Visceral fat is stored in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs, which is why it’s deemed so dangerous If it’s left to build-up, serious health complications can occur including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So what’s the best way to get rid of it?
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Eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise from part of every weight loss and fat loss plan.
But a certain type of exercise has proven better than others at banishing visceral fat.
When it comes to losing the dreaded belly fat, aerobic exercise has been found to be best.
A study carried out by Duke University Medical Center compared how effective aerobic exercise, resistance training and a combination of the two were at losing visceral fat.
The study found aerobic training significantly reduced visceral fat and liver fat.
Aerobic exercise also did a better job than resistance training, particularly at improving fasting insulin resistance, and reducing liver enzymes and fasting triglyceride levels.
Resistance training achieved no significant reductions in visceral fat, liver fat, liver enzyme levels or improvements in insulin resistance.
The combination of aerobic with resistance training achieved results similar to aerobic training alone.
Exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Physiology, said: “Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass.
“But if you are overweight, which two thirds of the population is, and you want to lose belly fat, aerobic exercise is the better choice because it burns more calories.”
Aerobic training burned 67 percent more calories int he study when compared to resistance training.
The eight-month study involved 196 overweight, sedentary adults, aged 18 to 70, who were randomised to one of three groups – aerobic training, resistance training or a combination of the two.
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The aerobic group performed exercise equivalent to 12 miles of jogging per week at 80 percent maximum heart rate.
The resistance group performed three sets of eight to 12 repetitions three times per week.
While the training programmes were rigorous, Slentz said their previous research lead him to believe similar results could be achieved with more moderate aerobic exercise.
He said: “What really counts is how much exercise you do, how many miles you walk and how many calories you burn.
“If you choose to work at a lower aerobic intensity, it will simply take longer to burn the same amount of unhealthy fat.”
Other ways to lose visceral fat
When it comes to the best diet to get rid of visceral fat, a low-carb diet has proven effective.
In an eight-week study including 69 overweight men and women, scientists found 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.
The keto, or ketogenic, diet, a very low-carb diet, has also been shown to help reduce visceral fat.
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