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New Study Finds The Simple Secret To Losing The Fat You Can't See

Elizabeth Gerson
Author:
February 2, 2019
Elizabeth Gerson
By Elizabeth Gerson
mbg Contributor
Elizabeth Gerson is a former mindbodygreen intern and a student at Stanford University studying Psychology and Communication with a specialization in Health & Development.
Image by Aleksandar Nakic / iStock
February 2, 2019

On the quest to find our healthiest selves, it turns out we may have been focusing on the wrong thing all along when it comes to fat. Visceral fat, or the internal fat that you can't see or feel, is way more important in keeping us healthy, and scientists may have just cracked the code on how to reduce it.

A study released today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that exercise—whether that be weight lifting, resistance training, or cardio—actually reduces unhealthy visceral fat. Visceral fat is located deep in the belly, giving all our precious organs much-needed cushioning, but too much visceral fat often results in high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and obesity1.

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Study participants were assigned to take medication, do exercise, or both over a period of six months, and overall, exercise was far better at melting visceral fat.

Sure, weight is part of the exercise equation, but this study looks beyond the numbers on the scale and examines the overall health of the person. Cardiologist and senior author of the study, Dr. Ian J. Neeland, told mbg, "Just because you don't see lots of pounds come off with exercise doesn't mean you aren't making major strides in reducing your visceral fat."

At mbg, we're fans of finding an exercise routine you actually like doing. It does wonders for your mental health and protects your physical health long into the future. And while you may not see dramatic physical changes, rest assured knowing you're making an investment in your healthiest self.

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Elizabeth Gerson
Elizabeth Gerson

Elizabeth Gerson is a former mindbodygreen intern and a student at Stanford University studying Psychology and Communication with a specialization in Health & Development. She has also written for SFGate.com and The Stanford Daily and runs a paleo(ish) food Instagram, @healthy_lizard.