Peripheral and Visceral Fat: Learn How to Fight It

If you want to eliminate visceral and peripheral fat, you'll have to make some changes to your routine. Eat 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day and exercise.
Peripheral and Visceral Fat: Learn How to Fight It

Last update: 11 February, 2019

We’re sure that you’ve heard of the risks that visceral fat poses to your health. While it’s true that women tend to suffer more from “peripheral fat”, neither one is healthy, which is why it’s important to fight them on a daily basis.

How does it develop? What factors contribute to this common problem? A poor diet and a lack of exercise are two of the most common causes.

However, there are a few other factors we should be aware of: genetics, menopause, and unhealthy diets that are detrimental to your health, instead of promoting weight loss.

Today on our page, we’d like to give you a little more information on the subject.

Visceral fat, a danger to your health

A doctor holding up a plastic heart.

Everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, has a certain amount of fat in their bodies. If you feel your thighs, you’ll notice the layer of subcutaneous fat that the majority of women have.

Now if you feel your abdomen, you’ll likely notice a slight bulge which means that a layer of dangerous visceral fat exists around your stomach, intestines and liver. This type of fat can cause serious problems.

Doctors point out that men have a greater tendency to develop visceral fat. There’s a really high risk that, sooner or later, it will cause a heart attack or other cardiac problems.

Keep in mind the following:

  • Visceral fat is not inactive. That means that it doesn’t just sit there surrounding your stomach and liver. On the contrary, it’s really active when it comes to releasing harmful toxic substances into the blood stream.
  • This type of fat causes inflammation and leads to arteriosclerosis. It can lead to problems in the digestive system and colon and is often responsible for diabetes and certain types of cancer.
  • Something many people may not know is that visceral fat can affect your mood. Do you know how? It causes fatigue, general malaise, mood swings, stress, and anxiety, as well as certain types of depression that cause elevated levels of cortisol in the blood.
  • The simple fact that it leeches toxic substances into the bloodstream also causes what is known as metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance. If you suffer from hypertension, visceral fat can exacerbate the problem even more. It’s something to keep in mind.

How do I know if I have visceral fat?

A girl doing up her jeans.

We know that men have a greater tendency to accumulate fat around the waist as they age. However, woman can also store fat around the abdomen, but it’s more common for them to store fat in the hips, thighs and legs.

Doctors also warn us about some important facts that we shouldn’t ignore:

  • The accumulation of fatty plaques in the legs doesn’t always present symptoms, but it’s really dangerous.
  • If you experience heaviness, cramps, or your legs fall asleep, then it means that your arteries are not as elastic as they should be. The fat that has accumulated in them is already causing problems that could be serious.
  • In this case, it may mean that you’re facing peripheral artery disease, which, although common, can be serious. It occurs when an excess of cholesterol and other fats circulate in the blood and begin to build up on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs.
  • Even more worrisome is that the symptoms are not obvious and can cause heart problems and even a stroke.

Never forget to get periodic checkups to measure your cholesterol levels!

How to fight peripheral and visceral fat

A couple running together.

1. Factors to keep in mind

  • If you have a family history of obesity or heart problems, adopt a healthy lifestyle at an early age.
  • Once you reach age 40-45, it’s really important to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible. It’s at this age that blood will starts to show a little cholesterol and it requires a little more effort to lose weight.
  • Keep in mind that visceral fat is not lost overnight. There are no miracle diets or magical remedies. You’ll need the help of your doctor who will show you the right steps to take.
  • Support from family and friends is important. If you need to start a diet, support from your family is advised. It would be great if everyone in your household would adopt a more active lifestyle.

2. Keys to losing peripheral and visceral fat

  • You shouldn’t completely eliminate fat from your diet. There are healthy fats that your body needs, like those that come from olive oil, salmon, nuts, avocados…
  • Don’t add salt to any of your food. You should eat 4-5 meals throughout the day. Smaller, more frequent meals will keep your metabolism active.

You should consume more soluble fiber. Here are some great options for you:

  • Oatmeal
  • Bran
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Flax seeds
  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Leeks
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers

Also, try to eliminate salt from your diet as well as white flours, processed foods, pastries, and refined sugars. Eat more fresh vegetables too.

Physical exercise is key. You don’t have to wear yourself out. On the contrary, some simple aerobic exercise will allow you to burn fat little by little and keep your heart active. Don’t hesitate to get up and start walking, dancing, climbing stairs or swimming.

Get more out of life by living healthy!

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  • Godínez Gutiérrez, S. A., Marmolejo Orozco, G. E., Márquez Rodríguez, E., Siordia Vázquez, J. de J., & Baeza Camacho, R. (2002). La grasa visceral y su importancia en obesidad. Revista de Endocrinología y Nutrición.
  • García, A. I., Niño-Silva, L., González-Ruiz, K., & Ramírez-Vélez, R. (2016). Volumen de grasa visceral como indicador de obesidad en hombres adultos. Revista Colombiana de Cardiologia.
  • Martinez, Maricela; Barcelo Malicela: Gómez, Raul y Rámirez, D. (2015). Circunferencia de la cintura, tamaño de la grasa visceral y trastornos metabólicos en la obesidad mórbida. Rev Cubana Aliment Nutr.