Healthy Ways to Get Rid of Visceral Fat

Hiral Patel

April 27, 2022

Irrespective of your body shape, excess fat isn’t good for your health. For example, saddlebags and ballooning bellies are harmful as they pose several health risks. When it comes to body fat, location is crucial. The latest research and studies bring new evidence that the fat lying deep within the abdomen is more dangerous than the fat you can pinch with your fingers. As per Harvard Health, approximately 10% of your body fat will be visceral fat. Although visceral fat makes up only a tiny proportion of body fat, it can lead to various health problems.

Do you look at the mirror and are unhappy with your protruding belly? Do you feel a certain lack of confidence when you dress up in your best clothes? Have you tried all possible ways without any substantial results? If your answer is yes, you should take immediate action. Here is a short guide to getting rid of stubborn belly fat, called visceral fat. The article also talks about causes, risk factors and healthy ways to get rid of visceral fat.

What is Visceral Fat?

Visceral fat is the fat stored in an individual’s abdominal cavity. It is also known as active fat as it can increase the risk of health issues. Visceral fat affects the functioning of vital hormones in your body. Since visceral fat is present in the abdominal cavity, it is close to several organs like the pancreas, intestine and liver. Hence, an excess of visceral fat can have potentially dangerous health consequences. For example, the more visceral fat your body stores, the higher the risk of heart health issues and type-2 diabetes.

Have you ever wondered why is it so difficult to lose fat in and around the belly area? It is because you have visceral fat stored in the abdomen, which is hard to lose. After all, it is hidden and stored in between your vital organs. It is not like subcutaneous fat, which is under the skin.

Visceral fat accumulates in the intra-abdominal space. Adipose tissues are fat cells stored in your body. When these adipose tissues get stored in and around the belly area, the belly bulges out. Likewise, it is when visceral fat accumulation starts to take place. When visceral fat gets stored in the belly area, the body’s shape is known as an apple-shaped body or android obesity.

How to Know if You Have Visceral Fat?

You have to measure your waist in inches and refer to the information below. It will tell you if you have visceral fat or not. Easy right! The reference range of an average waist circumference is:

  • Adult Men: less than or equal to 94 cms (37 inches)
  • Adult Women: less than or equal to 80 cms (31 inches)

If your waist circumference is below this range, do not worry much. Just try to maintain that waist size. However, if your waist circumference exceeds the range given above, you must strive to achieve a healthier waist size.

The clinical measurement method uses an MRI scan or body fat analyser to measure a person’s visceral fat. The result falls somewhere on a scale between 1 and 59. If you undergo an analyser like that, the result should fall under 9 on the scale. Anything above 11-13 demands immediate attention.

Causes of Visceral Fat Accumulation

  • Overeating and binge eating
  • Eating junk food regularly like burgers, and pizza
  • Drinking sodas, carbonated beverages, and sugary drinks
  • Sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity
  • Always sitting and working with your pc or laptop
  • Improper meal timings or no routine meals
  • Snacking throughout the day
  • Irregular sleeping pattern
  • Stress
  • Smoking and alcohol
  • Intake of highly processed fatty foods like mayonnaise, cheese, and butter
  • Consuming cakes, pastries, and chocolates

Dietary Modifications for Getting Rid of Visceral Fat

Diet plays a significant role in achieving a person’s health and fitness. However, the diet needs an overhaul if you want to achieve a healthy body free from diseases. However, do not fall for the fast and fad diets; many claim instant results. 

Remember that the visceral fat accumulates in the belly, which you see protruding out due to years and months of unhealthy eating practices and lifestyle. You cannot reduce it with the blink of an eye or fast methods. Fast methods might give temporary effects, not permanent. But, quick ways are unhealthy and not proven scientifically at all.

Hence, the best diet for healthy living is a balanced diet. It is versatile and easy to follow. You can have a preference for any particular cuisine, but the key is to follow a balanced diet. You have to make sure you include all the essential food groups mentioned below:

  • Carbohydrates: 60-65% of your energy comes from carbohydrates. Some excellent and healthy carbohydrate sources to reduce visceral fat are whole grains like oats. broken wheat, and ragi. You should also include other healthy whole grains, multigrain, millet, and multi millet products.
  • Proteins: 15-20 % of your total energy should come from proteins. In addition, they provide the body with all the essential amino acids. Good protein sources are milk and some milk-based products, egg, pulses, beans, and lean protein sources like chicken.
  • Fats: Good fats are healthy and essential for your body and provides energy. Sources of good fats are nuts, oilseeds, plant-based oils, and fish.
  • Vegetables: There should be ample vegetables in the diet. They provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Fruits: The antioxidants in fruits protects the body from various diseases. Therefore, you should include whole citrus fruits and not juices, melons, and berries.

Essential Nutrients that Help Reduce Visceral Fat

There are precisely two nutrients that help to reduce abdominal fat. These are:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D

These two vitamins complement each other and work in your body in tandem. Therefore, they help each other’s effectiveness. For example, a study has shown the beneficial effect of calcium and vitamin D in reducing visceral fat stored in the abdomen. Calcium helps in reducing visceral fat by preventing the production of fat-storage hormones. Vitamin D works by enhancing the production of leptin, the satiety hormone. Thus, adequate amounts of vitamin D help reach satiety earlier and reduce visceral fat deposition.

Foods to Include


It is a low-calorie vegetable. It has a lot of moisture, and its fibre content aids in better digestion and absorption of nutrients. As a result, your metabolism will increase by consuming spinach. According to research, spinach also helps maintain blood sugar levels and harmful cholesterol levels. You can drink it as a smoothie, eat it for salad, and wrap for starters. 

Nutritional Information for 100 Grams:

  • Calories: 23 kCal
  • Carbohydrates: 3.6 g
  • Fibre: 2.2 g
  • Protein: 2.8 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Vitamin A: 9380 IU
  • Calcium: 99 mg
  • Iron: 2.7 mg
  • Magnesium: 79 mg
  • Phosphorous: 49 mg
  • Potassium: 558 mg
  • Sodium: 79 mg


It has several qualities that make it an excellent weight-loss food. First, it is low in calories but packs a punch in bulk, which should help you reach satiety easily. Kale has a low energy density due to its low calorie and high water content. Numerous studies have indicated that eating many low-energy-density foods will help you lose weight. Kale also has some protein and high fibre content. They are two of the most crucial nutrients for losing visceral fat. You can consume kale as a smoothie, a bed for salad, and a wrap for quick meals. 

Nutritional Information for 100 Grams:

  • Calories: 35 kCal
  • Carbohydrates: 4.4 g   
  • Fibre: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 2.9 g
  • Fat: 1.4 g
  • Vitamin A: 4180 IU
  • Calcium: 254 mg
  • Iron: 1.6 mg
  • Magnesium: 33 mg
  • Phosphorous: 55 mg
  • Potassium: 348 mg
  • Sodium: 53 mg


Quinoa is a complete protein source, containing all essential amino acids. You can safely include this excellent plant-based source of protein in the diet of vegetarians who frequently find themselves short on options. Quinoa is abundant in lysine, an amino acid necessary for tissue growth and repair. Protein promotes fullness and controls cravings by regulating the hunger hormone ghrelin. It keeps you fuller for longer and helps you overeat less. Quinoa is a good source of fibre in addition to protein. Fibre takes a long time to break down and digest, keeping you full and avoiding overeating.

Compared to most other grains, quinoa has a substantially higher fibre content. Fibre aids digestion by providing bulk to the food. Any weight-loss journey must include a healthy digestive system. Unfortunately, poor digestion can also slow down your metabolism, making it more challenging to achieve your weight-loss goals. Quinoa is easy to digest and gluten-free. You can consume it as porridge, a savoury dish with chicken and herbs, and a main cereal with tossed veggies.

Nutritional Information for uncooked 100 Grams:

  • Calories: 368 kCals
  • Carbohydrates: 64.2 g
  • Fibre: 7 g
  • Protein: 14.1 g
  • Fat: 6 g 
  • Calcium: 47 mg
  • Iron: 4.5 mg
  • Magnesium: 197 mg
  • Phosphorous: 457 mg
  • Potassium: 563 mg


It is a weight-loss superfood that is substantial in protein and low in calories, making it an ideal snack for maintaining a flat stomach. In addition, because oats take a long time to digest in the body, they burn a lot of calories. It is why oats are a fantastic source of energy throughout the day. It also lowers cholesterol levels. You can consume them as a porridge, savoury dish with chicken, paneer or tofu and herbs and main cereal with lentil veggies soup.

Nutritional Information for 100 Grams:

  • Calories: 389
  • Carbohydrates: 66.3 g
  • Fibre: 10.6 g
  • Protein: 13.2 g
  • Fat: 6.9 g
  • Calcium: 52 mg
  • Iron: 4.7 mg
  • Magnesium: 138 mg
  • Phosphorous: 410 mg
  • Potassium: 362 mg


This low-calorie vegetable belongs to the cruciferous family. By fermenting cabbage, you can boost its health advantages even further. People claim to lose visceral fat by eating cabbage and cabbage soup daily. What is the rationale behind this, though? You may understand well that no food alone can cause weight loss. So, the secret to losing weight is to eat foods low in calories and high in fibre. Filling up on low-calorie items lowers your overall calorie consumption, causing you to lose visceral fat over time. 

You can consume cabbage as a fermented pickle, bed for salad, and steamed side dish with cereal.

Nutritional Information for 100 Grams:

  • Calories: 25
  • Carbohydrates: 5.8 g  
  • Fibre: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Vitamin C: 36.6 mg  
  • Calcium: 40 mg
  • Magnesium: 12 mg
  • Phosphorous: 26 mg
  • Potassium: 170 mg
  • Sodium: 18 mg

Sesame Seeds

The dietary fibre level of sesame seeds is high. Fibre is essential for weight loss because it contributes to a healthy digestive tract. Furthermore, fibre-rich foods keep your stomach fuller, limiting overeating or binge-eating. Fibre also aids in the constant entry of glucose and fats into the bloodstream, controlling blood sugar levels. As a result, it prevents a sharp drop in blood sugar that can make you hungry again.

Sesame seeds are high in lignans, which encourage the body to release more fat-burning liver enzymes, aiding fat loss. Sesame seeds, also known as til, are a good source of protein that can help you lose visceral fat by increasing your metabolic rate and curbing hunger. You can use sesame seeds as topping in salads and smoothies, powder in millet pancakes, and nutty flavour to multigrain bread.

Nutritional Information for 100 Grams:

  • Calories: 573 kCal
  • Carbohydrates: 23.4 g
  • Fibre: 11.8 g
  • Protein: 17.7 g
  • Fat: 49.7 g
  • Calcium: 975 mg
  • Iron: 14.6 mg
  • Magnesium: 351 mg
  • Phosphorous: 629 mg
  • Potassium: 468 mg
  • Selenium: 34.4 ug 


Salmon is rich in protein and good fat. Protein helps you lose visceral fat by boosting your metabolism and increasing your satiety and fullness. It is also a necessary macronutrient for developing and repairing lean muscle tissue. Remember that the only method to lose visceral fat is to generate a calorie deficit. Therefore salmon won’t make you lose visceral fat by itself. However, it may help you feel full and content when eating a low-calorie diet and provide you with some wonderful nutrients that keep you active and feeling well.

You can consume salmon as a baked dish, the main ingredient for tossed salads and as a side dish with cereal.

Nutritional Information for 100 Grams:

  • Calories: 232 kCal
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fibre: 0 g
  • Protein: 19 g
  • Fat: 15.5 g
  • Calcium: 14 mg
  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid: 2.5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fatty Acid: 2.1 g
  • Vitamin B12: 3.1 ug 
  • Vitamin A: 40 IU  
  • Sodium: 63 mg

Foods to Avoid

  • Pizza
  • Burger
  • Soda
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Sugary beverages
  • Fruit juices as whole fruits are better
  • Bakery and confectionery products like cakes and pastries
  • Cigarette and alcohol
  • Highly processed foods like mayonnaise, butter, sauces, and dips 
  • Foods made from refined cereals and sugars

Risk Factors

Having visceral fat deposited in the abdomen for years may lead to the development of the following:

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Concerns about the liver and gastrointestinal tract
  • Gout
  • High blood pressure
  • Metabolic disorders

Other Important Tips to Follow to Get Rid of Visceral Fat

Physical Activity

Being physically active is the healthiest way to burn fat. Some examples of physical activity are brisk walking, rope jumping or skipping, aerobics, dancing, Zumba, swimming, and jogging. Also, playing favourite sports like football, basketball, cricket, volleyball, and handball help.


Getting 7-8 hours of sound sleep is very important. Lack of rest lowers the metabolism, which leads to weight gain. Optimum sleep helps in reducing overall weight and visceral fat.


It is a significant factor in fat deposition in the belly area. In addition, stress leads to unmindful eating, and junk eating leads to fat deposition.

Water Intake

Adequate water intake helps to keep the body hydrated and free from problems. 3-4 litres of water in a day is ideal, depending upon your physical activity.


Visceral fat is a hidden fat that we cannot see. Hence, at times we fail to realise the accumulation of visceral fat. However, the adverse effects and the health risk is immediate. Therefore, you should seek advice from a healthcare professional even if you suspect visceral fat deposition in your body. 

Step into a healthier you by following a balanced diet. Lifestyle changes are a must to lose stubborn visceral fat. It might seem difficult in the beginning, but it’s possible. Start with a positive approach, and you will see good and healthy results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What burns the most visceral fat?

A. A balanced diet low in calories, high in fibre with an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables is the ideal diet to burn visceral fat the most. Along with this, a one-hour workout daily for a minimum of 5 days a week will help in reducing it. Adequate sleep and water intake are other factors that aid in burning the most visceral fat. 

Q. Can visceral fat be reversed?

A. Yes, you can reverse it. However, it will help if you also do diet and lifestyle modifications to change the visceral fat. A balanced diet low in calories and high in fibre with an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables is the ideal diet to reverse visceral fat the most. Along with this, a one-hour workout daily for a minimum of 5 days a week will help to change visceral fat.  

Q. Is visceral fat hard to lose?

A. Anything new may be challenging initially, but people get used to it with time. If you are a person who is sitting and working all day on your laptop or pc, then you may find it challenging to be physically active in the starting. Remember that nothing is impossible, and start working out daily, even if it is a short 10-minute workout. 

Q. What foods reduce visceral fat?

A. Low calorie, high fibre foods and rich protein sources help reduce visceral fat. Examples are quinoa, oats, millets, eggs, chicken, and fish. Other options include spinach, kale, cabbage, sesame seeds, flax seeds, berries, and melons. 

Q. How long does it take to lose visceral fat?

A. The period depends on you and you only. Suppose you get into a routine quickly of following a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. In that case, you may start seeing initial results in 2- 3 weeks. If you want to change your lifestyle gradually, you may take a bit longer to see results. Start with a positive note, and the duration of effects will depend solely on it.

Q. Are love handles subcutaneous or visceral fat?

A. Love handles are subcutaneous fat. It is the fat just under the skin. It is comparatively easier to lose than visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is throughout the human body and provides elasticity to the skin and plumpness to the cheeks. 

Q. How do you get rid of stubborn lower back fat?

A. A balanced diet low in calories, rich in proteins and high in fibre with an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables is the ideal diet to get rid of stubborn lower back fat. Along with this, a 45-60 minutes workout daily for a minimum of 5 days a week will help in reducing stubborn lower back fat. Adequate sleep and water intake are other factors that aid in burning it. 

Q. What causes flank fat?

A. Fat accumulation causes flank fat. The new food gets stored in the body as fat. It accumulates around the waistline and hips and makes you look healthier. The primary cause of flank fat formation is eating refined carbohydrates and processed foods. 

Q. What exercises burn back fat?

A. Core exercises like planks, push-ups, glute bridges, knee-ups, sit-ups, leg raises, plank knee, and side plank will burn back fat. Also, exercises like burpees, rope jumping, running, and sprints will help lose overall fat. You should choose the activity which is the most convenient for you.

About the Author

According to Hiral, “Striving to be better than yesterday, is the key to achieving any goal that is ahead of you”. As a diet and lifestyle consultant, Hiral intends to help her clients inculcate habits such as healthy eating and regular exercise to improve their lifestyle holistically for a better tomorrow. She also aims to make her clients feel good from the inside-out and bring about a positive change to their overall life.

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