Last month, DEXA scan visited Hyatt Training. Many of us got scanned and now have important metrics in hand that will help us to track out goals. Visceral fat is one of the measurements included in the scan, and it can be especially harmful to overall health. Check out this tip from personal trainer Megan Abernathy about ways to help reduce your visceral fat.

“Now that you have the data from your DEXA scan which helps create an easy way to track your body composition as you work towards weight wellness goals, let’s talk visceral fat and stress. First off there are two types of belly fat: 1) Subcutaneous- the fat that is outside of your organs, typically under the skin. 2) Visceral- the fat surrounding your organs, which can be deadly in high amounts. Visceral fat impacts how your organs and hormones function. We always want our visceral fat number to be as low as possible.

What causes high visceral fat? Poor diet, lack of exercises, stress, aging, hormones and genetics.

Being part of the Hyatt Training community and working with a personal trainer means you’re likely already focused on eating the right foods and incorporating smart exercise into your life. When it comes to visceral fat loss in particular I’d like to offer some helpful tips about mindful eating and stress management that I hope will make an impact on reducing your visceral fat.

Stress Management

There are many easy activities you can incorporate into your daily life to help shift your focus and your mindset when you begin to feel stress. First, focus on what can you take direct control of: this may be incorporating the use of stress-modulating herbs called adaptogens into your diet, participating in an exercise program you enjoy, a spa treatment, cooking a meal you love, or simply turning off your phone for an hour.

Whatever your stress relieving activity is, schedule it into your calendar at least once a week. It is crucial to make room in your routine for important self-care tasks, like you would with a doctor or dentist appointment. Dedicating time throughout your week to self-care routines will improve the consistency of your actions.

Mindful Eating Practices

  • Paying attention to the physical feelings of hunger. Are you physiologically hungry and actually in need of nutrition? Or are you psychologically hungry and experiencing cravings of food because your thirsty, stressed or bored?
  • Identifying cravings. This is your body communicating with you and could be indicating you need a specific nutrient. Example: Craving salty foods like pickles or chips could mean you need to replenish sodium and/or electrolytes. Try adding ConcenTrace Mineral drops to your water, or make your own kale chips for a healthy snack. Craving onions could mean you need more sulfur in your diet for liver function. Chocolate cravings often indicate that your body is deficient in magnesium, which is a common deficiency. You can try adding mineral drops to your water and if you’re going to eat chocolate try adding cocoa powder to you smoothie, or dark chocolate as your 15% fun.
  • Sensation of fullness. Also known as satiety. Having fiber, balanced protein and healthy fats as part of your meals and snacks will help you feel full after eating.
  • Taste satisfaction. Enjoying the food you eat is important for your body to get the most nutrition for your cells. Clean eating doesn’t have to be boring! Explore new spices, fresh herbs and seasonings. New recipes will excite your meal planning.
  • Gratitude. Take a moment before you consume your meal to think what it took to get from farm to table. It is recommended we chew our food 20-30 times before swallowing. Focus on feeling satisfied about how you have chosen to fuel your body.

New findings published in the Journal of Obesity suggest that combining mindful eating with stress management can help reduce cortisol levels and the resulting belly fat. The most effective mindful eating practices are paying attention to the physical feelings of hunger, identifying cravings, sensation of fullness, and taste satisfaction so you fully enjoy your eating experience and feel satisfied about how you have fueled your body.”

Read more from Megan on stress management or mindful eating and choosing quality foods over quantity!

Megan’s personal training philosophy

Hyatt Training Portland personal trainer and nutritionist Megan AbernathyI believe the base of living a healthy lifestyle starts with mindset. I work with my clients to develop smart goals and to develop self-efficacy—the belief in oneself to complete a task. I provide support and accountability to help my clients achieve their goals. I also believe in establishing a strong stabilization base with all my clients.You cannot build fitness on dysfunction. I focus on proper kinetic chain movement patterns and a strong pelvis and core before advancing into other modalities and fitness programs.


Hyatt Training is a collective of certified, enthusiastic and innovative personal trainers in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about our personal trainers or to set up a free consultation to see how they could help you, email us at To read more trainer tips like this one, follow this link.