Visceral fat is described by experts as “dangerous” because it surrounds vital organs like the pancreas, liver and intestines.
This means the higher the amount of visceral fat a person stores the more at risk they are of complications, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
One of the main cause of visceral fat is lack of exercise.
So what’s the exercise for a person to get rid of excess visceral fat?
Dr Luke James, medical director, UK Insurance at Bupa UK, details on the health organisation’s website that HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training, is the best type of exercise to burn fat.
The premise of HIIT is going all out and giving it everything you’ve got, for a short burst, followed by a lower intensity exercise or rest, then repeat.
Dr James explained: “Cardiovascular exercise is important for weight loss but I’d say that interval training is perhaps the best approach for fat loss - especially belly fat.
“It’s been suggested that HIIT has an effect on your hormones, particularly ones such a your belly.
“It also increases your fitness levels so you’ll notice these benefits too.
“Intense exercise also speeds up how much energy and fat you burn post exercise.”
Dr James recommends monitoring your pulse so you can tell when you’re in the fat burning zone, and if you’re not sure how to measure it there are apps and wearable measurements, like a Fitbit, available.
He added: “I’d recommend strength (resistance) exercises too. They help maintain your muscle mass and your glucose metabolism (the way your body processes sugar and uses it for furl), which are important for managing your weight.
“Resistance training has also been shown to maintain reduced fat mass, and to act on the visceral fat in your abdominal area.”
Dr James warns about “spot reduction”, which is the idea you can target where you lose fat.
He said: “Doing only ab crunches thinking it will target and lose the fat from your belly won’t work.
“You need to take a whole body approach, not just focusing on one area of your body.”
Harvard Health Publishing, part of Harvard Medical School, also recommends not smoking to get rid of visceral fat.
It says: “The more you smoke, the more likely you are to store fat in your abdomen rather than on your hips and thighs.
You should also make sure you get enough sleep. It adds: “A five-year study found that adults under age 40 who slept five hours or less a night accumulated significantly more visceral fat.
“But too much isn’t good, either - young adults who slept more than eight hours also added visceral fat. (This relationship wasn’t found in people over age 40.)”