here are two main types of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. The first type, subcutaneous, is found just under the skin. Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is found behind the stomach muscles and in the abdominal cavity, and around many of our internal organs. Why you may think fat is fat, the two types are very different.
Belly Fat Increases Your Risk for Certain Diseases
This visceral fat does a couple of things biologically that can lead to a whole host of dangerous diseases. For example, excessive belly fat inhibits insulin to do its job, a condition called insulin resistance. So as your body becomes more insulin resistant, it has a harder time controlling your blood sugar. This can lead to diabetes.
Also, this visceral fat secretes hormones and proteins into your blood stream. When you have normal belly fat amounts, the hormones and protein are beneficial to your body, but as you gain belly fat, too much is secreted and that is when it can start to cause problems. The excess hormones contribute to atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque on the walls of your arteries, and eventually lead to clogging of the arteries; excess secreted proteins from belly fat cells constrict blood vessels causing high blood pressure known as hypertension.
Because visceral fat is located so close to the liver, fat cells enter that organ directly through the portal vein. Once inside, they can cause dementia, high LDL cholesterol, and breast and colon cancer.
Results of a Belly Fat Study
In a 14-year study that ended in 2012, 12,785 patients were broken down into three categories: normal, overweight and obese. What the study found is the group with a normal BMI, but with excessive visceral fat was 2.1 times more likely to die than the obese group that had a 1.4 greater risk of dying. The point is belly fat is extremely dangerous even if you carry a weight commensurate with your height.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat
The good news is that even though people complain about it being the hardest last few pounds of fat to lose, this visceral fat is also one of the first fats to start going. Focus eating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the good fats – the unsaturated and Omegas. Do 20 to 40 minutes of cardio exercises four days per week with a couple of days of strength training.
If you take in fewer calories through proper eating and start burning more calories through exercising, the calorie deficit will start to burn off excessive belly fat.
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