Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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One way to know if you’re carrying too much visceral fat – whether you’re slim or not – is to measure your waist circumference. Take a flexible tape measure and place it around your midriff, horizontal to your belly button. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) specified that the tape measure should be placed at the “midpoint between the bottom of [the] ribs and top of [the] hips”.
Do I have too much visceral fat?
Females with a waist circumference of 31.5 inches or more are at higher risk of health complications.
Meanwhile, males with a waist circumference of 37 inches or more are at higher risk of health complications.
How to get rid of visceral fat
One of the best ways to reduce visceral fat levels is to avoid alcoholic beverages.
According to the researchers at the Department of Internal Medicine at University Hospital, Switzerland, this notion is valid.
Several studies they cited had shown that alcohol suppresses fat burning within the body.
Furthermore, the excess calories gained from drinking alcohol are partly stored as belly fat.
This can probably explain the term “beer belly”, so it might be best to avoid a beer completely if you want to get rid of visceral fat.
The Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion at Yonsei University, Korea, explored the association between alcohol and abdominal obesity.
There were 8,603 participants involved in their experiment aged between 30 years of age to 87.
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All participants had their waist circumference measured, with abdominal obesity classified as:
- More than 90cm (around 35 inches) for men
- More than 85cm (around 33 inches) for women
Each participant also had their alcohol intake classified into one of four groups:
- 1-10g of alcohol daily
- 11-20g of alcohol daily
- Over 20g of alcohol daily
“A high alcohol intake was associated with high waist circumference in both genders,” the researchers noted.
The group consuming more than 20g of alcohol daily – irregardless of sex – had larger waist circumferences compared to non-drinkers.
Another research team from Barcelona, Spain, said: “Consuming more than three drinks of alcohol (30g) was significantly associated with the risk of abdominal obesity.”
How many calories are there in alcohol?
The charity Drinkaware have a useful tool where you can see how many calories you’re consuming depending on what you drink and how much.
For example, one medium (175ml) of 13 percent ABV wine can equate to 159 calories.
A four percent ABV pint of beer (568ml) is equivalent to about 182 calories.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) warned: “Alcohol can lead to weight gain.”
The calories within alcohol are known as “empty calories” because they contain “no nutritional value”.
The HSE confirmed that drinking alcohol “slows down your metabolic rate and reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy”.
In addition, alcohol can trigger the part of the brain that makes you feel hungry, so you’re more likely to eat more.
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