The fat surrounding your organs is called visceral fat. If you carry excess fat in your belly, you're at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Luckily, visceral fat sheds faster than the pinchable subcutaneous fat. Lifestyle changes that include a healthy diet and daily exercise can greatly reduce your visceral fat.
Perform a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. For quicker results, aim for 250 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. If finding time is an issue, increase the intensity to vigorous aerobic activity for a minimum of 75 to 125 minutes per week. Moderate-intensity aerobics include a brisk walk and riding your bike slower than 10 miles per hour. Examples of vigorous-intensity activities include running, jogging and riding your bike faster than 10 miles per hour. A study at Duke University found that jogging 17 miles each week greatly reduces visceral fat.
Keep a calorie intake journal. Write down everything you consume throughout the day in a notebook. Include the type of food or beverage, the number of calories per serving and your number of servings. This journal should consist mainly of lean proteins and complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Be aware of dressings, dips and dish preparations since many of these are high in saturated fats and calories.
Control your portion sizes. There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat, so you must control portion sizes to accurately count your calories. To lose 1 pound per week, reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day. Most calorie reduction can be done by reducing your portion sizes. Skip the second plate, share restaurant meals and measure your foods based on the serving size listed on the nutrition label.
- Replace saturated and trans fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
- Mix up your exercise routines to prevent boredom from doing the same repetitive actions daily. If you're bored on a treadmill, try walking outside or riding your bike. In the winter, use an indoor track.
- Exercise with a friend. Hold each other accountable for weight-loss goals and be a source of motivation.