5 Drinking Habits for Visceral Fat That Really Work, Say Dietitians
Visceral fat can be sneaky—it's the belly fat that wraps around your abdomen in the spaces between your organs. Due to its location, you can't always feel it or see it. Too much of this fat can lead to serious health problems such as an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea.
This type of fat accumulates when you consume too many calories and have too little physical activity, resulting from a poor diet and minimal exercise. It can also form due to genetics, which is why it's important to maintain healthy eating habits and follow a workout routine. Healthy drinking habits also play an essential role in losing visceral fat.
Don't know where to start? Dietitians on our medical expert board have provided advice on drinking habits to help shed visceral fat that are guaranteed to work. And be sure to also check out Drinking Habits To Avoid if You Don't Want Visceral Fat, Say Dietitians.
Sip on watermelon juice.
If you're looking for a naturally sweet drink that is loaded with nutrients, watermelon juice hits the spot.
"Sipping on the juice of the watermelon can be a nice addition to a visceral fat loss diet, especially if a bit of flavor is desired," says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility. "Watermelon is over 90% water, making it a hydrating and low-calorie choice that can help support weight loss, and ultimately, visceral fat loss."
Data from a study posted in the Nutrients Journal shows that eating watermelon is linked to decreased body weight, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, and waist-to-hip ratio.
Manaker also states that watermelon is a source of l-citrulline, an amino acid that offers many health benefits. She also references another animal study that links the intake of this amino acid and reduced body fat accumulation.
Drink more water.
Your body needs to drink a certain amount of water per day, typically around nine cups of water per day for women and about 12.5 cups for men. Water is not only an essential for your vital organs, it also plays a role in how much you eat during the day.
Young also suggests that because water is a beverage that contains zero calories, it makes for a great drink for reducing visceral fat and removing waste.
Limit sugary beverages.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are any beverages with added sugar or other sweeteners. This includes high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, and more. Examples of sugary drinks are soda, tonic, fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened powdered drinks, and sports and energy drinks.
"Sugary drinks like soda and sweetened iced teas cause blood sugar fluctuations, which are associated with inflammation and have been associated with weight gain, diabetes, and an increase in visceral fat," says Young.
Drink green tea instead of energy drinks for a mid-day boost.
Green tea comes with a hefty amount of benefits such as lowering bad cholesterol levels, helping brain function, and potentially preventing cancer, and giving you a longer life. It's also a great aid for weight loss due to its nutrients and antioxidants.
"Green tea naturally contains caffeine, which is a known ingredient that supports weight loss," says Manaker.
According to Young, caffeine can also help keep the metabolism revved up. She also suggests an added bonus is that there has been shown to be a connection between drinking green tea and reduced inflammation levels as well as a decrease in cardiovascular issues.
Green tea also naturally contains a compound called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may help promote fat breakdown through a unique process.
Skip the booze.
According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming excess alcohol of any kind can increase belly fat due to its large amount of calories.
"Alcohol can contribute to consuming empty calories, which can contribute to visceral fat gain," says Manaker. "Limiting or avoiding alcohol may be one step that can really help you combat your visceral fat."
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