Know Your Fat - Visceral vs. Subcutaneous

There are two types of fat that our bodies have. One is visceral and one is subcutaneous.

The difference is vital to your health and wellbeing and knowing which is which and how much you might have is an important body factor to consider.

Visceral: This type of fat surrounds your internal organs and is harmful in large quantities as it can cause an array of health issues. Not only does it surround your organs like your heart, intestines and liver, but it can also build up within your arteries, which is never a good thing.

Studies have shown that those who had higher amounts of visceral adipose tissue did in fact have greater health risks and if they had not already develop conditions like heart disease, diabetes etc

Please note that where the fat is held or distributed is important. Visceral fat held in the core region has been shown to increase the risk of developing health concerning conditions like coronary heart disease and obesity.

In one study they found that there is an inextricable link between body shape (fat distribution), obesity and cardiovascular disease. Those with an apple shaped body were said to be holding more visceral fat around the upper body and lower body. Carrying too much visceral fat can also increase insulin resistance and cause diabetes.

What can you do about it?

Lose fat with a sustainable method that allows you to create healthy habits that last a lifetime. Start with simple swaps, don’t eliminate whole food groups, but simply reduce portion sizes and aim for 80% healthy food throughout the week. Reducing your intake of saturated fats and fried foods is also a great start.

Move regularly with cardiovascular based activities like walking, swimming, jogging or cycling.

Subcutaneous: This type of fat is the more visible fat that we might say “jiggles” under the skin, it can also be seen as cellulite and is located closer to the skin.

Having subcutaneous fat in certain amounts is necessary for survival, it allows us to regular our body temperature, provides a buffer between organs and is also one way the body stores energy that we use.

To avoid having too much of either kind of fat ensure to follow a healthy diet, move regularly and get plenty of cardiovascular exercise. People who sit majority of the day and eat poorly have been shown to have more health-related issues and more fat overall in their bodies.

Remember: Genetics also play a part in fat distribution, so never compare yourself to anyone but yourself!

Set specific goals that are tailored to you and live a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk of genetic predispositions.

Interested in finding out your body fat %? Why not book in a DEXA scan in your local area and find out. This is also a great way to keep track of your fat loss journey.