cycling, aerobic exercise, and strength training)
  2. Eating a healthy diet.
  3. Not smoking.
  4. Reducing sugary drinks.
  5. Getting enough sleep.

Does Everyone Have Visceral Fat?

Yes, it is. This type of fat closely surrounds the stomach, liver, and intestines. Thus, everyone has this fat, as it cushions the organs and surrounds important blood vessels supplying blood to abdominal organs.

Why Visceral Fat Is Dangerous To You

Having this fat in the belly is a sign of metabolic syndrome, a collection of disorders that include high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. Together, these increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Can You Share The List Of Top Health Tips To Control Visceral Fat?

  1. Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day (for example by brisk walking, cycling, aerobic exercise, and strength training)
  2. Eating a healthy diet.
  3. Not smoking.
  4. Reducing sugary drinks.
  5. Getting enough sleep.

What Is Visceral Fat And How To Measure It?

The excess weight that develops over time around the center of the body is visceral fat. The best way to tell if you have this fat is to measure your waist. The waist circumference is a good indicator of how much fat is deep inside the belly, around the organs.

What Is Calorie Deficit Diet Plan?

A calorie deficit diet is a diet plan where we reduce per day or week calorie intake than required to maintain one current weight.

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Contact Us Today

We know meal planning can be complicated and confusing, hence you need to consult a professional. So, contact us today if you are looking for a customized 7-day meal plan for skinny guys or muscle gain or a diet plan for males for weight loss.


This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long happy life.

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