Visceral fat is the type of fat that accumulates near vital organs in the body, such as the liver and intestines. Visceral fat’s positioning makes it more likely to interfere with vital bodily processes, increasing your risk of life-threatening complications such as heart disease. It is therefore imperative to keep the belly fat at bay to lead a long and healthy life.
The study group were monitored over nine two-and-a-half-hour classes and a silent retreat day in which they were encouraged to practice their new meditations and mindful eating skills.
They were also encouraged to use the mindful skills at home in assignments of up to 30 minutes a day, six days a week, as well as before and during meals, and to log their mindfulness activity.
Both the study and control groups were given a two-hour nutrition and exercise information session.
By the end of the study period, all participants were measured for abdominal fat distribution, as well as blood cortisol levels.
What did the study find out?
Blood levels of cortisol were lower in the treatment group overall when compared with the control group.
When only the obese subjects were analysed, however, the lower levels were significant.
In addition, the participants who had the greatest improvements in mindful eating, who were more aware of their hunger sensations and more successful at lowering chronic stress, had the largest reductions in abdominal fat — just under one pound, during the four-month intervention.
This loss of fat in the belly region happened even without a change in body weight.
The obese subjects in the control group, by contrast, gained weight on average during the study period.
Exercise tips to beat visceral fat
According to Harvard Health, engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day), is a tried-and-tested weight-loss strategy.
Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat.
“Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat,” adds the health body.
Published at Tue, 05 May 2020 11:48:00 +0000