How to Break a Weight Loss Plateau

All fat loss journeys start off the same way — you’re steadily dropping pounds each week and all you’ve really done is cut back on the amount of “bad” foods you’ve been eating all the time. The number on the scale keeps falling and weight loss seems all too easy. All of a sudden after a few weeks of enjoying this “effortless weight loss” everything comes to a grinding halt — the scale number stopped going down, you’re not losing fat anymore, and you’re wondering what in the world possibly went wrong!

Technically speaking, you’ve done absolutely nothing “wrong”, but you have hit the inevitable weight loss plateau, just like millions of other people have during their own fat loss journey. While that might not seem comforting in the least bit, then maybe this will — plateaus were meant to be BROKEN, and with these five tips, you’ll have a number of ways to break through your plateau and re-ignite your fat loss once again!

5 Ways to Shatter Weight Loss Plateaus

  • Re-calculate calories

    The reason you’ve hit a weight loss plateau is that unfortunately your metabolic rate slows down as you lose more and more weight. The simple truth is that your body uses a certain number of calories to maintain your original starting weight. As you lose weight, your body carries less mass, and in response, your metabolism downshifts to accommodate the reduced caloric demand. Research shows that for every pound of weight you lose, you’re burning 6.8 fewer calories on average. [1]

    To compensate for your lower energy needs, you’ll have to recalculate your macros and caloric needs each day. A good guideline to follow when dieting is to re-evaluate your caloric needs every few weeks as the weight continues to drop, and in all likelihood, you’ll have to reduce calories further to continue losing weight.

    However it’s important to not drop calories too far, too fast as that could lead to another fat loss plateau. That brings us to the next plateau buster, which can be used in lieu of or in tandem with reducing calories.

  • Increase Exercise Intensity or Frequency

    If you don’t want to drop calories any further or are so low that you can’t really afford to lower your calories, another option to restart fat loss is to increase the intensity and / or frequency of your exercise routine. Remember, weight loss comes down to calories in versus calories out. By increasing your caloric burn each day through exercise, you’ll rev up your metabolism sparking new fat loss.

  • Cycle Calories

    Calorie cycling is a style of eating where you alternate between high and low-calorie intakes for different days of the week. This method of eating is especially useful when trying to burn those “last five pounds” and often only used when all other plateau-busting measures have been exhausted. By alternating your daily intake, you’re preventing your body’s metabolism from getting too accustomed to a set intake, and thereby stopping your by from lowering its metabolic rate and instilling a weight loss plateau. In other words, think of calorie cycling as “metabolic confusion” for your body. By constantly changing things up, your body never really adapts to one set intake.

  • Manage Stress

    Dieting is a stressful enterprise, and sometimes, it gets a bit too much for even the most even-keeled individuals. When you’re stressed, you increase production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can trigger food cravings like you wouldn’t believe. On top of that having chronically elevated cortisol levels can promote fat gain, especially in women, and make it incredibly difficult to build or maintain muscle mass. [2,3]

    Therefore, finding ways to reduce or control stress is essential to maintaining steady weight loss. If you find you’ve been at a plateau for over 2 weeks, consider re-evaluating your situation in life. Are you more stressed than usual? Are there other factors outside of dieting stressing you out?

    If so, find ways to work around or improve the factors causing you stress, and once they’re addressed, watch the fat loss continue on at a steady pace!

  • Take a break

    As strange as this may sound, sometimes your body and mind just need a break and “reset.” Dieting for prolonged periods of time is taxing to your body and mind, and no amount of tip or trick will break the weight loss plateau.

    If you’ve tried everything else and still can’t figure things out, try eating back at maintenance calories for a week or two, then restart your diet eating at a caloric deficit and you’ll be surprised to find out that weight loss has started all over again. Sometimes, the body just needs a break from the stresses of dieting to readjust, reset, and reignite its fat burning mechanisms.

References

  1. Schwartz A, Doucet E. Relative changes in resting energy expenditure during weight loss: a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2010;11(7):531-547. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2009.00654.x.
  2. Moyer AE, Rodin J, Grilo CM, Cummings N, Larson LM, Rebuffe-Scrive M. Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women. Obes Res. 1994;2(3):255-262.
  3. Warne JP. Shaping the stress response: interplay of palatable food choices, glucocorticoids, insulin and abdominal obesity. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2009;300(1-2):137-146. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2008.09.036.

Diuretics 101: A Complete Guide to Dropping Water Weight

Water weight — everyone has it, some more than others, but no one really likes it. Water weight covers up the lean, sexy, flat stomach you’ve worked so hard to get, and no matter how much cardio, calorie cutting, or caffeine chugging you do, nothing seems to get rid of it.

Diuretics are often used to help flush unwanted water weight from the body, but they’re a controversial topic, especially in the world of bodybuilding and modeling.

What do they do? Should they be used? Are they safe? How do you know if you should even consider them?

We’ve got all that answered and a whole lot more, including the best natural diuretics you can find right in your house ahead in our complete guide to helping you get rid of that unwanted water weight!

What are Diuretics?

Diuretics, also known as water pills, are medications used to enhance water and salt removal from the body through urine. They’re commonly used to treat high blood pressure, but diuretics also find use in the treatment of numerous other conditions including:

  • Tissue swelling (i.e. swollen feet, ankles, legs, etc.)
  • Diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cirrhosis
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Kidney stones
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

How do Diuretics Work?

When discussing prescription grade diuretics, they typically fall into one of three categories:

Osmotic Diuretics

Osmotic diuretics are injectable drugs that act directly on the kidneys by instructing them to remove anything and everything that enters. These diuretics don’t discriminate between certain minerals (sodium, potassium, etc.). They remove any and all water entering the kidneys.

Osmotic diuretics essentially override the normal, natural function of the kidneys, and can lead to renal failure, if misused.

Potassium-Sparing Diuretics

Potassium-sparing diuretics are milder in their actions than the osmotic diuretics described above, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own disadvantages. Names, potassium-sparing diuretics reduce sodium and water reabsorption through the kidneys and expel them through the urine.

However, unlike osmotic diuretics that eliminate everything, potassium-sparing diuretics retain potassium. But, too much potassium can be hazardous as is too little, as too much potassium in the body, in extreme cases, can lead to cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or sudden death.

Loop Diuretics

The third and final class of prescription diuretics comes in the form of loop diuretics. This also happens to be the class of diuretics most frequently used in the world of bodybuilding, with furosemide being the common one used by top level bodybuilders.

Loop diuretics are typically prescribed to treat high blood pressure and edema (fluid retention). They’re also used to rid the blood of toxins and hazardous foreign agents in the instance of blood poisoning.

Similar to osmotic diuretics, loop diuretics act directly on the kidneys and do no discriminate in which fluids or minerals are flushed from the kidneys, meaning they have a tremendous impact on the overall balance of electrolytes in the body as they remove sodium, potassium, calcium and water.

Side effects experienced with loop diuretics include thickening of the blood, drop in blood pressure, fainting, renal failure, extreme cramping, and even death (due to muscular cramping of the heart).

Loop diuretics are extremely powerful, and when they are used in conjunction with other water removal techniques employed during peak week for a contest, can have serious effects on your health and well-being.

Common Side Effects of Prescription Diuretics

Prescription diuretics are extremely powerful and have been known to lead to serious consequences when they are abused. Overall though, diuretics are safe when used appropriately.

Common side effects of diuretics include:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rash
  • Headaches

In the extreme cases, most often experienced in the world of bodybuilding, abuse of diuretics has resulted in several unfortunate and untimely deaths, not to mention the countless hospitalizations that have occurred in the days leading up to a big contest.

Who Should Use Diuretics?

Aside from physique competitors getting ready for the stage or models prepping for a photo shoot, diuretics are also frequently prescribed to individuals who are retaining too much fluid, a condition called edema.

How to Lose Water Weight

Eliminating unsightly water weight can be accomplished in a number of ways that don’t involve you taking some potentially hazardous chemicals. These diuretic alternatives include:

  • Decreasing or eliminating sodium from the diet
  • Increasing cardio workouts
  • Consuming greater amounts of water followed by a sudden and dramatic reduction in water intake
  • Drinking distilled water, free of any minerals or electrolytes
  • All natural, herbal diuretics

The Top 10 Best Natural Diuretics

Fortunately, if you are looking to shed some unwanted water weight either for beach season or the competition stage you don’t have to resort to a bunch of potentially hazardous pharmaceuticals. You can use the much safer, more natural water-ridding agents found in a number of plants including:

  • Dandelion

    While most think of the common dandelion as just a really pretty weed growing on the side of the road, it’s actually a pretty potent natural diuretic. Research has shown that dandelion increases activity of the kidneys as well as frequency of urination.[1]

    The reason dandelion is so effective at shedding water weight is its taraxasterol content, which are phytochemicals that support excess water secretion and improve the body’s natural detoxification processes.

    Perhaps best of all, dandelion also helps flush excess water without dehydrating you, as it is naturally high in potassium, a vital mineral lost in abundance when dealing with prescription diuretics.

  • Hawthorn

    A relative of the rose family, hawthorn is another powerful plant diuretic that reduces fluid buildup in the body, a key factor in treating congestive heart failure. Research has shown that the hawthorn can increase urinary excretion and flow [3], and is one of the primary reasons Hawthorn berries have been used to treat kidney problems.

  • Horsetail

    Historically used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, horsetail is an herb used to treat a variety of conditions including everything from ulcers to tuberculosis.[4] Research has found horsetail to be as effective as prescription medications[5], but with fewer side effects, making it a better alternative for removing excess water than prescription diuretics, especially if you may have experienced problems with prescription-grade diuretics in the past.

    Interestingly enough, horsetail can also be brewed as a tea, if you prefer to drink your diuretics.

  • Uva Ursi

    Also known as Bearberry, Uva Ursi contains a compound known as arbutin, which has been shown to exert strong diuretic effects in the body. The plant has traditionally been used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs).

    Studies show the plant triggers a rapid release of fluid from the body through the urinary tract, decreasing water retention without putting undue stress on the kidneys. [6,7] Uva Ursi has also been used in the cosmetics field for its skin-whitening abilities due to its ability to inhibit melanin synthesis. [8]

  • Juniper

    Juniper’s use as a diuretic dates back to medieval times, and for good reason, and it’s been shown to have a rather potent effect on urine volume.[9] The plant has also been used to treat other ailments including gout, nerve pain, arthritis, and even the common cold.

    Juniper is able to increase urine volume due to a compound in Juniper called terpinen-4-ol[10], and, similar to other all natural diuretics, juniper is able to increase water removal without depleting potassium.[11]

  • Corn Silk

    We already know what you’re thinking….

    “Is this the same thread that gets stuck in my teeth when eating corn on the cob?”

    You bet it is, and addition to being a nuisance when trying to enjoy a delicious summer food, it’s also great for getting rid of that unwanted water weight. Historically, corn silk was also used to treat bladder infections, prostate inflammation, kidney stone formation, and even bedwetting. Today, corn silk is brewed in various cultures as a tea and consumed to treat these conditions.

    Modern research notes that corn silk reduces the symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs) as may even enhance glucose metabolism. [12,13]

  • Tea (Green & Black)

    Next to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage on the planet. Yes, even more than coffee or Red Bulls. Aside from helping you wind down after a tough day at work, tea may also be helping to eliminate some unwanted water weight, and studies have shown that both green and black tea exerts pro-diuretic effects in the body. [14,15]

  • Hibiscus

    Commonly found in well-maintained home gardens, hibiscus has more to offer than just the appearance of its beautiful flowers. Numerous studies have shown that the attractive flower exerts powerful diuretic effects and even boosts the filtration ability of your kidneys. [16,17]

    Similar to some of the other botanical diuretics we’ve discussed, hibiscus can also be brewed and consumed as a tea.

  • Urtica Dioica

    More frequently found under its easier to pronounce name, stinging nettle, urtica dioica is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant offering a wealth of benefits to you that extends beyond eliminating excess water. Some of these benefits including reducing inflammation, reducing blood pressure, and decreasing blood sugar.

    More pertinent to our discussion of its pro-diuretic benefits, stinging nettle helps remove remove excess sodium and water from the body by increasing urine flow. [18,19]

  • Celery

    Yes, a common household food and staple of numerous cuisines, celery also serves as an effective, all-natural diuretic. Research found it to exert antihypertensive (blood pressure lowering) and diuretic effects comparable to prescription grade diuretics. [20]

Other Top Diuretic Foods

Besides the ten all-natural diuretics detailed above, there are a few other more common foods you can add to your diet to help get rid of unwanted bloating and excess water weight. These foods include:

  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Watermelon
  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Onions

Basically, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, while removing salt-laden, hyper processed foods is crucial to losing that unwanted water weight.

Should I use Diuretics?

This is a loaded question, and it really depends on your particular circumstances.

If you’re 50 pounds overweight and just beginning a fat loss journey, diuretics are not the first thing you should turn to to fix your problem. A stout exercise program and clean diet are. But, if you’re a few days out from a competition or a big photo shoot, you’re certainly an ideal candidate for natural diuretics.

If you fall into the latter category, we’ve got just solution for you too!

Hydra Steel — The Natural Way to Lose Water Weight

The lean, ripped, and dry physique showcased by elite physique competitors and muscle magazine models can be your, and it doesn’t require any fancy filters, photoshopping, or angling. SteelFit has developed the ultimate fast acting and all-natural diuretic in Hydra Steel.

Using a mix of natural herbal supplements, Hydra Steel gets you ready for the stage or beach in only 10 days, without depleting those essential electrolytes you need to sustain performance in your workouts.

When it’s time to not only get lean, but absolutely bone dry, the only choice is Hydra Steel.

References

  1. Rácz-Kotilla E, Rácz G, Solomon A; The action of Taraxacum officinale extracts on the body weight and diuresis of laboratory animals . Planta Med. (1974)
  2. Clare BA, Conroy RS, Spelman K. The Diuretic Effect in Human Subjects of an Extract of Taraxacum officinale Folium over a Single Day. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2009;15(8):929-934. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0152.
  3. Dizaye K. Antihyperuricemic and Diuretic Effects of Procyanidins Extracted from Crataegus Monogyna. Vol 6.; 2011. doi:10.15218/zjms.2011.0009.
  4. Pérez Gutiérrez RM,  Laguna GY, Walkowski A. Diuretic activity of Mexican equisetum. J Ethnopharmacol. 1985 Nov-Dec;14(2-3):269-72.
  5. Danilo Maciel Carneiro, Ramias Calixto Freire, Tereza Cristina de Deus Honório, et al., “Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial to Assess the Acute Diuretic Effect of Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail) in Healthy Volunteers,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2014, Article ID 760683, 8 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/760683
  6. Gohari A-R, Saeidnia S. The role of herbal medicines in treatment of urinary tract diseases. Journal of Nephropharmacology. 2014;3(1):13-14.
  7. Beaux D, Fleurentin J, Mortier F. Effect of extracts of Orthosiphon stamineus Benth, Hieracium pilosella L., Sambucus nigra L. and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. in rats. Phytother Res. 1999;13(3):222-225. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199905)13:3<222::AID-PTR447>3.0.CO;2-P.
  8. Zen J-M, Yang H-H, Chiu M-H, Yang C-H, Shih Y. Selective determination of arbutin in cosmetic products through online derivatization followed by disposable electrochemical sensor. J AOAC Int. 2011;94(3):985-990.
  9. M. Denise Dearing, Antonio M. Mangione, William H. Karasov; Plant Secondary Compounds as Diuretics: An Overlooked Consequence, Integrative and Comparative Biology, Volume 41, Issue 4, 1 August 2001, Pages 890–901, https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/41.4.890
  10. Tyler VE. Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. Binghamton, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1994, 76-7.
  11. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckman J. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000, 218-20.
  12. Guo J, Liu T, Han L, Liu Y. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2009;6(1):47. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-6-47.
  13. Ahmed Salih Sahib S. Use of Aqueous Extract of Corn Silk in the Treatment of Urinary Tract Infection. Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology. 2012;1(2):93-96.
  14. Manodeep Chakraborty, Jagadish V. Kamath, and Ananya Bhattacharjee, “Potential Interaction of Green Tea Extract with Hydrochlorothiazide on Diuretic Activity in Rats,” International Scholarly Research Notices, vol. 2014, Article ID 273908, 5 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/273908
  15. Abeywickrama KRW, Ratnasooriya W, Amarakoon AMT. Oral diuretic activity of hot water infusion of Sri Lankan black tea (Camellia sinensis L.) in rats. Pharmacogn Mag. 2010;6(24):271-277. doi:10.4103/0973-1296.71788.
  16. Jiménez-Ferrer E, Alarcón-Alonso J, Aguilar-Rojas A, et al. Diuretic Effect of Compounds from Hibiscus sabdariffa by Modulation of the Aldosterone Activity. Planta Med. 2012;78(18):1893-1898. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1327864.
  17. Alarcón-Alonso J, Zamilpa A, Aguilar FA, Herrera-Ruiz M, Tortoriello J, Jimenez-Ferrer E. Pharmacological characterization of the diuretic effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn (Malvaceae) extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012;139(3):751-756. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.005.
  18. Yarnell E. Botanical medicines for the urinary tract. World J Urol. 2002;20(5):285-293. doi:10.1007/s00345-002-0293-0.
  19. Tahri A, Yamani S, Legssyer A, et al. Acute diuretic, natriuretic and hypotensive effects of a continuous perfusion of  aqueous extract of Urtica dioica in the rat. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;73(1-2):95-100.
  20. Moghadam MH, Imenshahidi M, Mohajeri SA. Antihypertensive Effect of Celery Seed on Rat Blood Pressure in Chronic Administration. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2013;16(6):558-563. doi:10.1089/jmf.2012.2664.

What Are Feeder Workouts?

Typical resistance-training recommendations are as follows:

  • Train a group of muscle intensely and don’t train it again for another 48-72 hoursOR
  • Assault one muscle group with everything you have and don’t train it again for another 5-7 days, or until you’re not sore.

No doubt you’ve heard these same recommendations, or something very similar to them, at one point or another in your lifting career. The reality is, neither of these recommendations hold much water and these “rules of lifting” may actually be holding you back from bigger and better muscle gains.

What if you could actually work the same muscle group(s) on consecutive days and have it not inhibit recovery, but actually promote growth?!

You’d probably think we were crazy.

Well, there’s a little something called feeder workouts, and it may be just what you need to bring up those lagging body parts once and for all!

What are Feeder Workouts?

Feeder workouts are “mini” workouts completed completely separate from your regular workout. In other words, the day after a heavy lifting day, you do a separate workout later that day or, ideally, the following day targeting those exact same muscles you hit on the previous day but for only 3 sets using very light weight and lots and lots of reps.

For example, let’s say on Monday you trained your pushing muscles (i.e. chest, shoulders, and triceps). Then, on Tuesday, before or after your normal training routine you do your feeder workout for chest, shoulder, and triceps. This feeder workout would contain primarily isolation exercises that allow you to really concentrate on the target muscle using very strict form and high reps.

An example feeder workout for your push muscles would be:

  • Pec Dec = 3 sets, 50-100 reps
  • Lateral Raise = 3 sets, 50-100 reps
  • Dumbbell Skull-Crushers = 3 sets, 50-100 reps

Now, jumping right out of the gate performing 50-100 reps in a single set, even using very light weight is incredibly taxing both mentally and physically — the burning sensation that sets in during feeder workouts is unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

The goal of these feeder workouts isn’t to pulverize the muscle and blast it into oblivion. These mini workouts should be looked at low intensity pump work, with the goal being to drive as much nutrient-rich blood into the muscles you trained the previous day. Remember muscle grows when stimulated, not annihilated, no matter what the gym bros tell you!

Why Feeder Workouts work?

  • Extended Protein Synthesis

    Feeder workouts prolong, or extend, the amount of time increased muscle protein synthesis occurs in a muscle group. Normally, when a muscle group is trained, protein synthesis is elevated for roughly 24 hours and returns to normal levels around the 36-hour post training mark.

    By performing another mini workout 24 hours after the first one, you prolong the increased protein synthesis occurring in your muscle by another 12-24 hours.

    The catch here, is that growth will only occur if you’re fueling properly. You’re only going to grow and promote repair and recovery if you’re consuming ample protein and eating at a caloric surplus.

  • Improved Mind-Muscle Connection

    Simply put, the human body gets better at things it does frequently. If you want to get better at pull ups, you need to start doing pull ups more often. The reason for this is that you’re increasing training volume, which your muscles adapt to by growing bigger and stronger, but in addition to getting stronger, you also establish a stronger mind-muscle connection, or an increased “awareness” of which muscle should be working during a given exercise.

    Feeder workouts are especially great if you struggle feel certain muscle groups firing during a lift. For example, don’t feel your lats working while doing pull ups (along with the other muscles of the back), performing a feeder workout the following day of straight-arm lat pulldowns may strengthen your mind-muscle connection to your lats, which translates to better lat recruitment during your subsequent pull up workouts leading to better workouts and bigger gains!

  • Shoring up Weaknesses

    Following your heavy lifting day, the trained muscles are incredibly responsive to less intense or traumatic training methods, i.e. light weights, high reps. This is great for bringing up lagging muscle groups that may be holding back your heavier compound movements.

    For example, if you struggle with the lockout portion of a bench press or overhead press, performing lighter weight, higher rep tricep work the day after your heavy presses, using very strict form while focusing on the contraction, will bring strengthen your triceps and translate to better performance in your heavier compound lifts.

Feed to Grow!

Feeder workouts are rarely discussed when discussing muscle growth. However, they represent an incredibly effective way to increase training volume without overtaxing your central nervous system (CNS) or muscles the way that high volume, high frequency heavy lifting programs can. Remember to keep the feeder workouts light and high rep but limit each exercise to 3 sets and only ONE exercise per muscle group. Coupled with a proper muscle-building diet, you’ll be astounded at how quickly your weak points become your best assets, all thanks to feeder workouts!

What is Visceral Fat?

There comes a time in every person’s life no matter how hard they train, how well they eat, or how genetically-gifted they may be, when they need to lose weight, or more specifically fat. But, what gets lost in the fat loss frenzy is the fact there are two types of fat in the human body.

When people typically think of losing fat, they’re almost always referring to subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous means “under the skin” and it’s the type of fat that’s all over your body directly under your skin. It’s the type of fat that’s part your unwanted jiggles and unsightly wiggles when moving. Subcutaneous fat is the fat discussed when bulking, cutting, and recomping. But, there is an even more insidious fat that resides deep down in our bodies, that brings much more severe consequences that just a squishy figure.

We’re talking about visceral fat.

Visceral Fat 101

Visceral fat is the fat that’s stored around the organs primarily located in the abdominal cavity, i.e. the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Whereas you can see, touch, and even pinch subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is a silent killer that lines beneath the abdominal wall, making it harder to see and even tougher to burn off. And while subcutaneous fat might give you a lackluster physique, it’s not nearly as life-threatening as visceral fat is. In fact, high amounts of visceral fat are associated with increased risks of developing heart disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia.[1,2,3]

Science has yet to uncover the reason visceral fat is so much more harmful than subcutaneous fat, but one theory that’s gaining traction is that visceral fat release fatty acids and pro-inflammatory compounds into portal vein, where these compounds enter the liver.[4] This “infects” the blood and causes problems with steatosis (adipose degeneration) and insulin resistance, which leads to further health complications.

How to Lose Visceral Fat

While visceral fat sounds like pretty scary stuff, fortunately, research has shown that it responds pretty well to standard protocols used to burn off unwanted subcutaneous fat.[5,6,7] Some of the ways you can limit or reduce visceral fat accumulation on your body is:

  • Remove all trans fats from your diet
  • Lift Weights
  • Perform High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Limit alcohol (i.e. no heavy drinking or “binges”)
  • Reduce stress (cortisol)
  • Get sufficient sleep each night

You can also enhance your body’s fat burning abilities by using the right supplements, such as Steel Core™ features proven ingredients such as Grains of Paradise (Aframum melegueta) (Paradoxine®) which is a spice belonging to the ginger family that stimulates brown adipose tissue, boosting metabolism and increasing thermogenesis while decreasing visceral fat in the lower abdomen.

Takeaway

Fat, no matter which kinds, isn’t just ugly, it’s downright detrimental to your health. The good news, is that it’s relatively easy to lose. All you have to do is put in the work, in the form of proper diet, exercise, and recovery and you can limit the amount of fat on your body and promote a leaner, stronger physique and a better quality of life!

References

  1. Klein S, Fontana L, Young VL, et al. Absence of an effect of liposuction on insulin action and risk factors for coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med. 2004;350(25):2549-2557. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa033179.
  2. Hamdy O, Porramatikul S, Al-Ozairi E. Metabolic obesity: the paradox between visceral and subcutaneous fat. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2006;2(4):367-373.
  3. Matsuzawa Y, Shimomura I, Nakamura T, Keno Y, Kotani K, Tokunaga K. Pathophysiology and pathogenesis of visceral fat obesity. Obes Res. 1995;3 Suppl 2:187S-194S.
  4. Rytka JM, Wueest S, Schoenle EJ, Konrad D. The Portal Theory Supported by Venous Drainage–Selective Fat Transplantation. Diabetes. 2011;60(1):56-63. doi:10.2337/db10-0697.
  5. Rice T, Hong Y, Perusse L, et al. Total body fat and abdominal visceral fat response to exercise training in the HERITAGE Family Study: evidence for major locus but no multifactorial effects. Metabolism. 1999;48(10):1278-1286.
  6. Dutheil F, Lac G, Lesourd B, et al. Different modalities of exercise to reduce visceral fat mass and cardiovascular risk in metabolic syndrome: the RESOLVE randomized trial. Int J Cardiol. 2013;168(4):3634-3642. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.05.012.
  7. Irving BA, Davis CK, Brock DW, et al. Effect of exercise training intensity on abdominal visceral fat and body composition. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2008;40(11):1863-1872. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181801d40.