Worried that you're harboring dangerous belly fat?Your waist circumference tends to be related to the amount of visceral fat you have. It is recommended to keep your waist below 40 inches. To check, wrap a measuring tape snugly around your bare abdomen, just above your hip bones. Relax, exhale, and measure.
If your number comes up a little elevated, here's what you need to do to target visceral fat.
QUIT THE FRUCTOSE
A diet packed with fructose can make your belly bulge:
Avoid fruit juice or foods that have added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Don't worry about whole fruit, though.
SWEAT THE CARDIO
Resistance training is great for adding lean body mass, but cardio is better for burning visceral fat. In a Duke University study, people who trained on treadmills, elliptical trainers, and stationary bikes for 8 months (at the cardio equivalent of jogging 12 miles a week) lost about 8 percent of their visceral fat. Those who performed equally intense resistance workouts saw no change in visceral fat.
EAT WHOLE GRAINS
Foods like barley and quinoa do more than just help fill you up. In a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate three or more daily servings of whole grains had 10 percent less visceral fat than those who ate hardly any or no whole grains. It is speculated that one benefit might come from prebiotic compounds that feed beneficial bacteria in your gut.
The right amount of shut-eye is key. People who log 6 to 7 hours a night have the lowest levels of visceral fat. Below that range is associated with more visceral fat, with the worst numbers going to those who slept less than 5 hours. Over a 5-year span, poor sleepers put on visceral fat about five times faster than the healthy sleepers.