Hey guys, a common question that the nutrition coaches get is… “What’s the deal with this visceral fat number on my InBody scan?”… What is it, and why is it important to know about? This blog post will help you get the skinny on visceral fat!
Visceral fat is the body fat that lies deeper in the abdomen, near the body’s vital organs, including the liver, stomach, pancreas, and intestines. Higher levels of visceral fat cause stress on these vital organs, leaving us at risk for developing some serious health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
At Progression Fitness, we measure visceral fat levels using an InBody scanner. According to InBody, it is important to keep visceral fat levels lower than a level 10 over time. If you do get an InBody scan and you find that your visceral fat level is greater than 10, it is important to talk with one of the coaches to talk about the 3 main lifestyle interventions – exercise, nutrition and stress management- to lower your visceral fat number. Also important to measure are waist and hip measurements to help people understand their risk. Over time, it is important for women to keep waist measurements below 35 inches and for men, less than 40 inches to decrease the risk of developing health problems associated with higher visceral fat levels.
3 main ways to lower visceral fat.
Now that you have a little background on what visceral fat is, we want to review the 3 main ways to lower visceral fat and keep this at a healthy level.
First, we want to talk about exercise. To lower visceral fat and keep visceral fat at a healthy level, it is important to include a combination of cardiovascular exercise, which raises your heart rate, as well as strength training, which improves muscle size, into your routine, aiming for 30 minutes per day of cardio exercise 5 days a week, and strength training at least 3 times per week. Cardio exercises include: Running, biking, rowing and swimming. Strength training exercises include: Squatting, pushups, and lifting weights. The beauty of the workouts at Progression are that they include both cardio and strength training exercises.
Next, it is important to look at stress management to lower visceral fat and keep visceral fat at a healthy level. When we are under alot of stress, our body secretes a hormone called cortisol. When we experience high levels of stress frequently, exposure to high levels of cortisol leads us to storing excess visceral fat. Stress reduction methods like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help with lowering stress and in turn, help to lower visceral fat levels. The yoga classes at Progression Fitness provide a nice opportunity to help you reduce stress. We encourage you to check out the yoga classes at Progression and work them into your weekly gym schedule!
Finally, we want to talk about the importance of paying attention to our nutrition to lower visceral fat and keep visceral fat at a healthy level. Working on incorporating more real foods like lean proteins and vegetables, and reducing the amounts of sugar, high fat, and highly processed foods in our diet, along with paying attention to how we prepare our foods is key. Switching from frying our food to baking or broiling and using healthy oils like olive oil can help with lowering visceral fat levels. Improving Nutrition is a huge part of keeping visceral fat levels at a healthy level and why we offer individual nutrition coaching at Progression.
Got goals? Chat with us.
If lowering your visceral fat level is a goal of yours, we recommend scheduling a free intro with one of the nutrition coaches to come up with an individualized program to meet this goal. Here’s the link to book your free nutrition intro: