Belly fat is something we would all like to rid ourselves of, and despite the number of sit-ups or crunches we do, that stubborn belly fat always seems to stick. Not only is it uncomfortable, but belly fat, specifically visceral belly fat, is also hazardous to your body.

Visceral belly fat differs from subcutaneous fat (which is the fat you can actually grab when you do the pinch test). Visceral fat lies deep in the abdominal cavity, surrounding abdominal organs and secreting hormones that can promote insulin resistance, which can cause diabetes. It can also greatly increase your risk for metabolic syndrome, breast cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

I recommend supplementing a healthy diet and exercise program with a few nutrients that are designed to target both superficial and visceral belly fat specifically. They are a more natural approach to banishing that muffin top for good!

Phosphatidylserine: A natural substance from cabbage or soy, phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that serves as a building block for cellular membranes of all cells especially our brain cells. Recent studies show that it can aid in the reduction of cortisol levels, the hormore in high levels plays a large role in the production of belly fat. To reduce excess cortisol as well as to help with sleep, phosphatidylserine should be taken at night.

L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine is a supplement that plays a critical role in fat metabolic processes. It is produced by the body in the liver and kidneys and stored in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain, and sperm. It assists in mobilization of fat to be used for ATP (energy) production rather than fat storage.

Acetyl L-Carnitine: Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALC) acts as an antioxidant and as a natural anti-inflammatory which strengthens other antioxidant systems within the body. ALC will protect the cell membrane of all cells and prevent activation of inflammatory chemicals such as arachidonic acid. It also resensitizes the receptors in the pituitary gland so that it reduces stimulation to the adrenal glands and indirectly reduces excess cortisol output.

VFM Flavinoid: A supplement made by Complimentary Prescriptions, VFM-100 contains a dietary ingredient called glabridin, a powerful antioxidant. It is a safe approach to preventing the accumulation of excess body fat because it specifically targets the tissue around the viscera, which has been proven in many of its clinical trials.